Today was a huge disappointment.
Yesterday I saw a sign in a shop proclaiming “Five Sleeps Till Christmas”. Well, last night I nodded off twice on the sofa, then went to bed, and this morning I hit snooze twice before I got up. I make that….five sleeps. Fantastic, must be Christmas then, I thought. But no, there was no sack of gifts awaiting me, no excessively large roast dinner, just work as normal. What a let down!
So what to make of this confusion? Counting down “sleeps” has always been what parents do to help curb kids’ excitement about Christmas. But these days it seems to have morphed into something else entirely, something that adults use to express their enthusiasm for a forthcoming event, even in conversation with other adults. Ladies and gentlemen, stand by for a revelation of seismic proportions – the “sleep” is not a real unit of time. In fact we have a perfectly respectable unit to mark the passage of twenty four hours, it is called a day and has stood mankind in good stead for thousands of years. It’s a relatively simple concept all things considered, and the word itself is even shorter than “sleep” in case anyone is struggling intellectually.
When I was in the first year of infants, we measured distances by counting out our footsteps. Then we passed the age of 6 and started using metres and centimetres. Is it too much to ask that people do the same with the ridiculous “sleep”? It doesn’t sound cute or quirky it just sounds daft.
And for people who use it all year round, I propose harsh measures. Anyone counting down sleeps until their wedding day should be legally barred from marrying, as they are clearly not mature enough to cope with adult responsibilities.
Please, please, please let’s keep baby talk for babies, and use normal language when talking to other people above primary school age!
A Merry Christmas to all, when it comes in four DAYS’ time.