This morning something miraculous occurred in my house: There was time for a lie-in. Usually I’m up at what my oh-so-hilaaaaaarious mother terms “the buttcrack of dawn”, blearily packing kids’ lunches and refereeing arguments over who ate the last of the “good” breakfast cereal and who had to have toast. So when the stars aligned and the opportunity for an entire extra half-hour of sleep presented itself, I was there for it. I reset my alarm, pulled up the duvet, and closed my eyes in anticipation of bliss.
You know what I’m going to write next. The lie-in didn’t happen. Because I have kids. And also because the rest of the world was not having a lie-in.
It started with the birds outside my window, which were just excruciatingly LOUD and CHEERFUL, chirping away merrily in the early morning sunshine. Then a plane flew overhead, seemingly a metre above the ceiling. Then a courier driver turned up and tooted his horn, which drives me crazy but which I can never seem to put a stop to — he pulls up tooting, hops out, tosses whatever parcel he’s delivering on to my front porch, then hops back in his van and drives away, all before I can even get the door open. Then my son blew into the room noisily looking for his Lego minifigures, which happened to be under my pillow (WHY???). Then my husband started vacuuming the carpet. Right. Outside. My. Bedroom. Door.
I don’t ask for much. My house is never pristine, my kids are never perfectly behaved, and my work in every area of my life is literally never, ever done. But to be left in relative peace for a half-hour lie-in? Surely that wasn’t too much to ask?
Later in the day I was whinging to my hilaaaaaarious mother about my thwarted lie-in, and she wisecracked, “Just wait ’til you’re my age and you can’t sleep in even if you want to!” Then she started talking about some research she’d read on how older people tend to have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep, and that once you’re up, you’re up. All I could think was, “Great. When AM I going to get some sleep again?”
Apparently I should have felt greater appreciation for those uni days when I went to bed at 2am and slept through until dinner the next day. But hey, maybe when my kids are teenagers and want to do nothing more than sleep all day long, I’ll finally get that elusive lie-in?
“Not a chance,” cackled my hilaaaaaarious mother. “By then you’ll be dealing with menopause symptoms and you REALLY won’t be able to sleep!”