Cardboard box? You were lucky…

August 1, 2011 § 3 Comments

It’s a bit like that “Four Yorkshiremen” sketch. You know the one.
“We were evicted from our ‘ole in the ground; we ‘ad to go and live in a lake.”
“You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in t’ shoebox in t’ middle o’ road.”
“Cardboard box? You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t’ mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi’ his belt.”

Only instead of childhood deprivation my OH and I frequently try and claim the most sleep deprivation.

OH: “I got home from work at midnight and got up at six with the middle one.”
Me: “Six hours uninterrupted sleep?! Luxury. I got four hours max. I was up three times in the night to breastfeed the baby, changed her nappy and babygro twice, let the dog out once, did the tax return, booked the holiday hire car and ordered 1yo’s birthday presents.”

Mainly we have this conversation to try avoid “the early.” To his credit since the arrival of the screamy thing (5 weeks ago) OH has been doing the lions share of the early mornings with the older ones, until he has to leave for work. However he feels that in so doing I waive all my rights to comment on his morning parenting skills. This is hard. The other morning I came down to find an educational and age appropriate violent cartoon blaring out of the TV, the boys eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast of Welsh cakes straight from the packet, and OH passed out on the sofa. (To be fair this was probably a bit of a one off as he had a hangover resulting from his first night out since the baby landed.)

And at least I get a proper weekend lie-in. Take last Saturday for example…

7am. Feeding baby in bed. Dreaming of hot tea closely followed by eight hours uninterrupted sleep. Stick cotton wool in ears to drown out the sound of the tapdancing elephants playing in the room below.

7.30am. 4yo sneaks in for a cuddle (ahh) then tries to escape with my Iphone concealed behind his back. (A-ha. Worrying tendencies towards gaming addiction at such a tender age.)

8am. OH brings boys upstairs to get them dressed. A bit like trying to force two octopuses (octupi?) into a string bag. I put the pillow over my head.

8.30am. OH attempts to conduct a time out on the stairs with a punchy and tearful 1yo.

9am. In the room next to mine, 4yo and OH have a conversation about the whereabouts of the lego car wheels. “In the kitchen” I shout out. A pause before OH’s voice replies, incredulous, “Why are you not asleep?” Then, “You’re rubbish at lie-ins.”

I swallow hard and bite my tongue. You see, it could be worse. I could be living in a paper bag in a septic tank.

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