Monday, 12 November 2012

Our sleepover in Brighton... Hove actually.



All Saturday morning Esme had been excited, positively wild; unable to wait for our sleepover. After lunch we were ready to go, the car choked full. Isn't it amazing how much you need for staying one night with a baby? Madness. For just as we thought we had it all, there'd be yet another questioning shout: What about a dummy? What about the monitor? What about earplugs? Ha! I wish.

We left after lunch on purpose so that Sofia could sleep during the journey. Our attempt to keep her nap in situ almost came a cropper when she coughed herself awake around the halfway mark. Esme had passed out too by now and snored steadily. I think this brought Sofia comfort and lulled her back to slumber. Phew.

As we drove we enjoyed the novelty of non-interrupted chat sat alongside the beautiful autumnal country we meandered through. I occasionally looked back at our girls. Esme's snores were now accompanied by a small steady stream of dribble that was pooling in a crevice beneath her chin. She was out cold. Fia not so; she flinched a lot. 

As the engine ceased both girls woke with a start. Esme yelled immediately, 'Hooray, we're here.' Oh my colourful social one. She like us, loves visiting. Fia picked up on the vibe and tried to sit upright, half smiling. 

We all fell in through the door and then our long list of belongings did the same. It took an age for us to work out the travel cot, always does - damn thing, and then after a cuppa, we wrapped up for a brisk walk to the front. 

Sofia was bemused by the beach. There was a freedom offered to her here that she is unaccustomed to. And as a consequence, she barely moved. The sun bounced off her snowsuit (bright pink from top to toe), so that she stood out loud against the stony backdrop. 

The sun setting was dreamy. The tide turning was not. At least one pair of feet got caught while casting stones. The light was mellow, the kind that helps reflect a perfect moment.
 
Warm again, all inside, we fed the girls in a great kid-friendly place called 'The Stoneham' around the corner from the house. The pizza was great and the ice cream was even more so. Fia tried a little bit of Esme's, and couldn't believe her luck. Her mouth forming a perfect 'o' in appreciation of the wonder she had just tasted for the first time. We left the menfolk over a pint and took two happy little girls back to the house, bedtime was encroaching.

Sofia went down with ease. She drained her bottle and was happy to be put in the travel cot. Hoorah, first hurdle put to bed, or so to speak. I couldn't believe how well it had gone and downstairs all too chuffed I picked up the glass of Chablis that had been poured for me. I think I'd had about a third of it when Fia's screaming began. 





There was an urgency about her cry and I took the stairs two at a time wondering if she'd managed to scale this cot as well. She hadn't. She was freaked though. Damn. I tried to lay her down again; she was having none of it. I lifted her to me and cuddled her close. She calmed. CRACK. A firework rocketed ricocheting around somewhere almost as close. She wailed again. Ah, so that was it. She started in on her dummy with renewed vigor until she calmed again. I attempted to lay her down once more. Was it too soon? Probably, but my glass of wine... Shit. That first hurdle was standing back up and staring me right in the eye. It had since grown a pair of balls.

Thankfully, in the end it wasn't actually that bad, for after another few ounces of milk Sofia passed out. I lay her down. She slept on. I tiptoed out. She slept on. Esme went to bed (in the same room). She slept on. Mummy had another glass of vino. And still, Sofia slept on. Divine.

Dinner was also divine. Sadly though, dinner, the wine, the fresh air, the excitement and the wood burning stove all had a somewhat soporific effect on me and I found myself on the edge of sleepiness far too early. How crap is that? I've been going to bed about 9.30pm for so long to compensate for the wholly rubbish nights, and now anything past ten is riotously late. Nevermind, an espresso to the rescue. An hour later, yes, that's better. Sadly though, I see Simon is on the edge of sleep too. He makes his exit and that's fine for it is actually bedtime anyway. Unfortunately my coffee high is still climbing.

My darling OH and Esme snore in unison. I creep in to the room and in to the bed and I gather that Simon is already unreachable. My fears of waking Sofia are unfounded, amazingly through the din, she is peaceful.

I lay there. And I lay there. And an hour passes. And then some. Oh shit. I know coffee does this to me. I'm stuck with a busy brain. I hear more fireworks somewhere. No one stirs. Another hour. A taxi cab releases drunken party-goers in to the road right below our room. I figure they're unable to work out the fare for the deisel engine hums impatiently for a long time. Simon's snores make him sound like he is about to take off. I've given up trying to wake him and just lie there through it. Eventually I must drop off for Esme wakes me, "Mummy, is it morning?" I put her back in to an air bed which has almost deflated and listen to her moving; restless legs. She doesn't complain. I listen to another cab. Simon still snores, fuelled by grog. Eventually I sleep again. Just in time for the gulls to start.

Look, the important thing here is that Sofia did not wake up. She slept until 8am. If I didn't sleep a wink it doesn't matter at all I'm simply ecstatic that my littlest one managed to. And in a room with us all. And in a travel cot. And hey, there's always MORE coffee. And besides, I'm in Brighton with great friends... Hove actually.

The Stoneham pub and pizzeria
153 Portland Rd
Hove
BN3 5QJ
p: 01273 383 840