I have always found the end of Titanic intensely frustrating. Surely that piece of wood was plenty big enough for both Kate Winslet and Leonardo to float on. It never rang true to me. They just didn’t try hard enough.
That was until one night not so long ago.
Little Roo was poorly. She had a soaring temperature and a relentless cough. After what felt like the 100th time of attempting to settle her in her cot, I caved in. Desperate to lie down and close my eyes I bought her into bed with me. After 5 minutes though The Don was awake and demanding we vacate the bed – he had a busy and difficult day ahead at work and could not be disturbed all night.
He did stay awake long enough to point out the fact that the spare bed was covered in washing waiting to be put away was my fault – a truth, but not one that I wanted to hear at 12.30am with a screaming Roo in my arms.
So, I pulled out the single chair bed in Little Roo’s room. It might not be my bed, but it was A Bed. This bed has been in my family for many years and I have slept happily and soundly on it countless times. Grabbing a pillow and a blanket I settled down with Roo on the soft squishy mattress, relishing the feeling of my eyelids falling over my sleep deprived eyes…. for about two minutes.
Litte Roo in her fevered state, while not wanting to be alone, couldn’t settle being cuddled or held. She wriggled and fretted free of my arms, free of my body heat, needing her own space. I inched away from her hoping she would be able to find a comfortable spot. In fact, I inched and inched….and inched away so far that I rolled off the edge of the bed and onto the floor. Thump.
Eventually Little Roo did fall into a slumber of sorts, star shaped, sprawled out, her little fingers wrapped tightly around my hand making sure mummy had not escaped. And as I lay on the floor trying to simultaneously pull another blanket over my body and find a comfortable place for my head while still holding onto Little Roo’s hand for fear of waking her, it suddenly dawned on me – I.am.Leonardo!!
Before I had my children I would have thought this situation was ridiculous. How angry I would have been, how incredulous, how judgemental I would have been of someone who would allow their child to dictate that they sleep on the floor all night. Surely they aren’t trying hard enough.
I thought I knew what being tired was – I had no idea. I thought I knew what being a parent entailed – I had no idea. I know now.
The situation was ridiculous, but instead of being angry as I lay there looking at Roo’s flushed little cheeks I smiled in spite of myself. That bed should have been big enough for both of us, but that night it simply wasn’t. I should have been getting a comfortable nights sleep, but I was not. I was being the mummy that Little Roo needed that night.
I too, eventually, fell into a slumber of sorts, with one thought playing over and over in my head. “I love you enough Little Roo. I love you enough to play Leonardo to your Kate”
Thankfully I did not drown. I just felt like death in the morning.