Thursday, August 14, 2014. A suburban house, somewhere in Celbridge. The night time routine has begun.
9pm: Look what Mama has! A bobba all for Seán. *nestle into chair with contented suckling baby, feeling like Earth Mother*
9.15pm: Let’s read your books now before bed. Look! That’s not my bear! His claws are too shiny. *cuddle sweetly scented baby and feel smug about picture perfect family moment*
9.30pm: Say night night to Daddy now, it’s time for bed. Oh that’s a big yawn for a small boy. Come on to bed sleepy head.
9.31pm: Sit in chair next to cot, turn off light.
9.42pm: Look at clock on phone. Wonder if baby is anywhere near asleep yet. Hear baby giggling to self.
9.52pm: *next door’s front door opens and youngster starts calling her sister*
Mam says you’re to come in.
Now, she said.
I DON’T KNOW! OOOOLLLLLGGGAAAAAAA!”
10pm: Unclench jaw, attempt to relax in the dark.
10.12pm: Attempt to leave room as baby’s breathing has slowed.
10.13pm: Re-enter room 30 seconds later as baby has an absolute mickey fit because you attempted to leave the room.
10.15pm: Look at Twitter on screen so dim you almost make yourself blind trying to read.
10.20pm: Put soother back in baby’s mouth. Think silently to self ‘please go to sleep baby’.
10.22pm: Look at Facebook, remembering to turn off volume just in time. Damn autoplay.
10.25pm: Put soother back in baby’s mouth.
10.26pm: *battery is low, connect your charger*
10.28pm: Look at Twitter again. Sign at all the TV programmes you’re missing while sitting in the dark.
10.30pm: Put soother back in baby’s mouth. Think silently to self ‘For the love of GOD go to sleep’
10.32pm: *battery is critically low, connect your charger*
10.33pm: Delivery driver arrives two houses up, leaves car door open with loud music playing. Has jocular exchange with punter at the door.
10.35pm: Spend two minutes fantasising about tracking down delivery driver and punching him in the throat.
10.37pm: Phone turns self off.
10.39pm: Put soother back in baby’s mouth. Think silently to self ‘Just go the fuck to sleep!’
10.45pm: Baby flips over onto side and almost headbutts self against cot bars. Breathing become slow, deep and even. Wonder briefly if baby is concussed. Decide on balance of probabilities he isn’t. Cross fingers.
10.48pm: Slowly stand up from chair. Listen to heart beating like the clappers with The Fear that baby will wake.
10.50pm: Creep from room stealth like, ninja style, without making a sound.
11pm: Collapse on to sofa.