In the years BC (before child) I never had a problem with sleep. I crossed the Andes in a rickety old bus full of Chilean children and managed to nap while my friend Dionne sat wide awake and crotchety. (To be fair, a fat Argentinian kid kicked the back of her seat from Mendoza to Santiago.)
Little F is, God bless him, generally a good sleeper. I’m tempting fate by telling you this, but he usually sleeps for six hours straight once we’ve settled him for the night. He also usually takes a long snooze in the afternoon, allowing me that all-important window of opportunity to do stuff. Like have a siesta. His sleeping pattern has been the main thing keeping the balance in my new life as a mum.
I know this because the wee man developed colic over the weekend and the pattern went out the window. For three days he fussed and cried, only sleeping for short bursts as I wheeled him up and down our street. I’m not too proud to admit some of the times I cried right along with him – out of sympathy for his distress, frustration at my helplessness and loneliness. There are few things more isolating than being alone in a room with a screaming baby.
The good news is that it only lasted three days. On Tuesday I fell in love with him all over again as he returned to the sweet-natured baby I had known, who obligingly napped for hours at a time.
If the colic comes back (which it probably will) I’ll be ready for it. I’m prepared to break my ‘no dummy’ rule in such an extreme circumstance – his sleep (and mine) are too important.