It is 1.30am. I am on my fourth lap of the children’s ward, I’m chasing my toddler, and I haven’t been to sleep yet. My child, who is supposed to be seriously ill, is running down the corridor shouting “Man! Monkey! Lions! Birdies! More birdies!”
Every time we pass the nurses’ station I duck my head, feeling like a complete fraud for taking up a room. Lucas, clearly not feeling the same awkwardness, shouts “Hewwow!” and waves jauntily as we go round yet another time. He’s not tired yet, apparently the hospital looks remarkably like an amusement park to children.
Around we go again. I stifle a yawn and try to summon some enthusiasm for the “badybird” – we say hello to it for a fifth time…
Despite it all, I wouldn’t change a thing. Being up with my baby, even at this hour, is a gift that I can’t take for granted. Only hours before I watched as doctors worried over him, his tiny body hooked up to beeping monitors.
We begin our sixth lap. As he looks up at me, eager to race around, I grab his hand and grin.