Being a mum is delightful. Being awake from 6am, sometimes 5am, these days is somewhat less joyous for me; early morning is something I prefer to see only if there’s a flight somewhere hot as part of it.
If you are not a morning person, and early starts render you grumpy, bleary-eyed, scary-haired and stumbling into things, then the following scenario, on repeat – your very own Groundhog morning – is not ideal:
5.22am – Jolt awake. Somewhere in the building a baby is making noises.
5.23 – Hang on, I have a baby now – yes, that’s my baby. Maybe I’ll wait a few minutes and see if he goes back to sleep.
5.30 – Jolt awake again. No, I went back to sleep, he is still making noises.
5.31 – Stumble out of bed, stub toe on door. Nearly walk into wall. Prepare a small bottle and will it to send the baby back to sleep. Give baby his bottle; feel immeasurably glad he likes to hold it himself. Reset the mobile to play soothing lullabies, feel grateful for the night blind and stumble back into bed.
5.50 – Intermittently doze in between peering at the monitor with one eye. Go back to sleep little one, you know you want to!
6.30 – Jolt awake again. Why is the baby silent? What’s wrong!? Grab monitor. He’s asleep! Immediately fall into a deep sleep, which is even harder to wake from at . . .
6.55 – The noises begin again. Baby is standing in cot, peering at the door and demanding attention.
7 – Stumble into nursery. Greeted with enormous smiles and shrieks of delight. Heart melts. Pick baby up, he wraps his chubby arms around my neck and coos. Heart melts again. He grabs a handful of my hair and pulls, shrieking delightedly as I shriek ‘Ow ow ow!’
7.01 – Take baby back into bed for cuddling and – please please please – dozing. Or back to sleep for us both, till 9am. If only!
7.02 – 7.30 – Doze as baby proceeds to coo, giggle, wriggle and stick his little fingers in my ears, eyes and mouth and up my nose. Continues to pull hair.
7.30 – This is in fact not an unreasonable hour to be up. Unless you are not a morning person and it still seems far too early. But the baby is smiling, and gazing at me with his big, wide eyes. Eyes that are beseeching me to play . . .
Who am I to argue with those eyes? Playtime it is. But first the kettle is going straight on for the all important coffee during breakfast at High Chair in the Kitchen.
I love you baby, I really do. But if you could learn to love lie-ins as much as your mother that would be marvellous.
Now, it’s 7.35 on Sunday morning and this array of baby entertainment awaits us. No longer for me the lying in till 10, breakfast, coffee and the papers in bed followed by at least two more snoozes. But the baby’s making those eyes at me again. And a Sunday morning spent playing with Z is worth all the lie-ins in all the land.