Sometimes, when I am really, really tired- often in the middle of the night when I’m sitting feeding baby but trying not to wake up too much so that I can go back to sleep as quickly as possible when she’s finished- I imagine what a conversation would be like between us:
Picture the scene- it’s 6.12am and baby is gurgling, cooing and thrashing her arms and legs next to me in bed. The reason she’s next to me in our bed is because she woke up every hour from midnight onwards and I got fed up of getting out of bed to see to her. Her fingers are reaching out to poke me in my eyes, my nose, my mouth, and she periodically tugs on my hair. I, meanwhile, am lying resolutely with my eyes shut desperately willing her to go back to sleep, or it to not be something past 6 when I actually do look at the clock.
Baby: “mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum”
Me: “I’m asleep”
Baby: “mum, mum, mum… wake up, wake up, wake up… it’s light outside”
Me: “It definitely is not light outside. Go back to sleep”
Baby: “mum, mum, mum… I’m so happy. I love being in your bed. I love stroking your face. I love morning cuddles”
Me (feeling slightly guilty for being grumpy but still with my eyes tight shut): “So do I. But I also love sleep, and I do not love that you wake me up every hour”
Baby: “Love sleep? Why would you love sleep when you could be awake and playing? I love playing with you mum. And I love waking up to cuddle with you in the night. You’re my favourite person and I just want to be near you all the time.”
By this point I’m now feeling really guilty so I open my eyes. She smiles at me and I instantly feel less grumpy, and more guilty. I don’t know how it works, but all she has to do is smile at me and I honestly don’t mind all the lack of sleep in the world.
But she’d better not be still doing this when she’s 10 years old.