It’s in the tender silences of a sleeping child you feel both the sorrows and joys of parenting. You know in less than a few hours this small human will erupt. They will smash to pieces any chance of sleep for less than a cup of milk at 2am. They have no regard for your needs, in fact, half the time you do not exist. You’re a channel of their nourishment, mopping up the endless pulpy nappies, for the want to be held close enough to synchronise heart beats, and to shoosh and soothe to sleep. With a tummy full and chin wiped they will smile a redeeming smile – simple and effortless sustenance that makes it all worthwhile.
But for now, you stand there in the low light, lording over as a blanket of protection. Dreary, you are bent like a steamed wood, resistant to cracking, dragging each aching foot off to bed. They will be up soon.