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Sleep, Imperfect Sleep


Livvy wants Rabbity.

She’s screaming her bloody head off.


Do you know who Rabbity is? Because I haven’t got a fucking clue.

By his name, I think I can assume he is a rabbit. But he’s not going to be real, I can assure you of that. No live animals in the house. That’s my law. Because my very sensibilities hang by a mere thread and one more animal would send me coo-coo. Two hog-wild children and a husband who organises his pants into ‘weekend’ pants and ‘work’ pants is quite enough for me, thank you.

It’s 3.47 in the bastard morning and I’m being woken up because of a bloody bunny that doesn’t exist.

Oh my god I’m tired. I’m always tired. Not just tired: I am jellyfish. Bobbing along, occasionally stinging. Contributing very little to the world around me. Bit round, lacking colour…

“I’m not going in, Ant. She can’t just do this. She can’t shout demands at me at silly o’clock at night. I’m absolutely, one million percent. Not. Going. In.”

Four minutes later, I’m in. She’s really shouting and I just need sleep.

“What is it, pickle?”

Fucking stupid question, I know. She’s made her demands quite clear. But it’s an opener.

“I WANT RABBITY! Mum-mum, please. Get it! He’s on the kitchen table. He’ll be all sad on his own.”

I couldn’t give two shits about some unknown rodent’s mental state. It’s now 4:05 in the morning. All I care about is sleeping for my full baby-allocated allowance, which I now calculate as being precisely 1 hour and 55 minutes.

So I better get my groove on. I need to comply with the tiny activist so that I can back to sleep: accept her instruction, find the rabbit, take it upstairs, hand it over and get to bed, all while using soothing, gentle, sleepy voices to facilitate heavy sleep. Discipline and proper parenting can wait for a more sociable hour.

I creep down the stairs and pop the light on in the kitchen and lo and behold, what do I spy just beyond the two stray peas and discarded Frube wrapper? It is but a small, grey fluffy rabbit.

This bloody rabbit has been kicking around the house for yonks, just sat nonchalantly on Livvy’s toy box along with the rest of the cuddly farmyard.

This bloody rabbit is soooo boringly familiar.

This bloody rabbit is ruining my life.

I trundle up the stairs, dangling Livvy’s new vermin mate by his left ear. I climb into her bed and give her a big cuddle, while pretending Rabbity is giving her massive bunny kisses in her ear. She laughs and squeals until she’s just a giggling pink ball of Peppa Pig pyjamas and tiny bare feet.

We’re both wide awake now. Sleeping is cheating, it seems, so I ask Livvy to sing Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate Bar and then we play let’s-pretend-we-can-see-eye-spy in the dark. I’ve concluded that, at this very moment, silly o’clock can be just that: we’ll just sing and talk riddles until a normal-er time. Sleep can wait. We’re having a brilliant time and I love her to tiddly widdly bits.

But it’s all a bit like the tray of Jagerbombs at the end of the night.

I know I’ll regret it in the morning, but didn’t we have fun?

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