One of the things that people say to you when they hear that you are going to become a parent usually revolves around tiredness. They stand there with a smug look on their face and say "you're not going to get much sleep are you" and "they'll be some sleepless nights for you coming up then." As annoying as it is to hear people highlight this fact, especially when they haven't had children themselves, they are irrevocably right.
One of my good friends "Bezza" whom I have known for a long time is well known for being tired. When we used to mock him in the changing rooms before football we'd comment about how tired he always looked, and that if he was any more tired he'd walk around in a coffin. He did of course have a medical condition, but that didn't matter between good friends. When I heard the wonderful news he was going to become a dad, I must confess I had a little chuckle to myself. I text him with a congratulatory message, followed by some sort of mocking statement about how he hasn't known tiredness like it.
The point I'm trying to make is that there is nothing that can prepare you for such levels of sleep deprivation. New parents will agree that there are times where you feel so tired, you could happily fall asleep on a bed of nails whilst giving Jabba the Hut a piggy back. It's an unwavering, relentless assault of pure exhaustion that when it has you in its grip, will feel like there is no escape. Like a black hole of fatigue, relentlessly sucking the energy from you with no remorse.
There have been times when I wake up with my new born, and I feel like a narcoleptic zombie that's been bunking up with the Sandman. Last night for example I woke up to give Theo a feed. I found myself stood at the side of the bed rocking him, and then trying to physically walk through the bed, like it wasn't there. I get downstairs and make him a bottle and I try to put the lid on to another bottle that already has its lid on. A week ago I found a knife left on the kitchen side in the morning. I must have put it there at some point during the night as the kitchen was all clean and tidy. What was I doing with a knife and why would I need it? The levels of confusion you experience are just terrifying. I honestly think it's worse than being intoxicated.
So what are we supposed to do, I hear you cry? Well I am here to tell you there is hope and it comes in the shape of a small brown bean. The coffee bean! The wonderfully nurtured, manipulated coffee bean. At any one time I would estimate that 40% of my system is full of coffee. I drink the stuff like it is going out of fashion and I don't mind what type either. I used to be a proper coffee connoisseur, selecting ground Colombian or some of that gourmet instant stuff like a coffee snob. Now I pick up fifty pence jars at the local supermarket, because as long as I have some everything is okay.
I can't explain why it makes such a difference, but without that shot of caffeine I am fairly certain I would be a dribbling, slumbering personification of tiredness. Weather it is made at home from instant granules, brewed in a coffee shop or dispensed from one of those clever little machines in petrol stations, I will always be thankful for this magical little cup of red eye redemption.