Sleep, Child, Sleep!
Your baby asks to go to bed. You follow your nightly routine. Tuck her in all snug, bottle of milk, bedtime story (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), you’ve looked at the page with the egg several times. You kiss her, tell her you love her and will see her in the morning.
You slip out of the room, run a bath and sink into the warm water with an OK! Magazine. That’s your big mistake. The assumption that the child will now sleep. Three quarters of the way through an interview with Katie Price you hear the bedroom door banging. Slamming against the bedroom wall. Repeatedly. And so begins the evenings drama, all dreams of hair washing shattered.
You try another book. Her Postman Pat story tape. Heating her weird wheat bunny thingymabob. She asks for more milk, which you heat and deliver as per her request. You give in and provide the dummy. And every time you leave the room, with fingers crossed tightly and muttering under your breath, you’re praying the silence will last. You even attempt the bath again, topping up with hot water. Then you hear her. “Mummy, I’m awake now”.
A night such as this is a wonderful contraceptive. Your bath is stone cold, your hair wet but untouched by shampoo. You’ve not yet had dinner and you’re running out of time to watch that TV show you’ve recorded. You’ll be making a trip to the shed at the bottom of the garden to get more milk out of the freezer in your dressing gown, as she’s drunk all you’ve painstakingly pumped fresh for her during this marathon bedtime. Even the sound of her ever-so-sweet pitter pattering feet on the floor boards upstairs is not enough to quash the rage building in your stomach.
But, *deep breath*, tomorrow is a new day, with fun adventures to be had. Things will look better in the morning. And I’m sure she’ll go to sleep soon. Won’t she?