Je suis fatigué, tu es fatigué, elle est fatiguée …

October 1, 2009

It wasn’t meant to happen like this. I really thought I had it all planned. 

I thought that, when Piaf started having bad dreams, I would be able to say exactly what was needed to calm her down, perhaps even raise a smile, and get her back to bed feeling happy and safe and loved.

How was I to know that they would start before she was speaking properly? I thought I had another six months to hone my perfect papa routine. 

Half past five this morning. To make it worse, I had an unusual attack of conscience. Instead of going back to sleep (which I find shamefully easy) I encouraged maman to bring Piaf into our bed, just until she calmed down, just for long enough to prepare the milk she was literally crying out for. 

I think the conscience was sparked by the fact that, whatever Piaf said, this was clearly not just about milk. Something had scared her and she was unable to express it, meaning in turn that maman and I were unable to rationalise it for her. The milk was a symptom, not a cause.

Like I say, I really thought I had it all planned.

To make it worse, work has been very intense for both of us recently. Definitely in my own case I have been “burning the candle at both ends” (as my mother would say) and, indirectly, “chasing the pound note” (as my friends at the After School Club would say.) I really am not in a fit state to be waking up at 5.30 a.m. for my own nightmares, let alone someone else’s. 

And so, at 5.35 a.m., Piaf made her entrance. She was sleepy but not ready to sleep. Her vulnerability made her seem even smaller than usual. She smelt of Ovaltine. She sucked at the teat of her bottle like her father used to suck on cans of Stella Artois, that irrational hunger for a liquid that seems to belong more in a war film than in suburbia.

The twin magics of her parents’ closeness and a third of a pint of full-fat soon had her calm. A certain amount of crooning took place.

 I held her close, selfishly, before her maman got to her, and made the most of it, knowing that if she got too comfy she would decide it was playtime and wriggle away from both of us. 

“Calme-toi,” I cajoled. And she did.

“Fais-moi un câlin,” I whispered. And she did.

“Fais-moi un bisou,” I entreated. And she did. 

“Fais dodo,” I risked, ever aware that, however precious and lovely and rare this moment was, both maman and I were shattered and a chain reaction of alarms, like vindictive aural dominoes, would soon be doing their worst.

And, blow me, she did. For a few minutes there, nightmare forgotten, she let her guard down and allowed herself to drop off in the company of the two people who love her more than anything. 

At least, I think she did. I mean, I know I did. I assume she followed suit.

That’s the trouble with conscience. It never lasts. 

Like this? Try these. 

Je me détends, tu te détends, elle se détend … 

Je câline, tu câlines, elle câline … 

Je fredonne, tu fredonnes, elle fredonne …

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One Response to “Je suis fatigué, tu es fatigué, elle est fatiguée …”

  1. […] Je suis fatigué, tu es fatigué, elle est fatiguée … […]

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