It's one of those mornings when it still feels like morning in mid-afternoon. It's still only 11.50am but I just know I'm not going to liven up.
I blame my ability to feel awake after 4 hours sleep. Obviously, if I got up then, I'd be good for nothing later on but when I'm lying there, thinking about breakfast, Christmas, younger son's project (don't mention it) and whatever else comes into my head, I feel awake enough to last all day.
It does remind me of how I used to feel when the aforementioned son was small. He needed very little sleep and was extraordinarily cheerful in the middle of the night. It's very hard to try any of these much-vaunted sleeping routines if the child isn't crying or causing a fuss. He just used to wake up and giggle and talk to himself. Loud enough to wake me up but not being naughty.
It got to the point that, if it was a really bad night and we were going to get less than 5 hours sleep, I would dismantle his cot and take the whole thing downstairs to the living room. There it would be regrouped, complete with giggling child, in the corner of the living room furthest from my bedroom. That way he could giggle away to himself and not disturb anybody.
In the morning, I'd come down to this happy child who was still cheerful after being awake half the night. It was never helped by his brother sleeping the full night and waking up at 6am.
One morning I got a real shock, though. I came downstairs to discover happy child + cot in the living room and I had no memory of bringing him down. Wow. That was scary. It was terrifying, in fact, to think I could have dismantled the whole thing (it was big, old, heavy and a beggar to take to pieces) and brought it down without remembering in the morning.
No harm done as child and me were both still in one piece, but it's amazing what you can do on auto-pilot, and also what the human brain needs in terms of sleep for you not to turn into the living dead.
So, these days when I get too little sleep, I always compare it to the average of 6 hours I managed when smaller son was tiny. Then, those 6 hours were only a total compiled of an hour here, an hour and a half there. I very rarely had the full 6 all together.
When I'm tired now, after 'only' 6 hours sleep, I remind myself that I haven't been up in the night, moving a cot or settling a sweet-natured child, I've only been lying awake in my bed, feeling grumpy about it.
Of course it's all relative. I was younger then and had more energy to put into sleep-deprivation. I tell you, though, if I become one of those old women who only need 4 hours sleep, I shall go round to younger son's house and wake him every other hour some nights, just to keep myself alert and entertained.
I think that's only fair, don't you?
PS As younger son won't want me to post a picture of him on this blog, I'm including one of his recent pony pictures instead!