Night manoeuvres

At about two or three this morning, La Serpiente woke up. I heard a bang and a crash as she made her way out of her room and she grabbed her milk from the fridge. Because we know we’re not compos mentis at six a.m. when she wakes and demands lactose-based goodness, we’ve been filling her bottle with milk the night before. Now she’s got wise to this, and instead of waiting until 6 for her milk, she’s going for it much earlier. I tried and then gave up on wresting it from her grip, figuring the screams and the years in therapy for her later on might not be worth it, but after she’d sucked down half of it she relinquished the bottle, and I thought we could all go back to sleep.

But this was not to be. Evidently she realised her faux pas and began to ask for water instead. But the bottle she normally takes her night time water from (a Klean Kanteen bottle, which is the only one which doesn’t leak after being thrown on hard surfaces) was not in her room, and I searched in vain for it on the drying rack. In desperation, with a crying child on my arm, I filled a different bottle with water, only to hear the despairing wail of “Nap wa-wah” moaned dispiritedly again and again. It’s good that she sticks to a routine, but not so great at three in the morning.

Eventually, after twice searching every cupboard in the kitchen, I gave up and turned on her bedroom light, found the bottle (hidden under her change table) and managed to get her down, although this took another hour and a half (“Nap wa-wah”, “Tuddles”, “Daddy nap” and so on ad infinitum) which wasn’t brilliant, as we had Butterball Destroyer’s weigh-in at 9 this morning and a visit to La Serpiente’s school scheduled too.

I had my alarm set to go off at 7:30, much to the chagrin of my wife, who’d been up most of the night feeding Destroyer. As it turned out, the weighing and school visit appointments were both quite movable, so I hadn’t needed to break my sleep up. Instead, I got to have La Serpiente curl up under the covers next to me for an hour, which would have been nice if I could actually have slept.

There was great news at the weigh-in; Destroyer is now almost 200g heavier than her birth weight, and 300g or so heavier than what she was when she left hospital. (Because my wife had a couple of days on a drip, Destroyer didn’t do well on the weight front.) So I felt the proud father for having a child that eats a lot. We celebrated by going to a French cafe where they don’t serve café au lait, only lattes, and bad lattes at that, but they also serve very expensive pretzels, which satisfied La Serpiente. And to make things up to me, I did at least get a exercise ball from the adjacent sports shop to bounce up and down on during the long nights ahead.

The rest of the day was a blur; we had friends over for a play date this afternoon, which was fun, although I was a ruined man having taken La Serpiente for a walk in her backpack carrier. (This meant she didn’t freak out when kids arrived in her home and started playing with her toys, because she returned to the apartment to find kids there already, which is apparently acceptable.) There had been a funeral down by the basketball court outside our apartment block, and I wasn’t sure whether to complain or call the police, because the area was a complete state – rubbish strewn all over the place. I don’t think any culture usually commemorates the passing of somebody by throwing lots of empty plastic drink bottles on the ground. But I wasn’t sure if they had been untidy or if somebody had trashed the joint, because there was a large floral arrangement and a “With Loving Sympathy” sign smashed up against a tree next to where the funeral had taken place. That was all very odd, and neither I nor my daughter could make head or tail of it.

Later, I took my daughters to the office to show them off, then had another fun time trying to get my daughter to sleep (she reliably stops struggling about nine every night) which meant in turn I didn’t get to go running until close to 11 tonight, which is why I’m typing this so late now. Ah, the joy of long long days…

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