I’m not a morning person at the best of times and the onset of winter makes me even less inclined to bounce out of bed early. That reluctance is made even greater by the presence of a night-time visitor in our bed: Kara.Our daughter has been a regular interloper for several months now. She habitually wakes up in the middle of the night, struggles to get back to sleep again and ends up curled up between Heather and I.
I have to admit I do understand where she’s coming from. Like Isaac, she’s a social and tactile child, but whereas Isaac and Toby share a bedroom she doesn’t have a sibling for company. We’ve been through spells of her wanting to sleep in the boys’ room – they don’t like it – so instead her natural reaction is to want to come to us.
Until a couple of weeks ago we had a gate across her bedroom door to keep her in, but that’s been removed. So now, when she does wake up at night, she’s free to come into our room and crawl into bed between us. To her credit, she does it so quietly that she doesn’t wake either of us up (unlike Isaac, who would always announce his presence loudly and repeatedly until one of us finally agreed to go downstairs with him).
So what that frequently means is that it isn’t until I wake up that I’m aware she’s even there. More often that not, she’ll have pressed herself into my back for warmth and will be clutching my ear lobes as if her life depended on it. (No, I have no idea why.)
Given the choice between crawling out of bed and snuggling up to my daughter for a few minutes first – well, it’s an easy one. It inevitably means I leave the house later, which means I get caught up more in the worst of the rush-hour traffic, which in turn means I end up getting to work much later than intended. But hey, it’s a little slice of father/daughter time in an otherwise busy day when I won’t see much of her anyway.
A wise man (okay, a 1980s singer named Owen Paul who had one hit with My Favourite Waste of Time) once said (well, sang):
I don’t care
If being with you is meaningless
Looked at rationally, in terms of making my weekday mornings efficient, those extra few minutes in bed are certainly ridiculous. But meaningless? Never. Kara is my favourite waste of time.