Alone

She waltzed out this morning, said she was heading to the airport, to Jo’burg, to see other people.
I wasn’t too upset. She’ll be back tomorrow, mark my words. She always comes back.
And I slipped a slab of Dairy Milk into her laptop bag. So she won’t go hungry.

The cruel reality of the situation is that I have a night with the kids. Alone.

Both of them are sleeping reasonably well at the moment. Just not very concurrently
At the moment, Alex tends to not go to sleep too quickly and he’s up early, K-pu goes to sleep quite easily and wakes up late, but is often disturbed during the night. Which is all well and good when there are two of you to spread the load. However, by crude extrapolation and use of maths and stats only a mother could love, I predict that I will sleep between 10pm – 11pm and 4am – 5:30am. Except for the 10pm – 11pm bit, because I’ll be watching UEFA Cup Europa League footy.
Should this alarming prediction prove to be accurate, I can only advise you that it would be foolhardy to cross my path in any way, shape or form tomorrow.

Yesterday evening was spent playing (and winning) a dramatic football match under peachy skies. And, as this photograph completely fails to illustrate, in gale force winds. There’s a grating sound each time I blink and I’m still crying grit. However, on the plus side, I now feel that I am in a position to recommend sand-blasting as an excellent method of exfoliation.
Just as long as you have control of the process and can halt proceedings before it gets down to the bone.

More Football Evening photos.

Friday morning

ADVERT: Don’t forget to nominate 6000 miles… in the 2009 SA Blog Awards. Thank you.

They say that Friday is the best day of the week. Of course, “they” say a lot of things which are untrue, poorly thought-out or just plain silly:
“This won’t hurt a bit”, “Let’s play cricket in Pakistan” or “Jacob Zuma – now there’s a bloke I’d trust”.

In all honesty, Friday started badly.
It’s not that I don’t like to hear from my kids – of course I do. I just don’t want to hear from them at 3:15am. Unless it’s really urgent. And little 7-month old K-pu – who last week looked as cute as a button with her rusk – demonstrating her new found ability to “sing” doesn’t quite make it into the really urgent bracket.

I tried to break this fact to her gently and without swearing, but she refused to listen and broke into something that sounded concerningly like Lily Allen. It was at that point that I realised that the use verbal force in order to halt the noise was entirely justified. So I used it, in a kind of hushed, trying-not-to-wake-the-rest-of-the-family way. That sort of verbal force takes a lot of practice and tightly gritted teeth. Fortunately, I have plenty of teeth to grit and have had the opportunity to practice at great length on many occasions and thus I am an expert at being loud, softly.

The Lily Allen stopped. 
K-pu blinked.
And then began with her vintage Coldplay selection…

I was momentarily caught off guard by Yellow.
“That’s actually pretty good,” I remember thinking, before the realisation hit me that it was twenty past three and I wanted to be back asleep in the arms of Claudia Schiffer my wife.

And here I must pause to tell the world what a great wife I have. A wife who brings football boots to important football matches when her half-crazed husband leaves home without them and then flies into a flat panic 20 minutes before kick off. That’s quite cool.  

OK, she’s gone now. Grovelling sycophancy completed and I’ll remind you that I am in the nursery in the early hours listening to Chris Martin Jnr belting out the classics while not wandering along a wet beach in an anorak.

In Science, if you want to know what effect something has, you change that something. For example, if I want to know what effect oxygen has on a hamster, I take two hamsters and I remove oxygen from one of them. 
Mr Oxygen Hamster wees in the corner of his cage. Mr NoOxygen Hamster is still and stiff in the corner of his.
Thus, having considered the results and put almost 20 years of education, training and experience to use, I conclude that oxygen makes floppy hamsters wee.

It would be nice to know why K-pu wakes up in the middle of the night and launches into Britpop. That way, we could perhaps prevent it happening. The trouble is, there are just too many variables (oxygen is not one of the ones I am willing to try). Is she too hot, too cold (not likely), hungry, thirsty, does she have tummy ache, earache (maybe due to the Lily Allen), is it a dirty nappy, a bad dream, was there a noise that woke her or does she maybe just like Coldplay?
But changing one of these variables each night is virtually impossible. And even if it were possible, you know that it would be the last one that you try which will make the difference. And that’s two sleepless weeks. Try it. You might like it. Not.

Fortunately, there is a little-known company called Nestlé out there that makes something called formula. Formula is a cure-all when it comes to halting episodes of Baby Idols in the early hours. Sure – it doesn’t sort out smelly nappies or earache, but it does make baby forget about them for a few hours. Much like the effect of brandy on an adult.  

Two minutes of contented sucking later (and no, this isn’t a reference to the Joost video) – beautiful silence.
Gently place happy child back in her cot.
Leave room quietly humming Trouble and climb back into bed next to wonderful boot-bringing wife.

Bliss.

Until, about a minute later, a remarkably accurate version of Travis’ 1999 hit Driftwood pipes up from K-pu’s room…