2am. Am wide awake despite very much not wanting to be. Have tried for three hours to sleep but husband, in state of blissful unconsciousness, has blocked nose and producing spectacular sounds. Strongly suspect that if snoring was an Olympic event, husband would walk away with gold.
2.10am. Hear commotion downstairs and leave bed to investigate. Attempts to keep eyes half closed to retain illusion of sleepy state fail as ground floor is ablaze with lights. Find Older Cherub in kitchen with headphones on and watching Game of Thrones on his I-Pad. Remind Cherub that season 4 of Game of Thrones is not an A level subject and that he needs to be up in five hours for school. Cherub, who has just completed a workout, complains of not having enough to eat. Do not feel that cereal, sports recovery drink, toast, chicken sandwich meant for school packed lunch and remainder of lasagne laid out in from of him, give sufficient grounds for this and decline request to make French toast.
2.20am. The dog, sitting in hopeful anticipation of food scraps, is suddenly all attention and starts barking loudly. Fear this might wake entire neighbourhood so open front door to assess what has brought about this state of excitement. Spot large, mangy fox frozen on lawn by sensor lights. Something unpleasant falls from its mouth and it slopes away in jaunty fashion. Dispatch dog with loud cries of encouragement to see vile animal off and watch dog discharge like a rocket in the opposite direction to the fox.
2.30am. Return to kitchen and Cherub performing elaborate stretching exercises. Cherub lists several things urgently needed for the morning which include printing off homework and washing school trousers as there’s spilt yoghurt on them. Cherub does not wait for response but announces he must get on with things as if he has been kept from important business.
Despite much whistling, dog is not forthcoming, so give up waiting in drafty hall and instruct Cherub to let her in when she reappears. Turn off lights and climb upstairs to bed which is now cold. Am determined to sleep but fear goal compromised by having consumed large quantities of dark chocolate after supper as am neither a coffee or tea drinker, so susceptible to caffeine. Curl up against husband as need for warmth has temporarily superseded need for peace. After five minutes become an inferno of heat and instantly discard husband and duvet.
2.50am. Husband’s snoring has settled into a low frequency, fluttering sound. Make ferocious attempt to take advantage of tranquil stage before Darth Vador decibels return but efforts fail. Lie very still and try to empty mind. Hear dog whining outside and contemplate leaving foolish animal to get on with it. Instead return downstairs and let her in. Cherub’s light is still on. Extract promise that he will be up in time for lift to station no matter what, but leave with heavy scepticism as Cherub’s commitment to lie-ins are legendary.
3.10am. Start to drift off but grow distracted by faint scratching noise. Am instantly alert and sit bolt upright. After some moments, identify sound coming from the ceiling just above my head. Try not to picture large rodent gnawing through electric cables but become fixated on sound and wait in state of extreme agitation. Consider earplugs but fear none exist in house and looking for them would mean turning on lights and ferrying through cupboards. Instead, stand on bed and bang loudly several times on the ceiling with slipper in the hope of frightening mice into submission. Cast uneasy glance over at husband who shifts onto his side, but sleeps on with steadfast resolve.
3.16am. Older Cherub appears in bedroom and asks indignantly what all the noise is about as he is trying to sleep. Request to borrow Apple charger is given short thrift and Older Cherub dispatched to bed with threats of losing I-Pad for life.
5.45am. Summoned from fitful dreams by several electronic devices belonging to husband leaping into life. About to drift off again when husband’s alarm startles us both. Alarm unceremoniously turned off. Wait in anticipation for husband to exit bed in order to resume sleeping but no such action transpires. Attempts to remind husband that alarm has gone off at the time of his choosing fail to have desired affect. Feel both resentful and envious of husband’s ability to sleep on with such dedication and listen begrudgingly to crows making a racket in garden until it is time to get up.
7am. Time to get up. Husband leaps out of bed with undignified enthusiasm and pulls back blind.
“Sleep well?” he asks, turning to look at me with a smile.
“Is that a serious question?” I ask.