E wakes up at 4.45am and refuses point blank to return to bed. After some pointless efforts made to return him to his own bedroom, brought to a resigned end by a double whammy of extreme fatigue (from me) and extreme stubbornness (from him) he inevitably crawls into our bed as M leaves for a ridiculously early meeting. I have a notion that E might curl up next to me and have another snooze. But oh no. He has other ideas. Like kicking me. Oh, and pushing his fist into my Adam’s apple until it touches the back of my throat. And pinching my left nipple hard with an accompanying “beep beep!”.
“Stop,” I hiss through gritted teeth. So he moves to phase two of Operation Shitbag, by whinging over and over and over: “mummy, I want milky. I want milky. I want milky mummy. Please.” If he thinks the first ever voluntary use of the word please is going to get me out of bed at 5am to make him a beaker of milk he is very much mistaken. I could cheerfully throttle him. Actually scrub that. There is nothing even remotely sodding cheerful about this situation. I am beyond pissed off to a degree that even startles me. I am so tired after five consecutive 5am starts and to add injury to fatigue someone has crept in to the bedroom whilst I was sleeping and inserted sandpaper under my eyelids, replaced my bone marrow with concrete and extracted my brain, leaving only an ‘I Owe You’ note in its place.
But it’s not just the tiredness. It’s the punching and the pushing, the kicking and the pinching, and the insistence that he sleeps on my pillow as he grinds his forehead into my face so that my eyes water that is killing me. I lie on my hands, in my tiny slither of double bed that I have been afforded by my bed-hog of a son. Actually, it is probably the safest place for them right now, as they are twitching slightly, wanting to slap E’s leg as his foot smashes into my chest again.
A small hiatus in the general stream of bed-based violence occurs and I relax slightly. Perhaps he will fall asleep. I squint at the clock: 6.10am. All is not lost if we can squeeze in a fifty minute snooze. Even though I have to keep one buttock clenched to ensure I don’t topple out of the side of the bed, lying there next to E, as he pulls my arm around him, I can’t imagine why I was so angry with him. I feel his body warmth on me and I inhale the smell of his hair. Slap him? What was I thinking? I close my eyes and feel a wave of tiredness pull me down. All is quiet.
Then E whispers “bogey…”
I open one eye to see him rootling around his right nostril. Fine, I don’t care if he has his index finger poked half way up his bum – he is still, and not inflicting severe pain on any part of my anatomy, and I can feel sleep slowly creeping up on me as my eyelids close.
“Bogey…” Ellis repeats in a whisper, “…on mummy’s eye…” and a second later I feel a slightly gooey finger slide across my eyelid leaving a trail of wet slime behind it. Jesus. I could seriously slap that boy sometimes.