There’s no moving me, I won’t be beaten. We’re competing in the ‘staying-in-bed’ Olympics and I’m going for gold.
You thought your luck was in when I reacted first to the cries, didn’t you?
A quick glance at the clock, 5.45am, on a Saturday. You roll over to face the wall as you hear me talking calmly, hushed, my reassuring tones soothing the baby. You’re hoping for one of two things; I get her back to sleep and return to spoon you back into slumber; or I’ll take her downstairs, out of earshot and play with her quietly until the 4 year old whirlwind races in to wake you up.
But I’m on to you. There’s no way this baby is going back to sleep and there’s no way I’m getting up. So let the games begin.
I climb back into bed, baby wrapped tightly in my arms and soothe her “shh” stroking her gently, urging her to close her eyes. Just 30 more minutes, please. I close my eyes tightly and pray silently.
She wriggles, she kicks, she’s up in a second. Sitting, shouting, pulling my hair, fingers in my eyes. I keep them closed as tight as I can, ignore the fingers poking me, the nails scratching my cheeks. I know that if I persevere she’ll get bored, she’ll move away to the other side of the bed. To Daddy.
A few more minutes and she’s gone. Shouts of “DA, DA, DA” ring through the air and I hear you groan. “You get up” you say. I ignore you, pretend I’m sleeping. I know you are weak. I know you can’t take the ear-pulling, elbowing and slobber sliding down your cheek. The snot being rubbed into your face.
We both know we’re in competition, we both know we’re playing the same game. We both know I’m going to win.
If I wanted to get up, I’d have jumped out of bed by now and you know it. This is all about staying power, will power, the power to resist, the ability to ignore the grating sound of a child now starting to whinge.
Just a few more seconds and I’m there.
“God, I’ll get up then” I hear you complain as you spring out of bed. I smile silently in my sleep.
Victory is mine (until tomorrow).