Thursday, April 07, 2005

To sleep. perchance to dream....

NOTHING IN this world feels better than slipping between the sheets in the evening, resting your head on your pillow and drifting off to dream-land.

I'll admit it may border on pure slatterness on my behalf, but I love my bed. I'm there at any opportunity, be it to curl up under the duvet to read a good book or to take to the pillows and cushions with a cup of hot chocolate to watch Desperate Housewives. My bedroom is my haven and my sanctuary.
It's decorated in pale yellows and creams, with large sash windows, a king size bed and some lavender oil permanently burning in the oil burner.
My bed has not one but eight pillows, all of varying sizes and different levels of plumpness. For a long time I had a particularly close relationship with a purple cushion which i had to cuddle like a teddy bear while going off to sleep. Now, it's a small cream cushion that has my attention.
I cuddle it, curl the duvet up under my feet and up to my neck and lie at the edge of the bed to fall off to sweet dreams. It is bliss. Bedtime is without a doubt my most favourite time of the day....
Or at least, it used to be.
You see my bed has become a place for strange manoeuvres in the dark, and I'm not talking about the fun kind!
Himself and myself have an interloper into our marital bed. He is about two foot tall, likes to grin and show off his four toothypegs and thinks it is hilariously funny to play "Beep" on mammy's nose at four in the morning.

I'm told that around the year mark (the wee man being 14 months) is a typical time for sleeping to go pear-shaped for the little people. They are learning so much that their wee brains can't switch off at night and so when they wake up at stupid o'clock in the morning they want to try all out all their newly acquired skills.
For Joseph this involves sitting up in his cot and singing the Balamory theme tune at full volume ("DAAAA-DA-DAAAAA-DA"). Hubby and I try to ignore it hoping that he will eventually tire of this most annoying of songs and go to sleep.
Problem is, while Joseph can sit up no problem, he has not yet quite figured out how to lie back down. So we know we are in trouble. You see, it's all okay until he spots mammy or daddy during the night. But it is impossible to lie the wee man back down without going into his room.
So we creep in, trying not to talk, and trying to make Joseph lie down without any fuss. But then the crying starts (Joseph, then me) and we, in the interests of getting any sort of sleep at all, bring the wee man into bed with us.
My sanctuary is no more. The plumped pillows are cast to the floor. There is a pack of nappies beside the bed and it's hard to roll over in the night without being impaled on a stray dummy. Toys have even started to creep in and while drifting off to dreamland last night I came face to face with the mankiest, stinkiest vest in the world which my son loves to cuddle as he goes off to sleep. (And they think I'm strange for cuddling a cushion!)
The air is not so much fragranced with lavender oil as it is with Eau De PeePee Nappy and instead of beauty sleep I'm assaulted on a frequent basis by a baby who wants to either slap my belly (it wobbles, much to his amusement), or Beep Beep my nose.
Somehow he hasn't copped on that this is where mammy and daddy go to sleep. But then I think perhaps he doesn't realise we need any sleep in the first place.
And trust me, I'm not good with sleep deprivation. I'm sure my computer in work is ready to fizzle and die with the drool I regularly drop on it as I drift off at my desk.
In the past few days I have managed to lose a bunch of cheques received on Joseph's behalf and post a form off without actually remembering to sign it.

When I'm trying my damnedest to be professional on the phone I seem instead to talk gobbledegook; my brain being in some weird twilight zone where the Balamory theme tune plays on a loop and I take panic attacks at loud noises.
Before, I would have taken solace in the fact that at least if I was having a particularly tired and stressful day it would not be long before I could sink under the duvet and relax...but no more! That experience is long gone.
The hardest thing though is that you can't use "I had a bad night's sleep" as an excuse in work when you are feeling rough the next day. It's part of being a responsible grown-up and parent.
You know that thousands, if not millions, of women (and a couple of men) have felt like this before. Yet, they have got up the next day and gone on to carry out a full day's work, making important decisions and keeping their world, and their homes, running smoothly.
I don't know if I'm just particularly inept at the whole working mother thing or if all these other women are buzzing about due to a diet consistent largely of sugar and caffeine, but I wish I knew their secret.
I'd swap at least six of my pillows and my oil burner for the answer.

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