Since I got pregnant, I’ve slept like a baby. (That would be the Proverbial Baby rather than my own, who spends at least half of any twenty four hour period wide awake pointing at stuff.)
Even during the first couple of months after Finn was born I could cast off consciousness in a matter of seconds, whether in the shower, weeding the garden, with my head in a bowl of muesli or waiting for the traffic lights to turn green.
In the last couple of weeks, Finn has started sleeping through the night. Conversely, my own sleep pattern has gone all to cock.
The other night – I’m not sure what time it was, but it felt like 03:23 hrs or thereabouts – I can’t recall what I’d been doing, but I was getting back in bed when Andrew’s eyes clicked open demonically.
“You smell,” he said, then rolled over.
I’m not sure whether or what I responded, but I woke up the following morning aggrieved and fully outraged. I mean: I just spent nine months carrying his child – of course I’m not going to smell the freshest. In any case, it’s been a long time since Andrew smelled like an advert featuring an ocean wave breaking over a rock – in fact, the last time was when we met and I was never entirely sure whether the seductive scent was Andrew Musk or bacardi.
“What’s up with you?” asked Andrew, catching a glower.
“You told me I smell!” I snapped, waving the baby at him threateningly (it was the only thing to hand, but in fact it’s difficult applying a baby for menacing effect, a bit like trying to terrorize someone while wearing leg-warmers).
“I- what? When? I didn’t- I’d never say something like that.”
I’m not sure how he can claim that, since has no problem telling me I should do some crunchies (he alleges his motive is preempting back-ache, although it would be a bonus if I reverted to my pre-pregnancy body. I’m drawing up Andrew’s daily workout schedule involving multiple sets of 100 lunges, star-jumps, squat-thrusts, bench dips, back extensions, inclined pressups, pushups, situps, pull-ups, shuttle runs, hip raises, rotational chops, lat extensions and splits.)
However, although I can never tell when Andrew’s lying, I usually know when he’s not. After further discussion wherein I refused to make him coffee, it turned out I dreamed the whole thing.
I should have known. I still half-wake around the time Finn used to call for his night feed and spend the remaining interim until morning fending off horribly vivid nightmares. Most of these involve Finn e.g. forgetting to take him out of the frying pan or accidentally washing his head clean off.
One night – and I have to warn you: this is WRONG on so many levels in so many dimensions – I dreamed Finn and I were at a roller-skating theme park.
(HEY. You were warned.)
I wanted to go on the flying fox. Obviously I couldn’t take Finn because that would have been irresponsible, so I asked some random group of children to look after him. When I returned he was gone.
I scoured the theme park until I finally located the Lost & Found Office where there were loads of cardboard boxes full of extremely ugly babies. I got more and more agitated – I kept forgetting which boxes I’d looked in – the staff were more interested in telling me how negligent I was rather than being helpful – but none of the babies was mine.
I finally found him in a wet cardboard box – and they’d SHRUNK HIM.
And I was all, “You call ME negligent when YOU SHRUNK MY BABY?!”