As I flicked the kettle on this morning, my bleary eyes quickly scoured the visual clues that my husband had been the last one up to bed the previous night.
The sofa cushions in the living room were disturbingly askew, there was an empty coffee cup on the floor and, most worrying of all, the TV remotes were nowhere to be seen.
It doesn’t matter how tired I am at the end of a long day, before I head to bed, I always straighten the sofa cushions, tidy the remotes away next to the TV and take any empty pots or food wrappers into the kitchen. I can’t be the only one.
And it doesn’t stop there. I make sure all my daughter’s toys are cleared away, check all the windows and doors are locked, ensure the heating is turned down and draw the curtains. I pour a couple of glasses of water for bed, make sure both cats are fed and stack any dirty dishes in the dishwasher so the sight of them doesn’t have to greet me in the morning.
I check to see if there’s anything in the washing machine that needs to come out to dry overnight, and arrange clothes on the radiators. I pack my daughter’s bag to go to her grandparents the next morning, put her shoes and coat on the stool by the door and check the fridge to see if there’s anything we need to pick up the next day, jotting a quick shopping list on a notepad on the counter.
Upstairs, I sneak into my daughter’s room to make sure her window is shut and her radiator isn’t up too high. I attempt to untangle her from her blanket without waking her up, and check the temperature of her little limbs before re-covering her. Once I’m certain she’s breathing (I believe I’ll check this until she’s 18), I quietly back out of the room, closing the door behind me.
In our bedroom I plug my phone in to charge and find the TV remote for the morning, so that when Imogen wants Peppa Pig on at 6am, we don’t have to start scrambling around trying to find it.
Really tired now, I take my makeup off, moisturise and brush my teeth. I check the next day’s calendar, double checking appointment and meeting times, and then set my alarm, pausing to figure out how much sleep I’m in for. I decide it’s nowhere near enough, wonder how on earth anybody manages the recommended eight hours a night, and vow to get to bed earlier tomorrow. My final task is to turn the lamp off and position the glare of the baby monitor so it’s pointing at my face. At last, I close my eyes.
My husband? He simply... goes to bed.