Arthur is the master of sleep in our family. When he sleeps, his eyes are glued shut. He snores, he is heavy, and no vacuum cleaner or stomping about can rouse him. He is a professional. In the winter, he eats a big breakfast (a cat who is very much led by his stomach), he goes out, comes back, runs upstairs and settles on my bed or the sofa or the kids’ bed, basically anywhere he thinks he will be undisturbed. And there he lies, often until about 9pm when he thunders downstairs, sits in the living room looking groggy and a bit confused. He is greeted by a sarcastic but good-humoured ‘Good morning Arthur!’, fed and let outside. He returns and spends the night on my bed.

So one day ends, and the pattern is repeated the next.

I wish I could sleep as much! I used to be such a sleeper, relishing lie-ins at the weekend. In school holidays I was allowed a few days of sleeping as much as I needed, bliss.

Even in my adult days, my mum would never dare to phone me early at the weekends!

I have not become insomniac, far from it. I could sleep on top of a flagpole if necessary.

The Children are to blame of course! Both boys were light sleepers, easily woken by anything as babies. Its not an uncommon story of course, being ready to phone people at 8am for a chat, only to realise that maybe others have not been up since 5 watching Alphablocks and Mr Tumble when it is pitch black outside and may not welcome my call at that hour! Well, you do get to see some spectacular sunrises I suppose. I could never get used to it though. SonTwo is still a lark, an early riser, though it is 6am now rather than 5. He is fresh as a daisy and ready to chat, not quite realising that his mother is barely functioning. I can just about walk, rather than slide, downstairs. Coffee, toast, tv, another sunrise. Time to spend with just the two of us. My warm and cuddly little boy, he smells of sleep and of himself. I will never forget that scent.

SonOne also wakes early, though it is a matter of argument and debate every morning about who woke whom, at what time, and why he chose to ignore the clear request ‘Whatever time you wake up, DO NOT WAKE YOUR BROTHER’. Sharing a room really must end soon.

SonOne is a lot like me. Definitely owls, he and I are. He takes forever to warm up to the day too. In my case it takes coffee, toast, breakfast tv or something unchallenging on catchup. Only after all this can I consider to get ready for the day. SonOne comes downstairs in varying degrees of stress and grumpiness and unwillingness to join the day. Sometimes my effort at a cheery ‘Morning, darling boy!’ is met with a growl and a ‘You just ruined my day’. Ah well, turn the other cheek, he didn’t mean it, surely. He puts headphones on, cuddles under his yellow, supersoft blanket and eventually manages to poke his hand out and grab some toast to eat in his yellow cocoon. Slowly, slowly, toasted bagel and time work their magic.

Sweet, sweet sleep. Restorative and essential. No wonder Arthur is so handsome: beauty sleep is top of his priorities. I really should take a leaf out of his book.