Friday, 13 March 2009

Night Nurse Night Two

I am writing this through a fog of sleeplessness. Night two of the night nurse experiment is over and both Polly and I are growling and groaning in bleary eyed irritation at each other and the world in general. I don't think I spent more than 30 consecutive minutes asleep all night. Having someone parked outside my slightly ajar bedroom door shuffling and flicking magazine pages made out of plate-metal and casting shadow puppets with the blindingly bright reading lamp cunningly positioned to illuminate my bed like a flood-lit football stadium does not for a restful night make. It got to the point where even her breathing echoed round the bedroom like a wailing banshee, shredding my nerves as effectively as a cheese-grater on a broken tooth.

Meanwhile Polly was ensconced in the living room, sleeping on a mattress balanced on the sofa-bed, listening for the slightest disturbance with senses trained by nine years of motherhood. The mattress made the bed more comfortable she tells me, (or, more accurately, snarled at me) but having someone else in the flat, outside the children's room, made her night every bit as restful as mine. Every time the nurse moved, coughed or shuffled her newspaper Polly assumed the boys were under attack and was jolted awake, ready to fight off mad axe-men or rabid wolves. (She was getting a little hysterical by this stage. Sleep deprivation does that to you.) She also said she felt like The Princess and the Pea, balanced on her mattress, balanced on the sofa-bed. Only, of course, it wasn't a pea but a piece of Lego and a model submarine that kept her from Morpheus' gentle grip.

Suffice to say, by next week, when we have night nurse night three, we will have made some changes to the arrangements. I'm thinking about removing every light bulb in the house and sound-proofing the hallway with foam padding. That's if I can stay awake long enough to arrange it.