What is it about a toddler exactly, that gives them the ability to intercept a subliminal nod between two consenting adults and then implement a strategic, beautifully executed offensive to scupper any tentative plans for a roll in the hay? Is it some kind of Darwinian, “survival of the fitness” instinct, whereby an only child subconsciously – or consciously, maybe even, who knows! – wants to defend his patch of land from the potential invasion of another sibling?
A suggestively raised eyebrow across the kitchen table may lead to a fumble between the sheets but is far more likely to lead to three long hours of bedtime fuelled by high jinks, multiple stories, song singing, tantrum throwing, a bunch of tears and then finally a collapse from exhaustion. This will be swiftly followed by two defeated parents surrendering to the softness of a pillow and the lateness of the hour.
A scheduled “date night” (read bottle of wine on the couch and a promise) is guaranteed to be interrupted by an evening of 20 minute wakes and cries of “mammy hug” or “daddy hug” directed at whichever parent is not comforting him at the time.
The worst offender of them all is the exquisitely timed “interruption” at a crucial point that there’s just no coming back from, when the cry of “ma-mee” cuts through the air and throws a wet, smelly old sock down on top of whatever passion might have been bubbling at that exact moment and it fizzles into a pathetic, frustrated heap.
Sometimes it feels like the furniture is conspiring against you too. How can everything possibly squeak?! It’s like they’re calling out to him “they’re trying to do it again – wake up, WAKE UP!”
And another night passes with an thirst unquenched.
Thank God for more efficient orgasms is all I’ll say.
Touché, little man, touché.