Last night in a moment of madness, you decide to get into bed extra-ordinarily early to watch a film. This is such a bad idea on so many counts you don’t know where to start, but you carry the iPad up the stairs regardless and within fifteen minutes of enjoying a documentary about the benefits of a vegan diet, you are fast asleep. At one o’clock in the morning your eyes pop open and there you are wide awake and ready for the kind of action the rest of the world is too busy dreaming about to contemplate.
For a while you snuggle down in lavender scented bliss, entertaining new ideas for BrocanteHome and pondering the revelation that is Mighty Mature Dairylea, because work and cheese are the enduring loves of your life and clearly time to dwell on either is your own kind of bliss.
By now you are spread-eagled across the bed, one icy cold foot popping out the covers, and the rest of you sweltering under three layers of patchwork quilts. Boredom has set in. Apparently there is only so much mileage in thoughts about cheese, and deeper thought must be avoided if worries are to be kept at bay.
You switch the light on and read some of Martha Stewart’s new book, but Martha makes the most awful bed companion and all to soon you are flicking through the pages of the Daily Mail app, infuriating yourself as a kind of punishment for not being able to sleep. Outside the owl has started it’s middle of the night moaning, hoots that come in screechy batches of four and will, you know, go on until the sun finally rises.
Soon you are counting in time with the owl. Your own version of the dreaded dripping tap. You hear your son giggle in his sleep, the scratching of a kitten outraged by being locked in the laundry room, the cough of your next door neighbour. By now you can see around your bedroom clearly and in your mind you are moving the furniture, re-decorating, adding more floral portraits to the collection above the little oak chest discovered on the tip, and wondering how a teeny little bookcase could be fitted in.
The hours pass slowly. Your head starts to ache and at five o’clock your tummy bloats with tired air. You are cross now. Cross with everyone you know. Cross with a mattress that clearly needs replacing and cross with pillows that heat up too quickly and need turning over too often. Cross with your body for not behaving itself in the middle of the night and now cross with the local council who seem to think 6.30 is a good time to send the glass recycling van thundering down the road, clattering blue boxes full of glass at every house and holding merry conversation amongst themselves.
And then Finn is crawling into your bed and it is time to get up. You reassure him nightmares aren’t real. Tell him you will be downstairs in five minutes and fall promptly into the deep sleep you have begged the sandman to deliver all night long. You dream about an argument with someone you have never argued with. About slowly driving your first car to Mark’s parent’s house, and oddly about de-frosting your frost free freezer. And then your son is once again at your bedside, telling you that there is a green and white man knocking on the door and though this makes no sense at all, it isn’t a dream and it is half past eight and there isn’t a child washed in the house and there is indeed a green and white man knocking on your door.
You throw on a combination of heaven knows what and open the door to a boy in a fluorescent jacket who wants you to move your car so that roadworks can begin, apparently on your doorstep, so you run into the street in bare feet and shift the car and dash back into the house to shout at small child for having an irresponsible Mother and find yourself caught up in conversation with a boy clearly channeling his doppelganger from “Outnumbered” ….
“So what I’m hearing MUMMY, is you blaming me for you sleeping in?”
“No Sweetheart, I merely want you to help me by being quick getting ready and eating your breakfast, please..?”
“Sorry Mum, quick just ain’t my middle name”
You resist temptation to scream, run into kitchen to find neighbor standing in the back garden telling you to move the car you have already moved. Thank him and trip over kitten screeching for food. Swear. Deny swearing to child. Feed cat and child. Drag clothes on to child who has apparently forgotten how. Knock back cup of rocket fuel instant coffee. Deliver child to man standing on doorstep waiting to take him to school. Pretend to be normal human being. Smile and joke in relaxed fashion. Kiss child. Close door. Open it again to green and white man who wants you to move car again. Resist punching him in the head or breaking down in tears while telling him about your sleeping woes.
Make another cup of coffee. Switch on computer. Relax. Spread Dairylea on a fat free cracker. Resolve never to watch TV in bed again because clearly geopathic stress sends you around the bend.
Worry about being around the bend.