Dear Dave

Wednesday 2 May 2007

I spoke too soon

Dear Dave,

As I sit here, with my eyes propped open with lollipop sticks, I realise that my previous correspondence about sleep was tempting fate. Either that, or Marie's learnt to read and she felt like having a laugh.

I've been awake for thirty-six hours now.

If this turns into gibberish then you'll know why.

Marie has a cough and we gave her some medicine before bed last night but she sicked it up with some phlegm pretty quickly so it probably didn't do much good. She tossed and turned for a while, then came down to sit on the sofa and watch some Little Mermaid before going back to bed. (She thinks of me as King Triton now, by the way, which is a step up from the BFG at least). All was quiet for an hour or so and then she woke up and demanded a cuddle. She got a cuddle. Five minutes later she screamed, "I want cuddle from mummy too!" She got that. Sarah and I went to bed.

Twenty minutes later. "I got cough. You make me better." I hadn't got to sleep so I went through and gave her another cuddle before she woke Lewis in the bed next to her. Then I went back to bed myself.

Fifteen minutes later. "I need my water." I'd almost got to sleep. I went back through and reminded her where her bedside table was (i.e. beside her bed), waited for her to have a drink, tucked her back in and went back to bed.

Ten minutes later. "You fix it. Daddy! You fix it, daddy!" This is code for 'I'm lost in my duvet.' I went through and rescued her.

Another fifteen minutes. "Blow my nose!"

Two minutes. "You blow my nose again!"

Just enough time for me to get back into bed. "I need water."

Seventeen minutes. "I need cuddle!"

Three minutes. "You fix it!"

And so it went on... Bear in mind as well that we had elderly relatives staying over last night. They were in our bed and Sarah and I were on the sofa-bed. On a different floor from Marie. Just getting to her became an effort as the night wore on. I think I might have nearly dozed off at about twenty past four. Nearly.

"I need water!"

Twelve minutes. "I need water!"

Three minutes. "I need water!"

Her shouting had become louder and screechier by this time, to the point where she sounded like a Dalek. As her loyal pig slave, I scurried through, grunting. This had no effect on the volume or pitch of her voice. "I need water," she shrieked in my face. I moved her cup the fourteen and a half inches from her bedside table to her hand. She took the tiniest of sips and then screamed, "You put it back now!"

I put it back but told her she could get it herself from then on. She might have been tired and sick but I suspected she was also taking advantage. I shouted myself. She wimpered and agreed.

Five minutes later. "I need toilet..."

Give her credit - short of being sick, that was the one plea I couldn't ignore. It also took far longer to deal with than any of her previous problems. She's clever, that one.

Ten minutes. "Blow my nose." I was at least glad that she wasn't asking for the toilet again.

Two minutes. "I need toilet again!"


Things never improved. At half past six, I just gave up and had a shower. Of course, even this had a small intermission in which I had to drip into her room and pick a cuddly toy up off the floor. I don't know whether it fell or she threw it there. Either way, I wasn't impressed. I shivered my way back to the bathroom and finished 'getting up'.

Marie promptly stayed asleep for an entire hour and a half.

I sprinkled some Sugar Puffs on top of a bowl full of coffee granules and had my breakfast while quietly reading GameCentral on Teletext. Then the boys got up and it was time for the day to begin...

Somehow Lewis had slept through everything. On the one hand, this was fortunate. On the other, we may need to get a louder smoke alarm.

I'm quite tired now. I got through the day surprisingly well. I wasn't much of a conversationalist but that's true most of the time. I was a bit crotchety but, again, that's not hugely unusual. I wasn't called upon to make any life changing decisions, which was probably lucky. Sarah came home early to help out, which was lovely. We survived.

Now it's time for some sleep. I think Marie's settled tonight. I'm just holding off for a few minutes to make sure before going to bed.

(I hope fate didn't hear that).

Yours in a woman's world,


PS Waited until morning before sending this. We all slept through but I appear to have woken with the mental and physical capabilities of a slug. The DVD player may be doing a large portion of the parenting today...

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