(Or, A Reluctant Father’s Guide to Child-Raising in a Post-Apocalyptic World. Explanation.)
I wake with Sam’s finger in my eye.
“Aye,” he says. He’s drooling around the dummy, deftly held in his mouth even while talking.
He takes out his finger and I blink to clear my vision, and he stuffs it up my nostril.
“Noz,” he says.
I gently pull his hand away and give him a cuddle while I wake up. Last night was a rough, and I had woken several time to howls in the street. Probably another pack fight, which means I’ll be street-cleaning again. Another never-ending task to add to today’s routine.
I feel Sam writhe in my arms, and I silently cursed his current sleeping patterns. In actual fact, I curse myself. I know the routine, but I still faffed about last night being busy and achieving nothing, knowing full well he was going to spring awake at sparrow’s fart. I think I finally fell into a deep sleep in the early hours, only to now be interrupted by the naming-game.
I flex my jaw. There’s a dull ache near my ear, which probably means I’m grinding my teeth again. This is concerning. The nearest dentist probably can’t remember how to open doors, let alone do any reconstructive work. I work my mouth, and a small hand gets stuffed inside.
“Teeff,” says Sam.