Sleep…or something like it!


I want to be fabulous, truly I do but right now the MOST fabulous thing I can think of, my deepest and most intimate fantasy – is 8 hours uninterrupted, open mouthed, dribbling, snoring slumber.  I cannot even imagine what it would be like to wake up because I WANTED to wake up! What a sweet, sweet dream that is.

I am a mother of three young children and I live in the ‘village’ of Vientiane in Laos.

My nightly bedtime battles usually start at 6pm, with putting Chilli (aged 14 months) to sleep and finish around 7.15pm after Monkey and Pigeon (aged 5.5 years and 4.5 years) have finally exhausted their repertoire of resistance strategies:

  • Mummy I need a kiss
  • Mummy I am thirsty
  • Mummy my knee/head/toe/finger/bellybutton/earlobe/eyelash hurts
  • Mummy the light is too light/dark/white/pink
  • Mummy tell me again why Harry Potter magic
  • why does Teacher Amy where Jeans to school?
  • what is the square root of 364?
  • MUMMY.. come here… I NEEEEEED you

Eventually, my little darlings finally packed off to slumber town, G and I eat, watch 30 minutes of TV before shrugging our shoulders and giving in to the sad fact that, at 8:30pm, we have nothing left.  Quick shower, bed…..sleep!

  • 11pm – Pigeon wets bed, change sheets and clothes, settle child, return to bed
  • 1am – Baby Chilli wakes, settle baby, return to bed
  • 3am – Monkey has nightmare, cuddles in our bed, back to her bed, return to my bed
  • 4am – Temple drums, played by over exuberant teenage novice, sounded to mark the start of morning rituals for the monks, stay in bed
  • 4.05am – neighbourhood dogs, numbering in the 100’s, start howling in response to temple drums, insert earplugs, stay in bed
  • 4.15am – next door neighbours rooster start up in response to neighourhood dogs, give up, get up and pee, return to bed and seethe
  • 5.00am Chilli needs a bottle
  • 5:30am Monkey and Pigeon are awake. Start the day. Yippy!!!

And that, with a few minor variations that is our nightly ritual.  Don’t even get me started on the karaoke wedding parties, which are held on what seems like a fortnightly basis at my neighbours house… just how many children do they have!!

Of course, G and I have developed coping strategies.  We monitor each other closely for signs of imminent collapse and try to give the other “sleep-ins” and weekend “quiet time”.  But that sort of sleep deprivation does leave you with very little left in the tank.

Add an unplanned event like a bub with suspected chickenpox and a fever who was up all night with her desperately concerned mummy (it wasn’t chickenpox thankfully and she is fully recovered) and I am a train wreck.

But this train wreck promised herself that she would start posting this week so I have given up my 30 minutes of TV time to tap out these thoughts.

I am proud of myself.  It feels good to have made a start.

I think I will go to bed now.  What a FABULOUS idea ……..Goodnight!


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