Really it’s 6am, and I know this because the oven clock has pre-daylight savings time. I can’t bring myself to change it, because daylight savings is hell enough as it is and if I can remember that it technically USED to be 6am, it’s that much bit more bearable.
Charlie, however, has no idea about daylight savings. He happens to be in our bed this morning (don’t ask) and in his own unique way, tells me and Mr Chick he’s getting up: he pretends to be a motorcycle, rocking back and forth on his arms and legs and blowing loud raspberries. When we attempt to ignore the baby motorcycle strategy, he ups the ante with bursts of laughter, squeals and eventually, hysterical whingeing.
After a silent Mexican stand-off with Mr Chick in which I know we’re both mentally calculating how much sleep we’ve both had and how much we technically both require in order to make it through the day without losing our shit, I concede defeat. He has work (I think) so I will be the bigger person and give him that extra hour without a little hand patting his face and pulling his nose while cooing dadda-dadda-dadda in his ear over and over.
I tell myself I am the best wife ever, while hauling our fat, warm, delicious baby from the bed and taking him into the cold, dark living room.
I figure if I can tire Charlie out for a couple of hours with kids’ TV, we can be back in the crib (well, our bed) before it’s light and sleep til the beautiful hour of 9am. (Yes, yes, I know, I am making a rod for my own back, blah blah. But right now I know that if I take Charlie back to our bed at 7am he’ll be asleep in 2 seconds flat and so will I. If I try and put him in his cold cot, it will become an epic battle which I cannot handle at 7am.)
I switch on the telly and the heater and crank up the oven to toast a sneaky crumpet. I deserve a sneaky crumpet.
As it happens, the Teletubbies are on and TinkyWinky can’t get comfortable in his bed. He tries to sleep on the kitchen table (too hard) and the slide (too slippery) before deciding he’s better off in his own bed with his sparkling gold blanky.
“Look,” I say, in the most reasonable tone I can muster, “TinkyWinky has decided to sleep in his bed like a good boy. Or good purple monster, or whatever the hell he is supposed to be. What IS he supposed to be? Do you know?”
Charlie’s response is an angelic smile before going back to eat his Woof Woof dog book. It doesn’t help that he’s recently figured out that pressing the button on the book emits an annoyingly tinny ‘Woof! Woof!’ noise. He presses it as much as humanly possible.
“Everyone is asleep. Daddy is asleep. The neighbours are asleep. TinkyWinky is asleep,” I say, with a slight trace of bitterness.
“Mummy is asleep. Look, my eyes are closed!” This never works. He just gets his pointy little fingers under my eyelids and tries to tickle my eyeball, reminding me that I really must cut his nails for the third time this week.
I realise I’ve become one of those mothers who narrates everything in a bright, Miranda’s-mum-style ‘such fun!’ voice. Especially during the credits of whatever show we’ve been watching at 5am.
“Look, there’s a penguin and a rabbit. And a flying pig and a monkey and what looks like a rat wearing an astronaut’s helmet!”
Charlie: “Na nan a nan a na naaaah!”
Meanwhile, my sneaky crumpet is burning and when I leap up to retrieve it from the oven Charlie tries to follow me and nearly face-plants into the corner of the table.
Note to self: buy soft corners for the table. And other crap that will turn my lovely stylish house into something that looks like a 24/7 play centre.
What does life look like at your place at 5am?