Saturday, 26 September 2009

The gates of hell

Finally, it comes - bloodshot eyes, apocalyptic rage over trivial matters, crying that pierces the cavities of our brains, 15-minute stretches of screaming that feel like hours and carry us to the brink of insanity.

Come in sleepless nights, we've been expecting you.

I've had 12 hours sleep in the past week and I have literally felt the flames of hell on my toes. Fuck off sub editors, I DO mean literally.

Luca has cried his way through the nights and made us question everything we thought we were doing right. The bath-massage-feed-bed routine is laughing at us. The other night he screamed through every step of it. Then screamed at what seemed like three-minute intervals for the entire night.

What's worst, impossibly, is when he IS sleeping. When he's calm for half a priceless hour, and my mind is telling me, pleading with me, that now is the time to sleep.

In case you've never heard it, it's almost impossible to sleep to the din of your own mind's impassioned reasoning. 'Sleep now man, sleep while you have the chance. Sleep now or never again!'

Then, before I know it, it's 5.34am, Luca's at it again, and the prospect of getting up for work in two hours looms like a slow dance with Satan himself.

Yes, I was warned. Yes, we've had it pretty easy up till now. And if you want to say you told me so, then I'll agree and shake you by the hand. Except my hand will be like Freddy Krueger's, and I'll shake you by the neck instead. Sorry, I'm just having nightmares. Or am I? I don't even know any more. Night night.

PS. Parents, psychics and anyone at all with an opinion, if you want to offer any life-saving advice on how to make the boy sleep, please use the comments box, we need you!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Fun in the sun

Some might call my son a show-off. I say if you've got it, flaunt it.

Like so much, holidays with the little one take some getting used to; different, but brilliant. Gone are the marathon drinking sessions and forging of deep, meaningful, one-night friendships on the miraculous premise of meeting someone else from London. Gone are the lie-ins and five-hour reading/napping/tanning sessions on the beach.

In come early starts, wide-eyed wonder, meticulous planning and religious application of baby suncream.

Luca was a joy, smiling, squealing, into everything, and taking the odd siesta.

The evenings were mixed. One was spent eating dinner on the floor of our en-suite bathroom, trying to keep the room quiet and dark enough for him to sleep in. It didn't work. So the next night we put him in his pram and painted the town red with him in tow. And by painting the town red, I mean gulped down pasta and downed wine before traipsing gratefully back to the hotel. He slept right through.

So, to summarise, babies will not sleep in a peaceful darkened room, but they will sleep in a noisy sea-front restaurant with the buzz of Vespa motors drilling into their tiny dreams. You've got to admire nature's fine-tuned sense of irony.