Counting Sleep

I’ve just spent the morning in an indoor playcentre. I’m not normally one to head to these indoor padded sticky cells, but I’m at week five… maybe six without a day off with my hubby, so the idea of sending my kid nuts in a primary coloured pen made me grin.

And fellow parents, I’m sure you know what that grin is about. It’s the grin of knowing that everytime your kid jumps on that indoor trampoline, they will sleep for another two minutes. Everytime your kid hoons around on the indoor car, you’ve got an extra five minutes up your sleeve. Everytime your kid smashes their entire body into the jumping castle, you’re looking at ten, maybe fifteen minutes of silent night. So after two hours, I was rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of a few hours to myself while my kid snoozes hard in his bed.

I mentioned the ‘sleep countdown’ to a couple of fellow rad dads who looked somewhat knackered after chasing their kids around the sticky centre. They had the same grin as me on their faces and I knew I was in the right company. We nervously plotted our daytime sleep plans: baked bean jaffles, watching sport without interruption on the TV, craft, even a snooze ourselves. It all sounded like heaven. But the excitement petered out quickly.

“We shouldn’t have talked about this. We shouldn’t have mentioned it at all,” said one dad. The other agreed.

“We’ve stuffed up.”

We had. The number one rule of parenting: THOU SHALT NOT PLAN THAT YOUR KID WILL SLEEP.

Fuck it.

I drove home slowly, checking the backseat for the signs: the yawn, the planking, the nodding of the head, the shoe removal, the screeching noise. Nothing. Just the running of a clear booga which the kid sucked silently into his mouth.

I really had screwed it up. I shouldn’t have brought up the subject of sleep, I shouldn’t have mentioned the activities I was going to do for myself.

We pulled up into our street. I parked the car and just like that the kid was out cold. So close. I picked him up out of his car seat as carefully as possible, emptying the rocks from his pockets one by one. I was busting, so very busting, but I was too determined not to wake my son up. I blessed my Kegels.

I carefully put him in his bed, pulled the quilt over him and tip toed towards the bathroom. I stubbed my toe on his toy baby stroller on the way there and whispered a curse. This was not the time to yell.
I weed as quietly as possible, closing my eyes, and counted to 50. Yep, he was out.


The crafternoon has begun. Who knows, I could half an hour to crochet or a whole three hours, but whatever happens, I am not telling ANYONE about it. Ever. Just you.

This post first appeared on Bubba West.

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