You know you’re having a bad day when, at around quarter to five in the afternoon, you find yourself eating mashed potato out of the pan, adding a dollop of houmous, chunk of butter, swirling it around and calling it your evening meal. It’s a sign things aren’t going great when you find yourself wondering if you can bring the children’s bedtime forward by about two hours and questioning whether a good old fashioned dose of Calpol might aid the process. Joking, of course….
Today, I had the idea that the five of us could spend the afternoon at home and just ‘be’. No trips to the park, jaunts in the car or meeting up with friends. Hey, we could just chill out at home or at least they could while I got on with ‘stuff’.
What a mad, crazy, positively loopy idea that turned out to be.
There was a vaguely logical thought process lurking around there somewhere. Something along the lines of the new school term starting on Wednesday, a shockingly grimy house that needed attending to and a teetering pile of unanswered admin that was giving me the heebie-jeebies everytime I looked at it. Enough to be getting on with…you would think. It must be a full moon because while the triplets were having their nap I decided to discard my original plan and attempt to completely rearrange Jake’s bedroom instead. Trying to make a bedroom the size of a box of kitchen matches appear roomy and spacious is no mean feat. Trying to do it single handedly, silently and in the space of about forty minutes is asking for trouble. You’d think I’d been set a challenge on a lunchtime episode of Changing Rooms.
Jake was no help at all so I soon scared him away and swiftly set to work trying to transform a cluttered shoebox into the kind of space a nine year old wants to spend time in. And, crucially, sleep in. The nocturnal living arrangements in our house have gone seriously awry and for far longer than I care to admit, Jake has been making himself at home on the other side of my kingsize bed and I’m having real trouble turfing him out. New bedding, lava lamps and cosy corners – I’ve tried everything to encourage him to sleep in his own bed and yet still I wake up in the middle of the night to see his wiry form curled up under the duvet. More often than not he doesn’t even go through the charade of starting off in his own bed, just cleans his teeth and climbs straight into mine as though that’s exactly where he belongs. I’m so knackered by that point in the evening that I tend to turn a blind eye and mentally add the issue to that never ending list of things to address but in the meantime, fret over.
If I’m honest, sometimes it’s nice to have him there and I don’t think there’s much wrong with the odd night in mummy’s big bed but the truth is when the triplets toddle down the landing every morning asking for their big brother their heads turn towards my room rather
than looking straight ahead into Jake’s. They already hero worship him and hang on his every word – probably best to set them straight before they start calling him Daddy.
The remainder of the day, though it didn’t involve moving furniture, was just as physically exhausting and bedtime couldn’t come soon enough, for all of us. I felt optimistic as I drew the curtains in Jake’s room and turned on the bedside lamp – who wouldn’t want to sleep in this snug little space? It looked gorgeous.
Not gorgeous enough, it seems. Apparently, his duvet is too heavy. Oh and he’s got a blocked nose and mummy, this room is so hot! Please, please, can I sleep in your bed tonight and I promise I’ll sleep in mine tomorrow night. Promise, Mummy. When my nose isn’t blocked. And I have a different duvet. Thanks, Mum. You’re the best. Night,night.