by Danielle Linsey
a glass of tap water
I’m awake. Or at least I think I am.
I can hear the drip, drip, drip of the bathroom tap. A slow gentle beat, that should send me to sleep. It doesn’t.
I fling my legs over the side of the bed, the cold bare floor sending shivers through me.
‘Where are you going?’ Jake asks, his eyes still closed.
‘To stop that dripping tap.’
He trails off mid-sentence. The man can sleep through anything.
I creep past the baby’s room, praying I don’t wake her. The girl has supersonic hearing, except it would seem, when it comes to that blasted tap.
With a simple squeeze and a slight tug, the tap is once more silent; bliss returns to my small home.
And then... the banshee wails of my daughter begin, loud enough to wake the whole house, except for her father.
I peep around the bathroom door, into the hallway, just in case. No, no movement.
I plod along to Cassidy’s room, smiling as she lifts her chubby hands up to me, desperate to be lifted.
Instead, I lay her back on the cot mattress, running my hand over her stomach, as I use the other one to turn on her hanging mobile.
Three hours later and she is finally asleep, albeit in my arms, having given up on the idea of not picking her up. I know it was inevitable, but a mother can try.
Jake finally wanders in, looking nice and rested, his shirt undone and his feet bare.
‘Have you seen my socks?’
‘On the clothes horse,’ I whisper back, stifling a yawn.
‘Have you been in here most of the morning?’
I nod, my eyes heavy.
‘You should have let the tap drip,’ he declares, turning towards the stairs.
‘What?’ I question, standing and following him, the sudden jolt waking the sleeping child in my arms.
‘She seems to like the dripping of the tap, it helps her fall asleep.’
‘And when were you going to tell me that?’
‘I thought I had.’
I pass him a now screaming Cassidy, bewildered by the lack of care in his slip of memory, and walk away.
‘Where are you going?’ He calls after me, holding our daughter out towards me.
‘But, I have a 9am meeting?’
‘Then rearrange it, baby whisperer,’ I tell him, closing the bedroom door behind me.
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