AND THE LITTLE ONE SAID: ROLL OVER.
X went to bed wearing her crown last night and I woke up at two in the morning chewing pink cardboard. She chases me across the bed all night at the moment. She's getting bigger. Now her legs are heavy on mine. She rolls against me and I feel jostled and crowded and end up hanging off the side of the bed. I used to roll her back the other way but now she’s getting too heavy to do that easily. So now I just hop out of bed and run around and slip in the other side.
It means my nights sleep is broken up into chapters. I rather like it. There's nothing better than waking up and knowing that there is still more delicious sleep to wolf up. X talks sometimes. Yesterday she asked me, angrily, where the pig was - her day-time and night-time imaginings are therefore much the same: all Charlotte's Web. A red- spotted velveteen puppy is her pig. She's obsessed with taking it to school like the girl in the film. I'm trying to read the book to her but she prefers the film. If we're out of the house the book will do but the dvd cover is probably better because it has a photo of the pig on it.
This weekend we went to my parents. Their spare room bed is the one my mother was conceived in. I hope no one has died in it. I carefully haven't asked. I’m surprised the mattress is that young. My mother’s body is doing a lot better than the mattress, it's a lot more springy and firm. A hammock would give more support than that mattress. Sleeping on it speeds up the times that X rolls into me. I think I must have run around the bed to the other side about eight or ten times each night over the weekend. But the other side is always beautifully cool and it’s lovely in the night to slip into a new space. I don't know if it's the menopause or just the amount of clothing I wear to bed but I can get quite red and hot. Sometimes I even have to take off the bed socks and the jumper and strip right down to pyjamas.
The far side of the bed has been less slept on and sometimes I can suspend myself on the edge of the downhill slope for almost five or ten minutes, before slowly rolling into the valley where X is rolling laboriously uphill to meet me. We wake up face -to- face in the sagging valley in the morning and have a little chat, which is often the best bit of the day.
My mother has never understood the Scandinavian habit of duvets and the bed is always perfectly made with pristine sheets when we arrive. The eiderdown is white tufted cotton and it looks like a perfectly iced christmas cake when made properly. But, in the morning, what with all the the struggling for air and rolling either side, the bed looks as if its been the arena for a bout of heavy St Trinian's pillow fighting, if nothing else. It takes me hours of sweating to get it even slightly smooth and it ends up looking a bit like a homemade cake iced by me- all lumpy with the top sliding down the sides. Sometimes my mother will come in and help explain hospital corners to get the ends tucked in right.
We went home last night. X wouldn't say thank you or goodbye to her grandmother when she left. On the way home she told me it was because she didn't want to leave. Neither did I. It's nice there, we both get looked after and have stewed apple and custard for lunch, our favourite. X also cried when I took her to her minder today which wrung my heart out. She tried to be brave and bit her bottom lip but then just as I was going it all came out in a big woosh of sobs that she just couldn't hold in. She said she wanted to go to work with me. I still left her, though, both her minder and me pretending gaily that she was fine because the minder had scooped her up and made her wave to me. The convenient fibs of adults.
I'm living that same lie with X that middle aged redundant men practice when they're afraid to tell their wives that they have lost their jobs; she doesn't know that I have no work to go to. If she knew I came home again she would be devastated. But I have to get on job hunting. Please find a job for me soon, oh young digital world. I'm not proud, I'd make the tea, work hard and I don't expect anything like the salary I was used to.