This morning I feel as though the inside of my head has been filled with some kind of fudge-like substance. Don't get me wrong, I know that I am lucky to have two beautiful children who provide endless amusement, but I would occasionally like more sleep. Please.
I am not entirely sure how it came to be that I managed to have not one but two daughters who think sleeping alone is some kind of travesty against human nature. The current pattern goes something like this... 7.15pm (ish) I am reading the last of the stories, lights out then settling into one last made-up story whilst holding a hand on each side. Fortunately the room is small enough for me to be able to do this. For the first few minutes I cherish the thought that in a few short years neither of them will want to hold my hand so it is a precious moment... but after about ten minutes of sitting stock still in silence I begin to remember that I have not slept properly for about five years, there is a pile of washing up / laundry / toys scattered across the floor and I would actually really like a glass of water before my head explodes. I know, I created this nightmare by giving in to their sleeptime demands, I know, I am weak etc etc, but this is the way it is and short of someone tying me onto a chair downstairs while they cry themselves to sleep it is not going to change until they decide they are old enough to cope with drifting off by themselves.
Eventually they are asleep and I creep downstairs.
1am (or thereabouts) two year old starts shouting, "MUMMY! Want to come in your bed!!!" She is about a foot and a half from five year old and is rather loud so I give in, sometimes after a half-hearted attempt to resettle her in her own bed.
3am five year old turns over and realises she is now alone in the room, so gets up and runs in like the clappers to join us. Sometimes there then follows a brief spat over who is going to lie where (next to mummy being the prime position), followed by exhaustion taking over one by one until we all sleep in fits and starts, limbs and torsos entangled.
No wonder then that when the alarm goes for my shower (yes the night routine means I have the only young children I know who have to be woken from slumber of a morning) I occasionally feel rather taken aback that the night really is over.
But that is when I have a chance to stand and look at my two beautiful angels as they sleep together, full of peace and innocence. For a moment or two, anyway.