I Am Not The King Of Pop.
I am a bit tired. During a New Years Eve spent babysitting in complete sobriety, I am struck with an attack of insomnia so acute that I have only had two hours sleep out of thirty-six waking hours and feel significantly worse than I would have had I been on the lash.
It is late morning. Favourite Son appears to be marginally more exhausted than I but has so far resisted any attempt to lull his 20-month old brain to sleep for his mid-day nap. He still requires this nap.
I recall his infant months, when I was a student-type and at home a lot. We would retire to bed at about eleven-ish and he would drink his bottle with head resting in the crook of my arm. I would feel his tiny heartbeat at the side of my chest slow, and listen to his breathing match mine as he fell asleep with his infant skin pressed against my own not-quite-so-infant flesh. I ‘occasionally’ nodded-off myself.
It was quite nice. And was ALWAYS successful.
I know, I think. We’ll give that a try now. He’s knackered and God knows we both need the sleep.
As I lay him – clad only in nappy – in the centre of the double bed, bottle in mouth, he looks delighted.
Favourite Son: [Of course this is all a guess, but I’m fairly sure I’m right] Come on. This is the fucking life. This has got to be ten times bigger than my bed. Here comes the duvet. Superb. Christ I can barely breath it’s so heavy. I am over the moon. I might actually sleep now.
I remove jeans and shirt and begin to clamper in bed next to him. He gives me a weird look I have never seen before.
FS: What the fu-
I slip my arm behind his neck and pull him close to me, pulling the duvet over both of us. His eyes simultaneously display confusion and panic.
FS: What sort of fuckery is this? Micheal twatting Jackson. I don’t cocking think so.
He does several 360 degree rolls, falls off the bed and crashes to the floor.
I peer down at him, reflexes numbed by lack of sleep.
He is lying on the floor, drinking his milk and staring at me fiercely.
FS: I would rather lie, without my pyjamas, on the floor, on top of a framed picture that for some reason is decorating the floor rather than the wall, and have my nap right here than get involved in any of your touchy-feely mullarky my good man. Gentlemen do not touch each other without their shirts on. They just don’t. For God’s sake man I’m not a child anymore. I’m nearly two now. I’m closing my eyes and when I open them I expect you to be gone.
I sheepishly scoop him up and put him in his own room. And then get dressed, resigning myself to the weird all-over-body-wobble of the proper non-sleeper.
Some time ago I mentioned the day I realised he had ceased being a baby and had become a little boy.
I hadn’t realised it was a little thirteen-year-old boy.