Do you remember staying over at someone’s house, and trying not to show how excited you were at the prospect? Well the tables have turned and we are staying overnight at my sisters house with my little girl and Captain Whirlwind. As we climbed out of the car the kid’s noses were pressed up against the car windows shouting “Get me out!” A couple of people walking past moved further across the pavement to avoid the car. I did want to apologise and claim that my kids are tamed. I let them out, turned to the boot to grab the heavy bags to find my wife had gone with the kids to the door. It’s ok princess, I’m like a donkey I go best loaded! I scraped my body and bags down the road with others just glancing over at me as I pulled my ‘pitiful, abused dad’ look. The best bit came when my wife could not get an answer at the front door, and asked for help while I had the heavy bags. I did wonder how to knock at the door with my feet, but resorted to shouting at the window. The belter came when the door opened and I stood waiting for help with the bags which came the same time as the tumbleweed, so I crawled up the stairs with half the contents of my house which my lovely wife claimed was ‘essential’. As my sister lives up two flights of stairs I was like a wheezing penguin toy by the time I got to the top, and required coffee and plenty of oxygen before the world stopped spinning.
Bedtime was never going to be an easy affair and I realised how much of a Scrooge I was when I had to pump two single air beds with a foot pump. I remember thinking why pay £30 for an electric pump, when £3 and some graft could do. I knew how Olympic runners felt after a race as my legs were killing me and my lungs were still iffy after my hike from the car with the contents of the house.
We did our usual bedtime routine where we read a story and pray, then sing our bedtime song, and shut the bedroom door thinking that was it. No sooner had I sat in the next room than the rapping of knuckles on the door came along with the first excuse as to why they couldn’t go to bed – apparently there was a severe drought in the bedroom! Never mind that throughout the day they were drinking water so fast the water meter was spinning with smoke pouring out! I filled the cups and they drank like they had been in the desert for days. I did start to lose my grip on life after a few minutes and wondered if these were everlasting cups that were pre production samples from Willy Wonka himself. Seriously I had seen petrol tankers refilled quicker! I did try and push my luck by grabbing the cups, but my sons fingers gripped tighter and the gulping sounds increased in volume.
Just like a fairy tale, and after a long long time we said goodnight and I took the everlasting cups out, but this time I didn’t even make it to the very next room, before excuse number two came. “Mummy, Daddy I need my toy dinosaur.” Ok, that was a good one! First of all this was a toy that came with a comic so an emotional bedtime lifetime bond had only been established since breakfast, and second we had no idea where it was. My son then announced it could be in the car! Now, I was not sure where my car was let alone the toy! Remember that several days worth of oxygen had been used up carrying the contents of the house, so the car felt like days away!! I reassured my son that a forensic search of the car would begin at first light but let Daddy sleep a couple of winks before we inflict more punishment on Daddy, please!
As the kids went back to bed I felt myself collapse into the sofa next door and strength return…. no wait there goes the door handle again! Suddenly both kids are standing at the door both needing a wee. Ok that’s Daddy’s fault for giving them the everlasting cups of water, but how come both bladders were full at the same time? Bladders emptied, two kids put to bed when the door handle went and suddenly my son needed a poo, I was not going to question this so we whipped him to the loo where, after what felt like a few nights of sleep and a ring on his bum, he announced false alarm, and went to bed.
I have a feeling the only person with enough sleep to drive home is my three year old son! The journey home could be interesting, night everyone.