xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Isla One - Mummy Nil

Friday, December 23, 2005

Isla One - Mummy Nil

Apparently babies can't count. But I beg to differ. Isla can - she waits till we begin the latest round of sleep training and on night 3 - the night when it all begins to slot into place, she gets one of the following; a cold, an ear infection, a cough, a sore throat, some teeth, a growth spurt, or a stomach bug. Then, sleep training has to be abandoned, since the snot or bile production resulting from her blood-curdlingly angry roars is not entirely conducive to sleep. I think even the most leave-them-to-cry-their-heads-off prone of the baby experts would probably have to concede that there is no point embarking on Campaign Sleep Through The Night when they're ill. No, you just have to soldier on, and you sleep in your dressing gown.

You know it's not going well when both parents are sleeping in their dressing gowns. Parent sleeps on ready alert. Heaves tired body out of nice warm bed at Madam's bidding. During the ear infection phase her bidding was merely to fall asleep on A Parent, standing up. She'd roar, be picked up, feel a bit better, put her head on Parent's shoulder, and fall asleep. Parent will try to put her back in. Roar. Gets picked up, feels a bit better, head on Parent's shoulder. Parent stands there for half an hour, not moving - then if lucky, Parent able to place extremely heavy bundle of joy delicately back in cot. If not, roar roar roar - another half an hour of standy up sleepy, as we called it. Well done, you got her back down, I'd say when the Dressing Begowned Husband came back to bed. Yeah, he'd say - standy up sleepy.

And that's not the end of their counter-assault. They seem to be fit and healthy. Are going to bed properly for naps, going down well at bedtime. So you begin to consider the next strategy in Campaign Sleep Through the Night - eliminating a leftover night feed from the days of the cold, dealing with that rogue 2am habitual waking resulting from the growth spurt, or cutting out the dreamfeed at 10.30pm. And bang - immediately she tunes into your brain wavelength, clocks trouble, and goes on hunger strike or refuses to drink her requisite (minimum, according to Goddess of baby food Annabel Karmel) three quarters of a pint of milk a day. And that requires one heck of an iron will in her mother; riddled with self-doubt, it becomes in her mind a case of wilful neglect - refusing to feed a poor tiny little starving baby in the night.

Isla One - Mummy Nil, as her father says.

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