Was it this hard with one baby? If only there was somewhere that I had made careful and detailed notes of my daily activities and could find out. I can’t bear to look. But we didn’t have a dog and a half-unpacked, still under renovation house back then, so I suspect it was a bit easier. I don’t know. I can’t remember anything about it.
Mainly we take it in turns getting up with the baby, but last night I decided to give my amazing wife a chance to get some uninterrupted sleep and did the whole thing. I got a pretty interrupted sleep as a consequence, but thankfully, due to my daughter being ill, she didn’t wake up til much later than usual and we got an extra hour in bed! On the downside my daughter was too ill to go to nursery. And you know, she was ill. But I have to take what triumphs I can. And lying on the bed with my sleeping son for an extra hour was a huge result.
The dangers of country driving have already been in evidence after the forest attacked me last week (and I finally got round to checking out the tyre and realised it’s quite badly damaged and there’s a big bubbly boil on it that looks primed to burst). I was off on some errands and coming up to a blind corner with the driveway to a big house on it. Sensibly the owners installed mirrors so they can see what is coming as they come out of the drive and luckily I spotted a white van in those mirrors as I approached. Because the driver of the white van was not using them and was exiting the driveway very slowly and on the wrong side of the road and my vigilance meant I was going slowly enough to stop. It was only about 50 metres from where the tree stump had hit me. If you want to put a bet on the place that I am going to die, then that might be a good choice. I am getting totally Final Destinationed.
Lucky for that driver that I am this sharp even when I am this tired.
Later at the supermarket (where I spend most of my life now) I wasn’t as switched on and was about to cross to my car and for some reason ignored the part of my brain that suggested I should look left just to check a car wasn’t coming. A car was coming, but I had been too sluggish to get in front of it. See, tiredness is its own protection.
It was quite an eventful hour or so, as a jar of olive oil had fallen through a gap in my trolley and smashed on the floor of Waitrose. In case you had any doubt of which class I belong to.
But for all the attempts of gravity and momentum to kill me, I survived. Unfortunately. So had no excuse not to continue with my fatherly duties. And as the olive oil smashed before I had gone through the check out I didn’t have to pay for it.
I tried to have a few moments to myself, sitting in the car in the car park and not rushing to get home. But I was too responsible to allow myself anything more than two minutes and a Curly Wurly. I had a dog to train, two children to look after and a garage to clear out to see if we can fit our two cars in.
Is this what my life has become?
Yes it is. The extinguishing of your ego is the consequence of parenthood. But like most wild conflagrations, the ego is a fire that needs to be put out.
I cleared and cleaned most of the garage. I was delighted to find out that our people-carrier fits in the low door, but I need to do more clearly if I am going to be able to close the doors behind it. And I don’t think we can get our cars in side by side. Certainly if we want to open the car doors and get out of the cars. But I am not sure I do want to do that. If I am stuck in the garage for 18 more years I might just be able to sit this whole thing out.
Luckily an occasional unexpected hug or tiny little face smiling up at you at 3am, like this isn’t a stupid time to be awake makes me want to get out of the car. And hope that I can stay alive long enough to see these two people properly resent me.