Sleepless in South London

How to make sense of the last few days? I used to think that this tell-take twitchiness was me experiencing the in-flight turbulence of parenting and working and aspiring to fit in other things besides these things (namely an orderly house, a social life, personal/ career development and other things I’ve heard other people talk about.) Instead I realise, this is the inflight turbulence of being me.

I’m trying to ignore it, but it’s on my shoulder: “why haven’t I done more? why aren’t I doing more? what more ought I to be doing?” So here I am, Sleepless in South London, aware that I’m wide awake when I should be sleeping, trying to stave off the beast by doing one of the things I feel I should be doing. The Blog! Or using the blog to wrap up my thoughts so that they will shut the hell up and let me sleep because, goodness knows, reading for hours didn’t succeed. (The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, finished an hour ago. Enjoyed!) Hmmm. At least I’m not up til 2am working, but it’s interesting that the old loony characteristics are still there, listing out the other things that I’m not currently being wildly successful at. I’ll spare you the list – I’m hoping to get to bed soon and that could take a while – but one of them of course is the raison d’etre of this blog. Reading with Monkey-face.

She just hasnt wanted to settle in the last few days – she was first with my mum for a week, then with us camping in a field and then surrounded by a heap of near-strangers for mrbookandbed’s 40th and then thrust back to her childminder this week. Not too surprising she isn’t co-operating. She’s been easily overly-excitable at night-time and her books are just one thing guaranteed to set her off like a bottle of pop. We’ve still read together, but her over-exuberance has meant we’ve not made it more than halfway through a book at a time. I find this disheartening but I have to try and keep my own exasperation in check and be uncharacteristically patient, secure in the knowledge that this will pass.

I’m keen to get cracking on the Mick Inkpen boxed-set that my cousin so kindly gave to her and she is showing signs that Wearing Out the Naughty Step might oust The Enormous Turnip from the top spot, pray God, but the potty training and the walking home from the childminder and those final teeth that just never come just seem to eat into the hours before bed. This combined with the early nights is just deadly. We’ve had some colourful tantrums and her pleading for more and more stories, insistent that it isn’t her bedtime yet.(Where can she have got that from..?) It’s exhausting.

But I sense this is a short-term thing and I’m trying not to let this fleeting magic flutter away, lost in the longing to do Get Other Things Done. Time is flying by so fast. On a 4th July, years ago my wonderful grandfather passed away. Where has that time gone? It was a whole other lifetime ago, so much since lost and gained. And now, on a 4th July eight years later, a miracle child has been born to a wonderful friend. Waiting to hear news of Suzanna Jean, mrbookandbed and I couldn’t fail to think of waiting for Monkey-face to join us and of her first hours after she was born. It’s already so long ago and for so much of her short life I was absented by the tyranny of getting things done. The blog helps me work out what I’m thinking or stressing about and why as well as helping me keep the reading together to and fro in perspective so to limit the impact of this personality trait on the time we do have. This will pass.

We’ll read again, the house will one day be clean again (if I call my mum) and things will eventually get done if I can just get some sleep. But, thankfully, finally, I’m tired.

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