I don’t remember going to Egypt in recent years, or ever for that matter. But I must have done. I must have ventured into some dark and dusty tomb, and opened the sarcophogus of some king of old. He certainly wasn’t happy, because he put a curse on me. A very, very specific curse.
I now can’t sleep through the night without having to get up for a wee.
This wouldn’t be a huge problem, I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Except Mr Mummy (ahem) decided to withhold activating the curse till I’d had kids.
And it only strikes at 5.am.
Oh 5.am. How I loathe you. Known to me – and probably many parents the world-over – as the most dangerous time of the night…day…errr night/day (look, you know what I mean). This is the time when the slightest disturbance can rouse your kids, bringing them to full activation mode in seconds. You may only have a precious hour-or-two before you rise anyway, but removing that time can set you up for a very bad day.
It won’t matter to the kids though. They’ll be happy and larking around while your brain struggles to comprehend what’s going on. This comprehension will be impaired by your head being subjected to numerous blows, from the pillow your two-year-old daughter is merrily wielding. 5.a.m is just as good as 6 or 7 a.m to a child. Which is why I detest it so.
1a.m – 4.am? Not a problem, you could conduct fracking beneath our house at that time and everyone would happily remain in the land of nod.
5a.m? Not a chance. My son, usually a comatose lump of flesh for many hours, develops Daredevil-levels of hearing. And if he misses me my daughter – who is capable of cries akin to an air-raid siren in their levels of loudness – will more than likely hear me, thus waking up her brother.
The problem for me is navigating the creaky boards on the landing. During the day there are maybe one or two of them. The power of the curse multiplies these by a factor of at least ten. And those then invite their partners and children to join in the fun. Even with my best tip-toe ninja-walk, it still sounds like a horror movie.
Then there’s the inevitable forgotten obstacle. basket of ironed clothes, bag of junk for the tip, hairdryer, inflatable snowman , large pile of hand-bells…whatever you can think of will magically appear at the top of the stairs, even if no-one’s actually placed it there, again the curse in action. This will then, no matter how soft or quiet it is during daylight hours, go off like an airbomb, or send me stumbling.
If you manage to avoid all these traps, and make it to the toilet safe and sound with two kids still snoozing away, you then have to actually have a pee. You can’t turn on the light – that’s just what they want you to do. So instead you have to try your best to figure out if that pale hazy shape in the gloom is the toilet or a copy of your partner’s latest magazine.
My hit rate is about 70-30 (not in my favour). The problem for me is that I wear glasses and contact lenses. So if it’s a lens day, no problem. But if it’s a glasses day well then Houston, we have a problem.
I keep my glasses on my bedside table. I never look for them to put on when I go for a pee. That’s because in the time between going to sleep and being woken by my bladder, somebody from ancient Egypt comes into my room and rearranges my bedside table. They leave behind a pile of crap, stacked, Jenga-style, just next to my glasses, waiting for me to knock it over and wake up my partner. Which is, in many ways, even worse than waking up the kids. They don’t judge you about your nocturnal noises over their coffee in the morning.
I have managed a 5.am pee, occasionally, without disturbing the kids, so maybe the curse isn’t all-powerful.
But as a rule, the kids being woken up, getting frightened by the scary man myopically-stumbling around with no pants on, and having to seek solace in our bed is an all-too regular occurrence. Which then leads to me having to seek my own solace – in the spare bedroom on the couch – our bed just ain’t big enough for the four of us.
Maybe one day I will be able to get through a night without peeing, or maybe I will just have to wait till the kids are of an age where they don’t care, and just mock me about it the next day. It could be worse. I have heard of cursed men who get up TWICE in the night.
Oh for an end to this curse.
Failing that, can I have an en-suite next Christmas?