‘For my birthday I’d like to sleep,’ I say out loud as Midnight wriggles and whines in my arms at 4am.
My husband rolls over and takes out his ear plugs. ‘Did you say something?’
It is rare for him to be next to me. He is usually negotiating with Mayhem in the middle of the night, trying to make him sleep on what we call the ‘floor-bed’.
I shudder as I remember sharing a bed with Mayhem. He is like a sleep-walking gymnast.
‘For my birthday I’d like to go to a place where you can lie down and sleep.’
‘I think they are called hotels,’ my husband says.
‘No. Hotels would mean talking to several people before you get to lie down. I just want to sleep.’
I look at Midnight. I have spent the last hour staring at his face like an exhausted witch trying to do a sleep spell, and he has nodded off while we are talking.
‘Don’t say anything!’ I scowl, jerking my head at the sleeping baby.
My husband looks a little afraid of me and watches as I assess my next move. I have to get out of bed without using my arms, to put Midnight in his cot in the corner of our room. My stomach muscles, which have been sliced twice and are currently under some ‘cosy cosy’ as Milk calls my fat, somehow work to help me sit upright.
I swing my legs off the bed and lean forward so Midnight is lying on his back in my arms. I pause and then creep towards the cot.
I am lowering the baby into position when my husband coughs. Midnight flings his arms out smacking me in the face.
‘You woke him up!’ I hiss, pulling the baby to my chest as he starts screaming.
I stomp back to our bed.
‘I’m sorry! I had to cough. It’s was an inappropriate involuntary action.’
‘How am I going to get him to sleep?’ I wail.
It’s a little tricky teaching a baby how to sleep when you can’t remember what sleep is.
My husband is fiddling with his phone and soon the room is filled with the soothing white noise of running water.
‘You might as well go and have a shower,’ I say looking at the time.
He agrees and disappears into the bathroom, leaving his mobile just out of my reach.
I am left listening to a real shower and a fake shower. I need a wee.
I hear footsteps and Mayhem appears in the doorway.
‘Captain Jack Sparrow takes off his hat when he sees dead pirates,’ he informs me. This is a common 5.15am conversation-starter for Mayhem.
‘Yes. Yes, he does,’ I manage a smile.
Milk joins us. ‘Why is bird poo white?’ he asks rubbing his eyes.
‘Let’s go and find out,’ I say putting Midnight over my shoulder.
He is sick down my back and onto my pillow. I consider cleaning it up but I imagine it will be dry by the time I get back into bed in 16 hours.
For my birthday my husband gets me a massage.
I fall asleep for a blissful hour and am so relaxed I only wake up when I let out a gigantic fart.
‘Inappropriate involuntary action,’ I think, keeping my eyes tightly shut.