Last night I had four hours of laboriously broken sleep. Sandwiched between a 23 month old toddler and a four year old, I lay listening to the incessant whirring and buzzing of the bathroom extractor fan.
That extractor fan is the bane of my existence right now. At even the slightest hint of humidity in the air, it chugs itself on with it’s baleful droning like a nest of wasps locked away in the attic. The humming sound spreads through the upper level of the house, pounding on the ceilings of the boys bedroom before seeping through the cracks of my own bedroom door. Only my sleeping daughter seems to escape the insomnia-inducing cacophony. Ironic really, since she’s usually awake at the sound of a pin dropping.
My long suffering partner sought refuge on the reclining sofa – legs luxuriously propped up – with the echoes of his deep snores reverberating around the room. Another noise to add to the choir that kept my eyes open and my head throbbing with pain.
At one point I considered abandoning the bed and throwing my lot in with the carpet, a wilderness of dust with the detritus of half played with toys and crumpled tissues. The very thought of it made my back groan in protest. Better to take my chances with an elbow or a foot in the shoulder blades, than a spider up the nostril.
At 4 am, I woke to the sound of the rain pelting the windows and looked over at the two sleeping boys – feet in each other’s faces and blankets twisted through chubby little legs. Quietly, I took each one back to their bed and cot, before slipping back into bed. Just me, the rain and the extractor fan.
It was 8:15 am that I opened my eyes to a brief glimpse of sunshine, coupled with pure, unadulterated silence. The silence seemed to eerie in the morning light, in a house that would normally be alive with sounds and smells. Not even the scent of the coffee brewing. And then the sinking feeling dawned as I looked at the clock.
We had slept in.
And so a mad rush to get out of the door for nursery ensued, dotted with wails of “but it’s raining!” and protests at the lack of sugar on the cereal. The other half groaned his way through it, as if he had been the one wide awake for most of the night, yet I allowed him – he has man flu after-all.
Now I sit with a large black coffee steaming away in my hand and faintly in the distance, I hear once more the distinctive humming of my arch nemesis – the extractor fan. In my other hand I hold a screw-driver – my soon to be tool of destruction that will remove the fan’s fuses and forever silence it. It’s made me think differently however, hearing its monotonous whirring through the night. Sleep is obviously for the weak. When you’re a parent you don’t need it. It’s not even a matter of choice – you just don’t get the option but somehow you still manage to struggle on through, which makes us far from weak indeed.
This post was written in association with SCS – where they make comfort and existing in general, that little bit more bearable.
When was the last time you had a good nights sleep?