My kids have been sleeping through the night for some time now, and I find every possible moment to gloat about it because it’s been a long hard journey… like my colleague will ask me if I’d like to pop down to the canteen with her for a cup of coffee and I spend the whole trip and cup of coffee talking about what good sleepers I have (she isn’t even a mother, she really doesn’t give a damn) or my boss asks me how my weekend was and I use this as the perfect opportunity to tell him how well we all slept. Or the tea lady asks me for bus fare and I tell HER how well I slept – she is 60 years old, I don’t think she cares, really. Anyway, the Law of Murphy dictates, gloating and showing off can only end badly for you.
Last night was rough. Everyone went to bed quite happily as usual, I even watched a movie – something I never do during the week because I’m usually too busy and besides, DSTV is usually regurgitating something that I have already watched for the 496th time. We went to bed at about 10pm, and I was blissfully dreaming about Lindt chocolate bunnies, when I heard the first squeal from Hannah’s room.
I look at my phone, it’s only 11pm. Darn! I lay quietly, staring at the ceiling, willing her back to sleep, but the next squeal is louder and angrier. Off I traipse, while Daddy Dearest continues to snore peacefully. She is awake, standing in her cot and quite pissed off. I hand over the bottle, avoiding eye contact and any form of communication and edge towards the door, expecting her to lay down and drink herself into a sleepy milk induced coma. No such luck. She yells out “MUMMY” and I knew I was doomed. I sit on the bed opposite her cot and give her my most defeated sigh, she responds with a chirpy “hello mummy!” We lay on the bed together as she counts each family member by name: where’s Dudee? Where’s Leelee? Where’s Gogo? SLEEPING like normal people do in the middle of the night, I respond. Eventually I dose off; I can feel her tossing and turning as she mumbles softly to herself. I wake up and look at my phone, it’s 1.15am. She is asleep so I suck in my stomach and hold my breath as I slide off the bed which, by the way, creaks like something from a horror movie. I make it safely back to the marital bed, husband still snoring peacefully. I plump up my pillow and start to think chocolate bunny thoughts. What feels like five minutes later, I hear Hannah calling out to me – why is it that the never call out for their “Dudees” in the still of the night? My phone registers 2am, you cannot be serious. She is sitting “pen reg op” on the bed and greets me with a bounce and a smile “hello mummy.” I ask her in my most sternest voice why she isn’t sleeping and she says “bokky”… her milk is finished and she wants more. I seriously thought these days were behind me. I go downstairs and refill the bottle, I put her back in her cot and I leave the room, but she yells out to me. We lay on the bed again. She is stroking my face, and patting my head. She is like a flea: she jumps on top of me, then in the crook of my arm, then she spoons me, then she pulls me so that I can spoon her – serious. I fall asleep and the next time I open my eyes, her feet are almost in my mouth and her face is somewhere alongside my kneecaps. It’s 3am. I try to extricate myself from this sticky situation, but she stirs and I immediately play dead. It works. I am counting the hours until my alarm goes off, and if you are anything like me, you know how hard it is to go back to sleep when you know that you have to be up soon. That’s another one of Murphy’s Laws.. Thou shalt not be able to sleep if you are watching the alarm clock. When I sense that her breathing has regulated, I do a move that could have been used in The Matrix, with Keanu Reeves as my co star. When I stand up, I realise that I may have pulled a muscle in my back. But the baby is still asleep and I hobble back to the marital bed. I make a pit stop at the toilet, my wee hasn’t even run cold and I hear Hannah calling. It is at this point that I start to wonder who I should smother with a pillow first: Hannah because she is totally annoying me at this point or the Husband who hasn’t gotten up ONCE during this whole palaver. I trudge over to Hannah, it’s close to 4am, I have to be up at 5:30am. I resign myself to the fact that I will look like the walking dead in the morning and hope there is something left in my tube of Garnier Caffeine Eye roll-on. So we sleep side by side until my alarm goes off at 5:30am. She doesn’t even stir as a grapple to find my phone to turn the alarm off. She doesn’t move a muscle as I noisily complain about being exhausted and now it’s time to get up and how I just want to put a pillow over her father’s face because I am so mad that he is so well rested and I am so tired. She sleeps through our morning noise of showers going, Liam yelling, toast popping, kettle boiling, Jungle Junction blasting. I cough loudly as I pass her door, I clang heavily in my high heels as I walk past again, I purposely scream right outside her door for Liam to come and get his school bag. She sleeps. We leave for work and school and she is still asleep.
Zoleka reports that she woke up after 7am, refreshed and happy. I look like death. This had better be a once off. I wish someone would put a pillow over my face.