Some mornings I squint at the clock radio on the other side of the bed, trying to tell whether the first digit in the little mass of blurry green lights is a 5, 6 or 8, wishing it was none of those, but knowing it has to be one of them. I’d like it to be around 7 o’clock, but I know it’s not; the shape of the 7 is easy to pick.
The girls are already up.
I come down to the kitchen and greet them but neither hear me. And as it’s not long since I’ve seen them, I’m not fussed; I’m heading for the kettle.
Maeve is meowing and Elsie is pretending to feed her scraps of screwed up newspaper.
But then they start laughing at something one of them has done and I turn from where I’m jiggling a teabag to see them fall on the floor laughing.
Elsie had come into us at 1am because she’d had a bad dream. Apparently. When I took her back to her bed, I whispered something about there being no such thing as dragons and that I’d see her in the morning. That was enough to wake Maeve.
At 4am Maeve yelled out. Anthony rushed down to find out what the problem was and to quieten her before she woke Elsie. But in her bed at arm’s reach from Maeve, Elsie was well and truly awake.
It’s 6.30am now and they’ve been up for a while. I know that because while they tiptoed down to the lounge earlier to play behind the closed lounge room door, we woke up when they slammed it shut.
I wonder how many years of their lives we’ll be woken every three hours.
But now I’m jiggling my teabag, watching them laying on the floor laughing. And I love them even more. Because they just interrupted my calculations of how few hours sleep I’d had and how grumpy I was then allowed to be.