I love my son. I can prove it. I love him even though this morning he woke me up from a dream in which, magically single, child-free and wrapped in a towel, I opened the door of my appartment and Josh Holloway was standing outside telling me he would rather spend the evening with me than at his latest film premiere.
I must have done something lovely for my subconcious recently as this is definitively not the sort of dream it normally lets me have... a good dream for me is normally any dream in which I am not working or Charlie hasn't gone missing. Anyway, there I was, sat beside Mr Holloway on the sofa trying to convince him to go back to his party (my subconcious doesn't love me THAT much...) when Charlie crawled into bed having had a bad dream.
Five minutes later the Frog's alarm went off an hour early; the subsequent humphing about trying to get back to sleep then disturbed the cat who spent the next 60 minutes putting his paws up my nose at irregular intervals hoping this might entice me to the kitchen to prepare the first of his many breakfasts.
I think that the fact I have not harmed any of them today is a measure of my undying love and devotion, frankly.
I have however harmed myself trying to stay awake all day; a job that not even coffee could manage. Come bedtime Charlie is all about the stories and being a bear of very little brain I rather led him to certain stories that come with CDs, allowing a tired parent to sit, potato-like, turning pages and smiling beatifically without having to expend any energy actually reading aloud. This is Very Lazy parenting; however I learned it from the best, my own parents.
As children we had a small collection of excellent stories on vinyl; including a wonderful Winnie the Pooh record which my Mother presented to us on our recent visit. We've been reading Pooh on and off for a while and occasionally I brave singing one of the songs; however I am always commanded to stop; already my singing embarrasses my son. So, having the songs on vinyl for him to listen to is not only very sweet, but a big cheat which allows me to kiss him gently on the head, put the needle on the record and creep quietly out of the room.
Despite the Disneyfication of Pooh, the stories are timeless. Charlie sleeps under the same Pooh blanket that I slept under at the same age, we read from the same books and now listen to the same record. While the 100-acre wood is still new territory for him, it's sending my son off to sleep as successfully now as I'm sure it did me; to, I am certain, the same parental sighs of relief.
The Royal Mail have issued a set of Winnie-the-Pooh stamps featuring the original illustrations from EH Shephard; they're so lovely. I know the official Christmas stamps this year are Wallace and Gromit but I know what I'm putting on my cards this year - a celebration of sleeping children and, hopefully, sweet dreams for everyone.
Now fluff up my pillow; I'm heading back to dreamland.