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Why I want to be a bear
I’ve often championed for human beings to be more like bears. Not hairier backs, nor being grizzly. Hibernation, that’s what. Snuggling up in a cardboard box next to Terry the tortoise with the washing-up on hold for 12 weeks wouldn’t be all that bad would it? And then wakey, wakey, no need for snoozing for nine months. The fact is, we do need sleep. Desperately. And regularly. And until you become a parent, you have no idea how much of a gift shutting your eyes is. Winston Churchill, Napoleon and Margaret Thatcher got by on four hours of Zs apparently. Bully for them. Anybody could run a country or steer a boat facing cannon fire on that….if they didn’t have to deal with a child at 5 in the morning jumping on their head, demanding to watch a Postman Pat DVD for the 21st time or dragging you into the garden to talk to a spider called Sammy.
In the build-up to my daughter’s birth, it was the tip I heard most loudly. “Make the most of it while you can mate. Enjoy your lie-ins.” In the spare 28 seconds my head gets during a day, it pines for the halcyon, no-responsibility days. Another pint? You bet. I’ve got nothing to get up for. Newspaper, put the kettle on, lie back on the sofa in my PJs watching the football. Gorgeous glories from yesteryear.
As a dad, I’ve quickly realised that every action has a consequence. Some more painful than others. A bag of nuts and a shot of tequila? That could mean dealing with a wailing child with a thumping head when the birds get up. Don’t think so. One for the road and a greasy kebab? Sorry mate. If I miss the last bus, that’s severely-reduced time in the sack and only three hours sleep before I get poked in the eye by Peppa Pig.
Having said all this, I wouldn’t swap it for the world. Someone from another generation might call it character building. It just means in a few years I will get to appreciate those uninterrupted spells in bed a whole load more. So until then, I doff my cap to any yawning bears out there with hairy paws clinging to this blog and if you’re someone expecting a baby….yep, you got it. Sleep is a gift. Cherish it while you bloomin’ well can.
Anybody seen Terry? Anybody want a quick drink? I'd love your thoughts.