Sleep Is For The Weak.

It happens almost every night. 

Once our children are finally in bed and their eyelids are officially closed, we sit and have dinner on our new reclining sofas. He is on one sofa, I am on the other. 

We watch a film, usually one of his choosing, whilst we eat our bolognese and hoover up wine to celebrate getting to the end of another day where we have kept our two young children alive against all of the odds. It's an achievement to be celebrated and we have a daily ritual of doing this. I believe some call it 'wine o'clock'.

We are 20 minutes into our film and I glance across to see this look on his face:

'Jay, Jay...JAY! Don't fall asleep. Don't fall asleep!' I say.

It's 8.35pm

'I'm not. I'm not!! I'm awake. I'm awake!!'. He bolts upright to assume the posture of a startled meerkat.

Two minutes later, I look over and:

'Jay!! The dinosaurs are coming on any minute now', I yell 'Drink your wine...don't waste that wine. DON'T waste it!'.

"No, yes, I know. Yes, I'm not, I'm not', he mutters. His eyelids flap around uncontrollably as he falls forward, grabs his wine glass off the coffee table and takes a hearty gulp. 

Moments later I hear the creak of recliner handle being tugged and the thud of the lower panel springing up to a horizontal position.

' Why don't you just go to bed? If you're tired, just go to bed. We can watch this tomorrow', I say.

'No, I'm not tired. I'm NOT. I'm watching it!!', he exclaims, obviously offended by the suggestion that he may need to go to bed. 

A heavy ominous thump makes my heart race. I look down.

Ripples start appearing in my wine glass. They begin slowly in the centre and then scurry outwards in a perfect circular motion towards the rim of my glass.  The thump gets heavier and louder. Deeper and closer. 

And it stops. 

I look up . And I see him towering over me.

The T- Rex.

I can almost feel his hot hungry breath on my face. Sony's 47 inch Smart TV with state -of-the-art surround sound speakers make this uncomfortably real.

We all freeze. Sam Neil looks my way, his eyes wide with terror. My heart grinds to a halt in my chest. I can't breath. Mustn't move. The monster opens his huge menacing jaws to reveal rows of sharp yellow teeth which hover closely over our heads. He waits. There's no oxygen left. We gasp. We mustn't move.

A tin water bottle drops out of the satchel and falls heavily on the ground...



He rips people apart. Blood splatters everywhere as he plucks the weakest from the crowd with ease. He tears and spits out their severed limbs, casting them down like a child throwing her dolls across her bedroom.

It's terrifying. I can't look! It's too much. I can't take it!!!  I turn around to grab a hold of Jay.


...his mouth wide is open. He's out cold. There's a pool of drool and a mild snore that will inevitably crescendo into a wall-shaking finale and drown out the screams of the Sony Smart TV.

I look down at my watch. It's 9.07 pm.

'GO TO BED!!!!', I yell over the roaring. 'You're going to spill that wine!!! If you're tired just GO TO BED!".

But he won't.

Going to bed for him would mean admitting defeat. It would put a chink in the armour of his impenetrable masculinity.

Leaving that sofa for him would be no different to leaving a wounded companion on the battlefield. He can't do it. He won't do it. I assume that he believes that sleep is for the weak, for the lazy- for those who cannot go the distance. Why else would he resist going to bed??

So he stays on the recliner floating in and out of consciousness for the remainder of the film, all the while his wine glass miraculously remains upright for even when lost in a deep slumber his instincts for preservation remain intact.

The closing credits roll up on the screen and this is his cue to leap to life.

 'Let's have one for the road,' he says as he tops up his glass and enthusiastically flicks the channel over to an episode of Family Guy. I decline and head to bed. But he doesn't:  'I'm wide awake now', he says.

It's what he always says.

At 3.45 am I come into the living room to find his body slumped diagonally across the sofa, his arm hanging over the armrest and his head almost touching the floor.

I lift his arm up over my shoulders and drag my soldier to bed. 

Two hours later our boys come bounding into our room fresh-faced and ready to start the day. It seems they have inherited their father's aversion to sleeping in a bed.

Sleep is for the weak

This has become the family mantra. A mantra that I chant every morning at 5.45am as I attach the Nescafé-filled drip to my person.

Although sometimes I get the words mixed up. I blame the lack of sleep

Sleep is for the weak, sleep is for the weak, sleep for a week, sleep for a week, sleep fo...


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