‘Where are you going,’ my husband asked groggily.
‘She’s calling out she’s done a poo, I’d better go and see’ I replied.
It was 2.15am. As in the middle of the effing night.
I trudge downstairs and open her door a crack. No tell tale waft of death, but I can hear her sniffing. She’s crying, I think. Oh no, what if she has diarrhoea? I mentally begin rearranging the following day, trying to determine how much work I can get done if I have a sick three year old at my side.
‘Why are you sad honey,’ I ask her, walking toward the bed.
‘Because I want cockcorn. I hungry,’ she said in her tiny adorable voice that suddenly wasn’t so adorable anymore.
What? Did I somehow mistake ‘popcorn’ for ‘poo’? I suppose when you’re ASLEEP it is easy to mistake all sorts of things.
I stare at her shadowy shape in the dark and resist the urge to throw a doll at her head. Instead, in my calmest voice I simply say ‘No. Go back to sleep’, turn, and leave the room.
Only after I close the door do I say a very rude word…
…which is drowned out anyway by an almighty shriek and indignant howls of misery that erupt from within the room.
I pause momentarily and assess my level of anger. Pretty high, I think, based on the fact that someone – either my husband or one of the kids – has woken me pretty much every single night for the past eight years.
There was no way I was going to deal with this in a calm, responsible manner, so I kept walking. I needed to pee anyway, so I just left the volcanic mess behind, which was now throwing itself against the door demanding ‘cockporn’.
Besides, I could hear my husband heading down the stairs. Let him deal with her, I thought, although it was entirely possible his way of solving the problem would be to actually give her a bag of popcorn at 2 o’clock in the morning.
By the time I had finished in the loo the house was dark and silent. Unbelievable. I made my way back upstairs and as soon as my shadow loomed in the door, I heard a chirpy little voice say ‘hello Mummy’, followed by some enthusiastic bouncing on my pillow.
F*ck, I thought. I would have rather he gave her the popcorn.
‘She won’t sleep,’ I muttered climbing in to bed and hauling the blankets off the other two.
It was irrelevant anyway. Whether she slept or not was not the point: the point was that I would not be able to sleep. And just like the 3,000 or so nights that preceded this one, I would not get a full night’s uninterrupted sleep.
If I’m being honest – and I usually am – I am a total bitch between the hours of midnight and 5am.
The rest of the time I quite a nice person, but unless you catch me at the tail end of a rather awesome party (rather unlikely these days when parties finish at 5pm so we’re all in bed by 8pm) if you find me awake during these hours – I WON’T BE VERY NICE TO YOU. Even if you sprang from my loins (or are trying to spring for them) I don’t want to know you.
Now that my Third Child is three and my eldest is eight, I figure I have been having crap sleep through pregnancy, breast feeding and kids not-sleeping-through for long enough, and it is time for me to reassert my physical right to six hours uninterrupted sleep.
Note how I didn’t ask for eight or ten. Just six. Uninterrupted.
Before I had kids I was an awesome sleeper. I would have won an Olympic gold. My parents installed a smoke alarm in my bedroom when I was at uni because I used to burn incense in there and they quite rightly were concerned I would burn the house down.
One night a spider walked across the alarm and set it off. Those bastards are loud but I slept straight through it (much to my parent’s disgust) because I was a teenager and I used to be an Olympic gold winning sleeper.
These days, one of the kids can fart in their sleep downstairs and it will wake me up, because I am a Mum, and Mums develop a rather useful (but annoying) desire to ensure their kids are safe.
Enough is enough.
No more farting. No more cockporn in the middle of the night. I need to reclaim my sleep.
So if anyone has any good advice, please let me know: how can I reclaim my sleep?