Piglet went to sleep at 7.15pm today. ***KLAXON***
I am braced for a rough night when he inevitably wakes up in an hour or so, having regarded his current period of sleep as nothing but a later-than-normal nap, and sits bolt upright in bed, before launching himself at me head first and emitting a high pitched scream into my ear, headbutting me and biting my face.
This sort of physical attack is, I believe, what passes for a sign of affection with Piglet.
Either that or he actually detests me.
He is, of course, sleeping in the bed. I would hardly be so bold as to put him in his cot. For a start, there is no sheet on the mattress as the combined intellects of myself and my mother couldn't work out how to fit one on without the ends of the mattress curling up, and secondly, he will not sleep in a cot anyway.
I had long suspected this to be the case, but I had spent so many months gathering him up into my arms and taking him into the bed with me at the first sign of a whimper that he had barely spent any time in the cot and so I couldn't be sure. Then, last week, when we were on holiday in Cornwall, came the acid test.
The travel cot we had ordered had been placed into what I can only assume was supposed to be the children's room in the caravan, judging by the size of the single bed in there, which was slightly narrower than the average shelf. O the folly of these holiday caravan people who have never met Piglet and I, and who must have assumed that he has something known as a "routine," and sleeps at a time of his parents' (they must have assumed there were two, sleeping in the double bedroom) choosing, in a room which is designated for the exclusive use of a child or children plural. O what folly (*shakes fist at the idea of a nuclear family with a routine*)
And so I bravely steeled myself for a night on the shelf (metaphorically, surely the story of my life), and laid Piglet down into the travel cot for his slumbers.
After feeding him to sleep of course (*guffaws heartily at the idea of him doing any of that "settling himself to sleep" that the parenting books are always talking about*).
It lasted about an hour.
I duly fed him to sleep again, and popped him back in the cot.
Now this, I told myself, was normal. Piglet always wakes up at least every few hours and I then feed him to sleep again. The only difference was that it would normally involve simply rolling over and proffering a boob rather than lifting him out of the cot, but still. I even started to think that Piglet was getting the hang of this sleeping in a cot lark. Who knows, perhaps in a few years time he'll even progress to settling himself to sleep like the parenting books say all babies should by the age of three months.
Again he went to sleep, and again he woke up an hour or so later.
Only this time, he was sitting bolt upright in the cot and surveying the room with interest. Not a good sign.
The next two hours included the following:
Breastfeeding repeatedly in a desperate attempt to get him to go back to sleep
Leaving the room to find a fresh nappy only to wake up the entire caravan (damn you thin paper caravan walls!)
Piglet greeting the rest of the caravan's occupants with squeals and giggles
Lying down on the very edge of the shelf with Piglet on there next to me, crammed against the thin caravan wall and intermittently banging on it, keeping my brother and his partner (in the "parents" room next door) awake.
I should probably add here that since I started writing this post I have had to put the laptop aside twice to feed Piglet back to sleep.
One day, he will learn to settle himself to sleep. One day.