I wake up if someone coughs two miles away: OPINION

Alun has been suffering sleepless nights...
Alun has been suffering sleepless nights...
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I wonder if I will I ever be able to go back to sleeping through the night? When you first have children it can take a while to realise that your life and the entire way that you used to live is about to go through the mangle.

You can resist, but in my opinion it happens to every single parent on the planet.

Some super friends of ours, many years ago when they were trying for a family, claimed late one evening that having children wasn’t going to change them.

Apparently they were going to continue doing the cool things they loved, just with little ones in tow.

We met them many years later in a children’s play centre.

They had one lively toddler and another child soon to emerge.

Dad looked like he wanted to sleep in the ball pit and mum looked like someone had stolen her sense of hope.

I was, of course, thrilled.

The constant sleepless nights do eventually stop.

But they are followed by the nights impacted by scary dreams/odd noises/anxiety about school, exams and friendships – the list is endless.

Then it moves into not knowing where everyone is, late night texts and highly emotional moments.

All this invades the sleep pattern until finally some normality appears.

My wife has an ability to drop back into a deep sleep routine.

She is only awoken by a small explosive going off next to her pillow,  or a tree falling through the bedroom roof.

Sadly I’m not so lucky.

My brain seems to stay on high alert.

I still wake up if I hear someone sleep talking, the boiler kicking in, someone getting a glass of water or any minor changes in lighting that may occur. 

My ears twitch like a spaniel at the sound of a light being switched off – two miles away. 

I have become the human version of a home alarm monitoring system.

Sensitive to any household changes, ready to collect and process data at any time of night.

The odd thing is, if anyone does come into our bedroom at night, without my glasses, I have no idea who they are.

But I am awake and I hear them approaching.

I have tried to improve my sleep, backed off late night coffee, alcohol and water.

I have even tried meditation and mindfulness.

As yet, I'm in no where near a breakthrough and I am aware that the pressure is on.

By the time I master this process, I will have reached an age when it’s not my kids waking me up but my 50-plus bladder.

What are your starter rules?

When did the following sentence become so complicated: Who’s having a starter?

On a recent night out having curry with some old school friends, that statement ground us to a conversation standstill.

It can lead on to such statements as, ‘if I have a starter, I won’t eat my main.’

Or the other offering which is ‘if I have a starter, I won’t have pudding.’

None of which is very interesting until someone adds that they’ll have their starter – onion bhajis – with their main.

This, I point out, means that the starter is no longer a starter, it is in fact now a side, which makes little difference to the waiting staff but seems worthy of a small clarification.

What’s wrong with the starter? I like the amuse bouche – had to Google that.

There is need for some order, the world’s changing at speed and it seems worthwhile to put some boundaries around this out-of-control chat.

I hereby propose starters are for Saturday nights only, every other day they can be either a side, or in their own right as a small main.

Pudding or dessert is only required for Friday and Saturday nights.

My wife read this and asked ‘what about sharing a pudding?’ 

I informed her no man ever wants to do that.