The alarm goes off at 7.15 am. I groan, and press snooze. Today is admittedly less painful than yesterday, when I got a OuiFM wake-up call at 6.55 am and then had to speak to some chirpy, wacky and thoroughly annoying radio talk show presenter for five minutes while lying semi-comatose in bed in my undies.
I am not a morning person, you see. All those proper writers who say they do their best work at dawn, well, what are they on? Personally I function best in the afternoons, or occasionally in the evenings, once Tadpole is in bed, a glass of wine within easy reach of the computer.
At 7.35 am, I finally stop hitting snooze and muster up the enthusiasm to go and wake Tadpole. Creeping into her bedroom I watch her for a moment. She is deeply asleep, on her tummy with her head wedged up against the wall, as usual. She has been busy in the night: the dolls she took to bed with her yesterday evening are now stark naked, their clothes scattered on the floor. I pick a pair of knitted pants out of the (empty) potty by the side of her bed.
Whispering her name, I muss her curls and feel the warmth of her neck against my fingertips. She grimaces in her sleep, eyes firmly closed, then stirs, before shifting her position slightly and going back to sleep. So, pulling the covers back, I slip into bed beside her (a manoeuvre which involves bending my legs as the bed is a special lilliputian version) and cuddle up. This is my favourite part of the day: the snuggling, the warmth, the sleepy smell of her body and pyjamas, the fact that she is too comatose to actually protest and wriggle out of my arms. It’s perfect, except for one little detail.
I’m lying slap bang in the middle of an enormous wet patch.
“Darling,” I say when she finally opens her eyes, determined not to sound cross, or accusing. “You’ve had a wee wee in the bed. Were you sleeping? You know I put the potty next to your bed for when you feel like you need to go…”
“I had a dream about a monster,” Tadpole replies. I’m not sure if this is an explanation, or just her way of avoiding the subject at hand.
“I’ll have to wash the sheets now, and get those trousers off you sweetie, can you sit up for a minute?”
“It doesn’t matter because you put the special cover on the mattress yesterday.”
I did indeed. I bought a quilt (for Mr Frog’s house) and a waterproof sheet (for mine) so that we could prepare for nocturnal potty training, round two. Tadpole had watched me fit the waterproof undersheet, and seemed to be paying attention when I patiently explained what it was for. Clearly I was mistaken.
“But darling, that’s for if you have an accident, but you still need to do your wee wee’s on the potty when you can, now that you have no nappy on.”
I see realisation dawn in her face, as clearly as if a cartoon lightbulb had suddenly appeared above her head.
“Oh. I thought it was alright to do a wee wee because the bed is wearing a nappy,” she explains.
I giggle. She giggles. I hug her to me.
I decide to lie in the wet patch for a little bit longer.