Janet Christie: ‘It’s Eldest, texting from upstairs’

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IT’S 1:30am on Sunday morning and my thoughts have long been turning zedwards.

The boys’ thoughts, however, are turning to a quick trip to Asda for snacks, pumping up the volume and entertaining a friend who has just arrived. Since I’ll be up at dawn with Youngest Child I storm around like a miserable old fart, barking that they’ve got ten minutes.

An hour later Eldest gives in to nagging and sets off to walk his guest home. Apparently she can’t possibly go alone. “Why not? Doesn’t she have the taxi fare/a parent?” I fulminate to Biggie Smalls, who sighs deeply in his sleep and rearranges his bellies on my bedcover.

Some time after 3am, Eldest returns. Exhausted and relieved, I give him a hard time.

“Well, it was your choice to stay up and wait,” he says. “You could have gone to sleep. You chose to stay up and worry. You bring this on yourself. I’m almost 18.”

“Go. To. Bed.”

I have four hours’ shuteye ahead but sleep is elusive so I count the many ways I will be revenged on Eldest Child and eventually doze off.

All too soon my phone rings. It’s Eldest, texting from upstairs. “There’s a mouse in my room. Please come up with a shoe box and catch it.”

Ha, ha, ha, ha. Sorry, my choice is to sleep.