Bed hopping is a regular occurrence in our house. We have three young children and often in the wee small hours at least one of them will decamp from their own bed into another. It’s par for the parental course.
Luckily for me, on most occasions, the children are on the hunt for the warm and welcoming bosom of Mummy and not the affronted back of Daddy and thus largely I remain undisturbed. However, on occasion, I will do.
Last night was such an occasion.
I awoke momentarily to find a 6-year old stood at the head of my bed, bleary-eyed and undeniably cute – despite being inherently annoying for rousing me at such an unearthly hour. During the ten seconds of consciousness, I was afforded before my gratuitous single-malt took re-hold, I managed to work out that my wife was absent from the scene.
Her bed space was unattended alerting me to the fact that either a) she’d finally had enough and done a midnight flit, or b) was in the spare bed with a.n. other child, whose earlier appearance in our room I must have sleep-boozed through.
Whatever the weather, at stupid o’clock I would deal with the possibility of being a single father in the morning. I flung back the covers and in the most caring and loving tone I could muster, I huffed “Get in and go to sleep” and with that, I fell into a delightful whiskey slumber. To sleep perchance to dream……
The bed hopping nightmare begins
What happened next changed me. I am a haunted man and forever shall be. One cannot unsee the seen. Un-smell the smelled. Un-partake in the partaken. I am not cut out for certain things. My constitution eternally delicate. My paternal dedication conditional……..
I’m not sure whether it was but-a-moment, or hours later, but the sound of his voice made me screw my eyes tightly shut. I was awoken yes, but my face was point blank refusing to accept it. My ears selfishly picked up the words “Daddy….” but my brain rejected the concept. Daddy who?
Nothing he had to say was of any consequence at bananas o’clock in the morning. Or so I thought.
In an act of unconditional selfishness, I reached out and wrapped my arms around my first born. I pulled him closer to me in the hope that my warm body and stifling bear hug would either a) lull him back to sleep, or b) suffocate him into silence.
This was a mistake. A big mistake. I should not have silenced him. I should have heard him out. It seems the second part of his sentence would have been “Daddy…..I’m going to unleash hell. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!”.
A bed hopping horror story
The cascading waterfall of party-vomit pouring onto my pillow was such a surprise, that I was able only to utter the word “fuck” and watch helplessly, as my safe place was instantly transformed into a horrifying sea of all the shit that children eat at afternoon birthday parties. My bed was bright cocking pink and upsettingly liquidy.
In the dim light of morning, I could make out a wide variety of part-digested Haribo and Wotsits in amongst the obligatory carrots and pasta swirls that I was now sharing my bed with. It was appalling. Truly appalling. The sights, sounds, and smells burned themselves indelibly into my psyche. Picture this thus…..
A six-year-old boy laying on his front, resting his upper body on his forearms. Like a horror sphinx. A sphinx from hell. Its jaw helpfully unhinged to allow for the River Nile of Puke to flow unhindered and with gusto. A slight look of alarm in its eyes, but largely taking it all in its stride.
In a short but hectic time span, gallons and gallons and GALLONS of innards flashed before my very eyes. Drenching my slumbered existence. Showering my pyjamas. Testing my very faith and love for humanity. Testing the boundaries of the law. A voice in my head procuring infanticide.
And then it was all over. Silence rang out. Two startled males lay side-by-side in the middle of the night, in the middle of a bed, bobbing about in a sea of atrocity. Squelching on the Devil’s lilo.
A bed hopping reversal
I wasn’t sure what to say. I struggled to find words of comfort. I was aghast and agog. Aside from my inappropriate profanity I was speechless. So the boy stepped in and proffered his stinky-breathed two-penneth….
“Daddy, I’d like to go back to my bed now please”.
And so he did. Leaving me to remedy his visit.
I am changed and forever shall be.
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