By PENNY SHIPWAY
It’s 2am and I am woken by the sounds of two little feet shuffling down the hallway: flannelette against carpet. It’s bloody cold. And dark. I can hear the heavy breathing of my two-year-old daughter, between the sucking of her dummy as she makes her way closer to Daddy’s side of the bed.
I lie and wait for the usual scenario to take place.
My husband is now awake. He sighs and throws the toasty warm doona off him. I am feeling both thankful I don’t need to face the shock of the cold, yet I’m riddled with the usual guilt that I can’t help him. He stands up and put his t-shirt on, and in his nicest Daddy voice he says, “Come on Daisy, let’s go back to bed”.
Off they go into the night while I lie there feeling like the most useless, worthless, lazy mother in the world. The thoughts plague me actually.
“Get up and help him you lazy bitch,” she will say.
”But I’ve just had major back surgery, I’m just too sore and if I lift Daisy (all of 15kg) back into the bed I know I’ll set myself up for another painful day at home tomorrow, ” the other one reasons.
“Yes, but he always does it. You can’t work that poor man to the bone, he is exhausted,” she will reply.
“But I would swap my chronic back pain with getting up in the middle of the night any day,” is the final thought, and usually the one that helps nurse me back to sleep.