It was yesterday morning. They both ended up sleeping in my bed, calling in some fevered promise I had made to them on our 18th hour in the traffic jam to end all traffic jams (except that one in China). With pointy limbs in all directions, I gave up and slept in a bunk bed with a dinosaur duvet and 83 plush Pokémons poking into my spine. When I hobbled downstairs in the morning, his big brother had already got up to prowl the house and examine his crystal growing kit (newsflash: it's rubbish) and there he was, upside down, curled up, in a shaft of sunlight, very small in a very big bed.
Do you remember what it felt like to be a small person in a big bed? I remember you usually got put there when your parent (s) were out at someone's house late at night and the bed felt enormous, and it smelt strange and the sheets were probably purple but you were so, so hyped up and exhausted you just zonked out anyway. While downstairs the discussions of the Female Eunuch, reified societies and where to buy tofu in the north east continued. I never seem to have those kinds of parties.
Reasons I do not have lengthy houseparties featuring weed and Joni Mitchell and red wine and dissing the Patriarchy:
1. It is not 1978.
2. I am not an academic in a provincial town campus university.
3. I seem to have ceded almost all my friends with children as part of the separation. Friends with children, Marcel Wanders Skygarden light fitting, juicer, various pieces of art, Fatima the best-connected cleaning lady in Brussels, etc, etc.
4. I am sociopathic and unable to relax in company, making people uneasy and unlikely to stay and suggest wife-swapping and joints. It is not relaxing to have me sitting, twitching and looking bug-eyed at you, semi-surreptitiously looking at my watch as you try to discuss Derrida. That's why I have to go to other people's parties instead.
Part of me regrets this, but part of me realises how ill-equipped I am to be any kind of hostess, what with my pathological inability to relax. If memory serves, none of these parties of my childhood were at my mum's house anyway, so it might be genetic. As a result, the only children sleeping in my bed are mine. And I like this one, he's lovely. I shared a bed with him for most of the holidays, which was hugely comforting. I liked the way he thrashed and flailed at me, if I tried to give him a kiss in the night, like a wild animal.
And now the holidays are over and the late nights and bed-hopping and my plaintive appeals for a "grasse matinée" are all done and noone will jump on my head in the morning while I try and sleep. Instead, I will have to poke them four hundred times with gradually increasing intensity while they snarl at me without even opening their eyes and refuse to get up. I had better go to bed now, actually, we have an audience with the hedgehog at 7 and I have seventeen sacks of school supplies to assemble and transport, including a Bunsen Burner and forty three spare compass points and an abacus made from fragments of the true cross. Hmmm. I wonder if anyone has crept in there?