SWB on early mornings and tooth fairies

3.54am in the early hours of Sunday morning and I am wide eyed and restless. That’s the problem with climbing into bed at 9-45 of an evening, your circadian rhythms jolt you awake and make you desire a soothing cup of tea at an ungodly hour. I was already fully conscious, contemplating life’s more pressing questions such as ‘did I cook enough bolognese for lunch or could I eke it out with the addition of chopped courgettes,’ when the Small Child wandered in, bleary eyed.

‘In you get,’ I said, drawing back the covers. LSB made a groaning sound and prepared to exit. ‘Night night,’ I muttered, feebly. Then I remembered the tooth. The Small Child was ever so excited about her tooth coming out, and the anticipation of a couple of quid under her pillow. I still, at this point, harboured some hope of returning sleep quickly, so as LSB was ousted to the bed downstairs, I told him to do the Tooth Fairy duty, in pigeon Spanish, lest the Small Child’s overhear.

<Necessito deneiro para ella – tu sabes, sus dientes’.*>

LSB had some wine last night and looked on, bewildered.

<Sus DIENTES > I repeated, pointing at the child’s head, in the direction of her teeth. <Ah, si, si> he mumbled, plundering through his bed stand drawer for change. There was much noise, and things clattering onto the wooden floor. I was rendered quite awake by now.

<Dos>, I said, because she has been a good child of late, most endearing. Au contraire, the Older One has taken to answering back, so when her tooth fell out on Tuesday she only got a pound. Tooth Fairies round this neck of the woods tend to listen in, a bit like Santa’s Seagull, who was a regular when I was growing up in Bangor. He was forever looking through the window with a beady eye and reporting any misdemeanours back to base in the North Pole. I held a grudge against seagulls for years, but I’m quite over it now, and even feel sorry for them with all the plastic in their tummies.

I toss and turn and sleep is not forthcoming. Apparently, in the olden times, pre-electricity, this was the norm. (Not pre-dawn raids hunting for change for in return for teeth,) but being awake at two or three in the morning. This was because everyone went to bed when it got dark (in the winter months anyway,) then woke a few hours later and had a snack and a chat and maybe some sex, before going back to sleep. How very pleasant, and how obviously never going to happen here, because between children and the cat our house is like an episode of ‘Whose bed is it anyway?’ Poor LSB knows the answer to that one, as he makes his forlorn way to the downstairs bedroom. ‘ Never my fecking bed,’ he says, trudging off.

While I’m in a ranty mood, here’s something else that I have issues with: over zealous parenting. Those ones who ‘go the extra mile’ seemingly with the only intention of making the rest of us frazzled mortals feel shit. I’m talking ‘rate per tooth’ here. IMHO, no tooth should ever warrant more than £2, except of course, if the tooth fairy was exhausted/tipsy or both and forgot to come for say, 3 lost teeth in a row. Then, fair enough, give the child a fiver, so they don’t that cast up to you as they heave you into a home when you’re eighty.

Also, for the love of God, don’t be writing letters in fancy calligraphy to your offspring  on behalf of a mythical creature. If you’re contemplating such hijinks, have a word with yourself. Anyone with that amount of spare time on their hands can come round here and deal with a few loads of my laundry. Those sort off shenanigans set expectations, that we all have to start penning missives, waxing lyrical about the wonder that is children growing up. The only letter our fairy is going to write is: ‘If you don’t stop strewing your dirty socks and pants round the house I won’t be back. Ever.’

When I was looking up images for a tooth fairy to adorn this piece, I came across pre-written messages which you can purchase online. These spout lots of shite about the kid being wonderful and enquiring after their general health. Some frigger somewhere is making a fortune out of that racket and I want in on it. I might suggest threatening versions for when children have been horrid: I’d be good at writing those.

*Those fluent in Spanish may feel the need to offer some corrections. Please refrain. I don’t actually speak much Spanish and I’m thrilled to bits with myself with the odd bit I know. Don’t burst my bubble. Trust me, it’s already well punctured at this stage.

LSB gets a Glasgow kiss

Image result for headbutt zidane

It is 4.22am and I have a dream that I am in the staffroom at work and a Home Economics teacher is telling me to incorporate ‘short walks into my daily routine’ to lower my cholesterol. She demonstrates by taking the long way round to the water cooler via the fridge, and mentions a staff member whose husband had a stoke in his forties.* ‘I have just turned forty,’ I whisper, in a voice, tinged with fear. ‘I know,’ she replies. ‘Eat more runner beans and walk more.’ In a sleep addled panic I sit up suddenly and fall back into the pillows .

‘OUCH!’ says LSB. I have fallen onto him and my head has connected with his nose. ‘OUCH’ he says again. He is both sore and disconbobulated. ‘I had a dream,’ I said.

‘Where was it set : Glasgow?’ he replies.

He can be quite sharp, LSB, even when awoken by a headbutt at an hour most ungodly.

Hence, it is 4-45 and he is browsing on his phone with a disconsolate expression and I am blogging because if I don’t write now I probably won’t until next Sunday. It brings me some relief to blog because at least if I’m doing this I’m not just mulling through the list of calamitous thoughts going through my head.

I am so, so tired about feeling bad about everything. I feel bad about the essays I marked because I stuck rigidly to the mark scheme and upon reflection I think I was too harsh.  I feel bad that the Small Child needs to practise her reading more and  yesterday morning as we sat under a blanket on the sofa she said it would be nice if her mummy could just work ‘a wee bit less.’ Ouch. So many ouches in my world right now. If ouches came in physical form I would be black and blue.

I feel bad about drinking too much at dinner on Friday night and being hungover on Saturday morning. I feel anxious because when I drink I become garrulous and dominate conversations. I can’t remember if I did that but I know I talked A LOT. I asked my friend whether ‘over-talked’ or not and she tells me to stop being paranoid. I feel bad about being paranoid: it’s a sign of stress and I feel bad that I can’t manage my stress better.

I used to manage my stress by running but I haven’t been able to shoehorn it into my routine, plus my Achilles is fucked and I need to see a physio. I feel bad about this because it’s been weeks and I still haven’t made an appointment. I did a parkrun yesterday and as I waited to have my token scanned I didn’t know whether I was going to cry, vomit or have an impromptu bowel movement. I feared I may do all three.

‘Are you ok?’ asked a concerned LSB, who was the one scanning my token. ‘Don’t be nice to me,’ I say, ‘or I will cry.’

‘Errr, ok then,’ he replies. ‘Maybe just go and drink some tea?’

In the event I drink some tea and chatted to my friends and I felt better. I feel bad though that it is now 5.07am which is 19 hours after my run and I still haven’t stretched my legs and my calves are throbbing. I swore I would stretch. People with a banjaxed Achilles should stretch.

My heart rate has at least slowed down and I feel good that I have used my time constructively. ‘Here, have a quick read at this,’ I ask LSB. He scans it quickly, and nods before rolling over to go back to sleep. At least my writing is good for something.

*Not an actual person, a dream person whose dream husband had a stroke. Although in real life I imagine it happens a lot, especially if they’re teachers.