You know when you wake up in the morning and you just know today is not going to be your day?
Well, that was me yesterday.
It all started when I shot awake about an hour before my alarm was due to go off. I say ‘shot’ because it was the kind of waking up that happens all of a sudden, with wide eyes and a small burst of adrenaline.
If I had a theme tune (and honestly, I can’t think of a better idea), then at that point we would have heard a loud *PING!* That’s how awake I was.
Now, people who know me will be aware that I am a dedicated night owl. I’m simply not able to fall asleep early, unless I’m ill. Lying awake in bed hallucinating the sound of burglars breaking in is not exactly my idea of fun, shockingly enough! And so I prefer to spend my evenings knitting, Netflix binge watching and eating, and end up going to bed quite late.
This would be a nightmare in itself for some people, but it works fine for me. I just don’t need that much sleep! But the success of my night owliness is only possible because I have never had a problem with waking too early. I have always been able to sleep soundly until my alarm goes off (unless dealing with a small crying child, anyway. And even then I avoid putting my glasses on so I can pretend I’m really still in bed.)
But recently, it seems, this ability has become a thing of the past. More and more often I am ‘pinging’ awake at, for me, a truly unacceptable hour. I am hoping it is just an incredibly irksome brain blip, which will pass in time. Because losing sleep at both ends of the night is really not working for me!
So, I began the day exhausted, and more than a little pissed off. But there were still some positives to be had. Instead of having to rush around all morning, I actually had time to prepare and organise everything. I even threw in a quick shower for good measure! I always feel that if I begin the day up and dressed before I wake the girls, there is no possible other ending point than complete success.
It appears, in this case, that I was a little optimistic. Which is not a natural tendency for me, and I will be wary in indulging in it again for quite some time.
First, Little Girl awoke, after an almighty coughing fit that lasted for a ridiculous amount of time. Little Girl has always been a wheezy, hacking winter child, and yesterday was no exception. But it wasn’t so bad. She got up in a fairly good mood for someone who has attempted to evacuate her lungs through her mouth, and was happy to settle down with her Lego while I got ready.
Little Girl is always happy to settle down with her Lego. I guess it’s her ‘thing.’
Anyway, time passed until it was time to wake the other girls up. And that, my friends, is where it all began to fall apart.
Squeak woke up in a mental state that spoke of a night spent fighting monsters and defeating evil wizards in vivid nightmares. She was in full on rage mode as soon as her eyelids lifted. She refused to brush her teeth, to come downstairs, to eat, to get dressed, to put on her coat…
In short, it went on all bloody morning. She even surpassed her usual contrariness, to level up into a tiny, angry dragon. I find it hard enough to cope with these explosions normally, but yesterday I was so tired that it was even harder!
Still, eventually I got her suitably dressed and tucked up in the pram, ready to take the others up to school.
It was at that point that I realised one of the pram wheels had a puncture.
So the entire contents of the pram was unloaded, and I strapped Squeak to my aching body with a sling. We trudged our ever so enthusiastic selves up to school, and somehow managed to get there on time.
Surely now I would see some improvement? Now Squeak had my unwavering attention without her talkative, daydreaming sisters to interrupt her. What more could she need?
It turns out, a lot more! And she would specify approximately zero of the things that would make her feel better.
Although, I expect the furious tantrum she threw in the doorway of Aldi as she collapsed like a rock on the floor may have been an attempt to cheer herself up.
It didn’t work.
Her rage increased still further throughout the afternoon. She threw her lunch on the floor and utterly refused to help pick it up. She vehemently denied the presence of a dirty nappy, and spent an hour roaring and yelling as I attempted to persuade her to let me change it.
That may sounds hideously permissive of me, but let me ask you: Have you ever tried to change the shitty nappy that is attached to an angry, wriggling toddler who appeared to have magically sprouted a couple of extra legs? Legs which are, at that moment, booting you mercilessly in the crotch?
Yeah, I’m not doing that again.
Although there was an amusing moment within all of that. Every so often, she would pause from her dramatic howling to glare her deepest glare at me, and growl, “I am very cross with you, Mummy.”
I got there in the end, although knitting, writing and all attempts at completing a touch of housework had to be discarded. I slung her back onto my back, and we meandered back up to school uneventfully.
It appears the blight on today wasn’t restricted to the home-bound family members, though. Poor Little Girl came out, all pale, pink eyed and peaky looking, to say dolefully, “Nobody wanted to play with me today.”
<cries> Poor Little Girl. I comforted and distracted her, and soon she ran off to play. Of course, we had the exact same conversation at least eight times that evening, but that’s just how she rolls.
Squeak proceeded to spend the evening determinedly trashing everything she could find while I tried to make dinner. Afterwards, the living room looked as if a crowd of pissed off Gremlins had steamrollered their way through it. But hey, at least she didn’t attack Little Girl this time. You’ve gotta take the successes where you can get them!
There was one small shining light in my ghastly pig of a day. We had just bought a new board game, and I’d promised the girls we could play it before bed.
I’ll admit, I would have liked nothing more than to sack it off. I was really not in the mood to plaster on a fake smile and pretend to enjoy repeating instructions a thousand times and preventing Squeak from knocking all the pieces off the board. But how could I say no to this little face?
And I’m glad I didn’t. Because we had a ton of fun! Everybody managed to set their angsts aside and have a lovely time. I did need to give Squeak a little guidance on the correct dice rolling etiquette: “We roll the dice underarm, not overarm. This is not cricket!” But once she figured that out, we all really enjoyed ourselves.
Once we were done, I tucked everyone up in bed and collapsed on the couch for some mindless TV watching. And, naturally, cleaned the kitchen, got the clothes ready for the next day and generally tidied round. Ain’t no one else here to pick up that slack!
Never have I been so glad to see my bed as I was last night. My bones were weary and aching, my eyes were sore, and I am glad that I didn’t need to string more than two words together, because I wouldn’t have managed it. I had a quick read, and speedily succumbed to sleep.
Only to be woken up about half an hour later, by an exceedingly warm Squeak. She had had a virus for the couple of days before, and obviously it was sneaking in to kick her ass yet again.
She was wide awake and fairly chatty for someone whose forehead could have evaporated water. I quickly medicated her and stripped her off. After a joyous night of hallucinations and a febrile convulsion on Saturday night, I was taking no risks.
But while the meds were still taking their time to kick in, the hallucinations began anyway. Squeak glanced over to the other side of my bed and said matter-of-factly, “There are snakes in your bed.” Now, this was less of a cause for alarm than the other night, when she stared, terrified, over my shoulder because she was convinced there was a crocodile behind me. And it definitely wasn’t as bad as her refusing to breastfeed because my boob was full of bees.
However, when she said, “There’s a spider on your top…” Well, that was a step too far!
She began to cool down, but was still a fair while away from sleepiness. I lay next to her and comforted her as best I could, at least enjoying a bit of horizontalisation.
I ran to the girls’ bedroom, to find a rather upset Little Girl lying on the floor, wrapped up in her duvet like a sausage roll. Of all the nights to fall out of bed! Luckily she was quickly settled, and I returned to find Squeak almost ready to drift off.
So I lay down, and finally, two and half hours after I had first got into bed, I drifted off to sleep.
Only to begin the same rigmarole again this morning! Squeak’s response to my loving, gentle waking of her this morning was to turn over and kick me in the face.
I think that says it all.
Now please, share your day to day disasters with me! At the very least, I’ll know that I’m not alone.