Take today for instance. Today, Youngest Son and I were going on a bike ride. Well, alright, I was doing the cycling while he was going to be providing extra "ballast" and, if I was lucky, a rolling commentary. Preparations for this adventure had started last night when Husband very kindly inflated bike tyres, checked the seat and attached the bike to the car. Then came a message from A, a friend with children of a similar age to mine: Would Youngest Son and I like to join her and Youngest Daughter (and another, mother-and-daughter combo) for coffee and a play at the exact time I had planned to be furiously pedalling around East Berwickshire. What to do? Well, I'm a 21st Century girl so the answer was obviously "both": I'd cycle to A (along a route I'd never even driven but my map and trusty yarn measurements had suggested it was do-able), have coffee, play with children and then cycle back in time to collect Oldest Son. A was even thoughtful enough to propose a Plan B whereby her husband, who was assisting with the morning of Christmas Crafts, would – by car – reunite us all together again. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, for starters, we could be the latest ever leaving the house, so we were over five minutes late for nursery. So much for the get-there-early-to-get-bike-off-car-then-calmly-deposit-Oldest-Son-before-Youngest-Son-and-I-could-cycle-off-into-the-sunrise. And I could forget my coat (the forecast assured no rain but I do get more than a little chilly). Nevertheless, on we went.
Then I could leave the map in the car, the map which I had, only moments before, used to check the route with A's husband. But still we proceeded.
Then, as I changed gear to ease the impact of the rising incline as we left the village, the chain came off and both Youngest Son and I found ourselves in the ditch. Unhurt (aside from maybe a bruised ego) but not overly happy. Our dramatic fall from grace was witnessed by C and, given the "what if", I am glad that she was there as we might have needed proper help. As it was we didn't, so her presence helped to calm my nerves and onward we went. Straight past the turning we should have taken.
Now to say that I missed the required left turn wouldn't be all together honest. I had just plain forgotten about it. Up and up we continued and then relaxed along the straight. Only the "straight" wasn't as "straight" as it was supposed to have been, as was represented on the map. Since I didn't have the map with me, I put this down to mis-remembering the finer details of the road and carried merrily along. Well, maybe not-so-merrily but along, and up, and then down. A's husband had told me that this would be a "nice road to cycle" but you know men and their oblivion to hills, especially when they don't have a toddler on the back of their bike. And then we reached a junction, signed to places I wasn't expecting to see. To both my right and left were undulating roads and absolutely no sign of my destination. I cycled a little to the left, turned and cycled a little to the right, and then found myself at W's house. W lives in a completely different village to A. Obviously something had gone wrong. Really wrong.
As this point, I finally – oh finally – decided to cut my losses and head back to the car. And the map. Once all safely installed, we set-off again, turning left just after "the place of the ditch", as we should have done the first time, driving along a relatively flat lane with open views on each side that yes, would have been nice to cycle along.
I believe being late by 90 mins is by far my best (or worst) time ever – slashing my previous record of 30 mins to my own wedding. But A and J were very kind and plied me with tea and sympathy. Given the timing of my appearance, Plan B was activated and A's Husband duly brought Oldest Son home with him. Politeness forced me to reveal to him the full extent of my morning's adventures and to say that he looked "bewildered" would be putting it mildly. See that's the face, that's the face that I probably pulled all those years ago. And to those who experienced this, please accept my heartfelt apologies. I just didn't understand.
Actually, this current episode of not sleeping is purely self-inflicted and apparently, in a similar vein to hang-overs, deserves no sympathy. You see, on Saturday night – or, let's be honest, the early hours of Sunday morning – the day (few hours) before our Open House, I tried to finish knitting my jumper. Wouldn't it be lovely to wear my new jumper to our party? And then have it all ready in time for Christmas. With only the collar left to do, and working in Big Wool, I thought this would be a matter of minutes. It transpires, however, that knitting 32cm of roll back collar takes a few hours and at a 5am, I abandoned the knitting and made soup for our guests. Leek and potato soup, now that does take minutes. And is probably better appreciated.
In this particular phase of our lives, our sleep patterns are out width our control and so it'll take longer than "normal" to recover from this particular episode of stupidity. And until then, I'll knock over a few cups, struggle to finish sentences, be a little less tolerant of toddler behaviour, rigidly enforce early bedtimes and cycle in completely the wrong direction. And for those around me, I beg your forgiveness.