All day I think about the things I will do when my children have gone to their beds.
I’m sat at the top of the stairs, an equal distance from my daughter, who is murmuring contentedly to herself as she falls asleep in her cot, and my son who is sat on the sofa watching CBBC. I am almost having a thought of my own.
‘Muuummmyyy!’ (He really does prolong each syllable of the word like that when he shouts to me from another room..) ‘Just to let you know, you won’t know it’s my bedtime because CBBC isn’t closing at 7pm tonight, it’s been extended until 9pm’
What? I mean, WHAT? If public service broadcasting is for anything, surely, it’s for firmly telling children it’s bedtime by entirely shutting down at 7pm. Unlike those other children’s channels that run endlessly through the night with their cycle of toy advertisements and sickly-hued cartoons.
On the other hand, it’s good of Leo to keep me informed, and I thank him for telling me. It’s later than I thought, but he’ll soon be in bed, and I’ll be able to do the things I’ve thought about doing all day.
‘Go to bed!’
My son needs to know the definition of ‘nodal’ and it won’t wait until the morning.
‘If I look it up in the dictionary, will you please, please, go to sleep?’
Unfortunately, the definition of nodal, ‘the point on a plant where the stem joins the leaf’ doesn’t work in the context of the military map Leo is looking at.
‘It must mean the points at which trenches join the Maginot Line.’ I say. I have absolutely no idea.
‘But Mummy! This is a map of hospitals and home guard units and pillboxes in Kent. Tell me! Just tell me! What are nodals?’
My brain feels like custard, and I can’t tell him, but according to the map there were nodals all over West Kent in World War 2. Who knew? Leo goes to bed with less faith in me and the dictionary than he woke with this morning.
My children sleep.
The things I was going to do when I was just me again, and not a mummy on call: listen to my new Sigur Ros CD, light a fire, light scented candles, drink herbal tea, waft around the house calmly setting order out of chaos ready for a new day, watch the series 5 Game of Thrones DVD, and the Girls Series 3 DVD both on loan from the library; read books for the MA course I’ve applied for; read novels, write a novel, write blog posts….
Sometime this afternoon I more realistically thought; I’ll just sit down on the sofa and watch Game of Thrones.
Now, Finally, the time has come, and actually, I don’t even have the energy for that. The truth is, I was ready for bed hours ago.