Last weekend Bird and I played the Tired Competition. You know the one. Where you compete to see who is the more tired and who has the more valid reasons for said fatigue. It’s a dangerous game to play because a) there never is a winner and b) there is never a prize to be won.
As Shine is just days away from her half birthday we find ourselves in familiar territory. I remember the tension buidling to a crescendo when Sun was about this age too. We’ve had 6 months of interrupted sleep, very little time to ourselves, very little bedroom action and no time at all spent just the two of us. This is bad news and a recipe for marital battles galore. We don’t have big shouty rows where we throw things or have lusty make-up sex. That would be exciting for a Saturday night! No, we just bicker over ridiculous things.
And so we found ourselves on Saturday night, pick, pick, picking at the wound of tiredness. I honestly can’t remember what started the bad air between us but before we knew it I was feeling seething rage over the fact that Bird was writing an email when I had asked him to hold Shine while I started dinner. He was outraged that I couldn’t wait 5 minutes. I felt it was perfectly reasonable to demand he stop what he was doing immediately. He’d been lost in internet land for over an hour. And I had risotto to cook, which required lots of stirring, preferably without baby attached to hip.
Then one of us let slip, ‘I’m sorry, I’m just so tired’. That’s like a red rag to a bull as the other immediately steps up to offer reasons why they are in fact more tired so therefore they are absolved of all wrongdoing placing them automatically in the right. A clear win! Except it’s never that clear cut is it. Both parents are tired. Both parents are pushed to their limits by having a new baby. Both need compassion and a big glass of wine poured for them.
For me, this is the trickiest thing about having a new baby. You both feel like you need the other one to cut you some slack and you have to dance around trying not to say things you don’t mean because your brain is all mushy from lack of sleep, and on my part hormonal imbalance. Can I still blame my moodiness on that 6 months down the track? Hell, I’ll give it a go.
So there we are, Saturday night snappity snap snaps. We struggled through the bedtime waltz and as I sat on our bed in the dim light giving Shine her bedtime feed I had time to clear my mind and find some clarity. I looked down at her little sleepy face and realised the sleeplessness will be over all too soon. She’s growing up so fast.
I looked over at our wedding picture next to the bed and realised we’re still those loved-up newlyweds really, just with a lot more wrinkles and bags under our eyes. I found Bird on the couch and I started to laugh, ‘want another glass of wine?’. And like that, it’s all forgotten and we march on into another week.
Sunday night as I’m peeling potatoes, I come across this potato and can’t help but grin. It’s a bit bashed up and old but it’s beautiful nonetheless. I vow to make plans for a date night though. We need a night out together. I might even wear make up and heels. We might even have hot sex. Who knows, a girl can dream can’t she?! And those dreams might just get me through another tiring week!