Long ago, a previous version of myself would look out of the window in the morning, see the sunshine and think two things: After work I’m going to the pub and I need to put sun cream on my nose. That’s it. The simple life. I could open the windows as wide as I wanted during the night and allow the slightest breeze to caress my dehydrated body. The only noise came from the drunken revellers arguing in their gardens about the last sausage on the barbecue and which CD to play next; Hardcore techno versus seventies Motown. The simple life.
Now when I feel the humidity in the morning and the sun’s heat is already beaming through the curtains, I know all my decisions throughout the day will revolve around locating shade and keeping the boys hydrated. The night, the never-ending night, will comprise of peeling a child’s sweaty leg off mine every couple of minutes while industrial sized fans blow warm air into my face from several directions. We’re just not equipped to handle it. I’ve tied sheets to the curtain rail, stripped the beds down to the bare minimum and bought flannels to dampen with water and rest on our heads. Flannels! I should not have to buy flannels at my age. What’s next? Hankies?
I don’t remember all this fuss when I was a kid. I would leave the house in the morning. No food. No Water. No bother. Occasionally someone would appear on the park with a bottle of warm cherryade. We’d all crowd around eagerly while licking our crusty lips. On a great day you might find a quid on the floor and buy a load of ice-pops, refreshing the masses with brightly coloured, sugary, frozen loveliness. Then home before the streetlights began to flicker. Tea. Telly. Bed. Repeat.
My boys can’t go five minutes without demanding something. They constantly shovel ice-cream, fruit, sandwiches, nuts, yogurts, paleo bars – anything and everything – into their mouths without pause. Is this normal behaviour? Why can’t they lie on the cold kitchen floor in silence while I drink freezing cold Prosecco and dip watermelon into it? I shouldn’t complain. It’s just that sleep deprivation means I often forget what day it is or whether my trousers are on the right way. But you’re reading this in Autumn so the summer is probably a distant memory now and we’re all deciding when it’s acceptable to turn the radiators back on.
BY ADAM GLENNON