Life

EYES WIDE SHUT

Yesterday was one of those days. A shouty, not picking your battles well, type of day. A bit of a grey mist had set in on top of an already knackered state following a four day week of work complemented by some late night settling of unsettled little beings.

I was bored of the sound of my own shouty voice and the little being that wasn’t in school had refused most suggestions that would have helped us on our way to a normalish day. My patience was shot and everything seemed to be taking at least double the time it should.

Fortunately, the little one did agree to having her hair cut for the first time ever – she’d been looking forward to it all week. But as she sat in the salon chair, her bottom lip started to wobble and I thought it was game over. Some supreme coaxing from the hairdresser and I – accompanied by the promise of a fancy hairdresser biscuit – and we were back on track. I even managed to keep myself in check and resisted the temptation of scooping up the wisps of golden cherub curls that now lay on the salon floor. The delighted look on her face as she experienced her ‘big girl’ moment was memory enough for me.

A couple more hours of reasonably contented play followed, enhanced by a trolley ride around the supermarket (her not me, although I would have taken a ride if someone had offered to push me). Inevitably we left – me laden with 5p bags which I’d had to pay for as obviously I had forgotten to pre pack just a few of the hundreds I‘ve got shoved in the cupboard at home – without the thing we went into the supermarket for in the first place.

The afternoon dragged into the evening. A bit of pre tea-time music and dancing helped to lighten the mood – Sia’s Chandelier being the ear worm of choice until an adventurous but misjudged leg kick (go me) saw actual (smashed) damage to the dangly bits on my chandelier type light in the dining room… I laughed at the irony and went back to my Friday day job of rustling up a gourmet tea – fish fingers, beans and chips for one. Ham, egg, beans and chips for the other (the one meal for all rule being the battle I chose not to pick this time…). I, on the other hand had trifle. It had strawberries in it so totally up there on the nutrients front and it was bloody satisfying.

The evening was a bit of a blur. The hubs took charge of bedtime. Well, took half-charge. The little one insisted on staying with mummy for just a couple more minutes. Another battle not picked. If anyone asks how a three year old can have that much power over two adults – I’ll show you a sleep hungry parent who would take extra time on the sofa with snuggles thrown in for good measure over a 30minute shouty and tearful ascension of the wooden hill.

She fell asleep on me. And the shoulders of the day began to drop…

This morning started in the usual way – being talked at and asked questions as if your eyes are wide open and utterly engaged in excitable chit chat despite your head actually still lying on its pillow with eyes very firmly shut. But it’s light outside so to kids, your little sleepy façade doesn’t quite cut it.

It’s amazing how the little darlings can actually interpret early morning grown up grunts into actual language. It’s 6.30 on a Saturday morning.

“Mummy, can I go downstairs and watch the telly?”

Me: “Ugh.”

“Mummy, does that mean yes?”

Me: “Ugh.”

Of course it means yes if it means I get to lie here for just a bit longer with no one talking in to my actual ears.

I go back into the kind of sleep that isn’t really sleep. It’s limbo sleep. Just the few minutes, moments or if you’re lucky half hour, that brings with it some pretty goddamn surreal dreams that blend with the reality of the household noises at the time. It’s not real. But it is. I’m sure you can get drugs that would re-enact this kind of feeling but I’d say don’t bother with them – just get kids. The hallucinogenic powers that lack of sleep but still having to truck on can induce are quite real.

Sleep is so underrated. A decent night’s sleep and an hour to potter this morning courtesy of the hubs taking the girls swimming was tantamount to a spa break following the trials of yesterday. A visit to the nail bar to get my nails done with my wonderful sister this afternoon was positively self-indulgent.

There have been significantly less shouty episodes today.

Turns out sleep isn’t for wimps. It’s a bloody life line.

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