I am so ashamed. I shouted and swore at the Goldfish. It was two o’clock in the morning and, in my defence, I hadn’t slept more than a couple of hours for the previous few nights. It brought home to me just how desperate I’d become to have a few nights’ sleep – in my own bed.
Wee-sis and the DH do sleepovers when they can, but one night at home in my own bed is not enough. I had to accept we needed more help.
Five hellish nights in a row are way too much. During the days I’ve done my best to keep up with washing, cooking, cleaning, trying to promote my books, find review sites, keep up some semblance of a working life as well as entertain the Goldfish when he is awake. Getting him ready for bed is a performance as he doesn’t help much with undressing, though if he decides he’s going to do up his pyjama buttons, it can take a very long time.
Diary entry: “Three times so far and he went to bed less than two hours ago. Persuaded him to sit on the loo but it was an unproductive interlude. Back to bed, walking a snail’s pace. I don’t understand how he can get out of bed with such agility and trot about the house – well, shuffle, he doesn’t actually trot. But he can shuffle at speed – until I’m guiding him back to bed then he can scarcely move. And how is he still awake? He’s had a dram, two codeine phosphate, and a sleeping pill. There’s really no pint in giving him the sleeping pill as it clearly doesn’t work and I don’t want to increase the dose. “
Next night: “Back in bed after second time up. PJ trousers wet but can’t find where he peed – not in the commode, not in the loo. Lot of wriggling around and the bed is creaking. Get up to investigate and find him peeing at the side of the bed. Changed PJ trousers again, mopped the floor. Told him I didn’t understand how he could deny needing to go to the toilet then pee all over the floor a few minutes later. He looked puzzled. I got him into bed. Apologised for shouting. Five minutes and later he’s up again. I rush through, grab the pot from the commode and he did a HUGE pee – have no idea how his bladder can hold so much – and he’s on water tablets!
If it wasn’t toilet problems he would wander the house, usually ending in the study where he would try to close the door of the computer desk. Unfortunately, my PC sticks out and the door doesn’t close – not that such a minor detail stopped him from trying repeatedly.
From my diary, same week: “Last night was terrible. The Goldfish was up so often I lost count. I’d settle him in bed, say goodnight and before I’d reached my room I’d hear him getting out of bed again. He said he needed to go to the loo – although from the state of the floor it was clear he’d already been – just not in the right place. Walking back into his room I told him to stop before he walked into the puddle. He carried on with dogged determination. I yelled. He carried on and then, as his feet came into contact with the wet, he stopped. “For fuck’s sake, I told you to stop.”
He swivelled round to look at me. “Oh, my,” he said in that tone of voice he used when I was a child doing something I shouldn’t. I guess swearing at my father is one such thing I shouldn’t do and I don’t think he’s ever heard me utter anything stronger than a bloody or a bugger. I apologised, got him into bed, mopped up, said goodnight and crept back to my own bed feeling very, very ashamed of myself.
Then, today, I was talking to someone in the supermarket, looked up and did a double take when I saw my son walking towards me. I’d totally forgotten he was coming home from university for the weekend. DH, Wee-sis and I sat down to agree to find an agency to provide someone to stay for two nights a week.