I’m not crazy. I’m really not. No, really, I’m not. But… I’m starting to think my daughter has an evil plan to take over the world, and her first step is to drive me crazy.
At four in the morning she explodes for no apparent reason. A sort of spontaneous human combustion, except instead of fire, there’s noise. I try to comfort her through the bars, gently stroke her head and make gentle sshing noises. This enormously increases her rage.
Her brother, who can normally sleep through any amount of his sister’s distress, wakes up and tells her to be quiet. This sends her rage ratcheting up another couple of notches. Finally I take her to the spare room and cuddle her to sleep.
This doesn’t work. At all. It’s like trying to cuddle to sleep a small wild bore with it’s bum on fire. Eventually she starts to wind down. I fall asleep. For a moment. Then immediately she wakes me up again by shouting in my ear. This happens again. And again. And again. And again.
Hours pass. I’m sure this sort of mental torture must be banned by international law. The night wouldn’t be that much worse if I was standing on a bucket with electrodes attached to my genitals. As dawn rises I’m ready to confess to any crime.
Finally, finally, she passes out from exhaustion. Driving her father insane is tiring. I carefully, wearily carry her back to her room, largely to make sure she can’t shout me awake again. I place her carefully back in her cot. Safely back behind bars. Bless you, bars. Bless you. I go back to the spare bed and drift off.
Some time later I’m awoken by a tiny nun.
“Hello.” I say blearily to the tiny nun.
“Hello Daddy.” The tiny nun grins happily. My daughter has found one of her mother’s tops and put the sleeve over her head so that just her face pokes out. There’s something else, though. Something… stranger.
My wife has a certain smile that she reserves just for me. It says “Ah, bless. You probably believe what you’re saying, don’t you? But then you are a complete idiot. I mean, properly, an industrial scale moron. For some insane reason I love you anyway. If you weren’t such an idiot you’d realise how lucky you are. Idiot.”
That’s the look she gives me when I tell her that our daughter climbed out over the bars of her cot last night and dressed herself as a nun. “Maybe you dreamt it?” She chuckles.
“You’ll see.” I say.
The next night my daughter does not climb out of her cot. Nor the next. A week passes. No cot escapes. She’s truly a formidable adversary. Patient, calculating, determined. Mummy thinks my mental collapse is highly amusing.
Gone on, Mummy. Laugh. When they cart me away, you’re next.