Three hours later


Our two daughters were both still on Nova Scotian time. For Butterball Destroyer that wasn’t such a problem, because her cycle of drinking, sleeping and excreting runs on a perpetual loop, ignorant of the time of day, but for La Serpentine Aquatica Negra, the four hour offset was more troubling.

She went to bed about eight last night; I didn’t stay up much later. I was so cross-eyed with fatigue that I was reading with one eye closed, so I managed a single chapter of my new Charles Stross then turned in for the night. At ten, the first wails woke me up.

That was the start of three hours of yelling and refusal to sleep. We read the whole gamut of Robert Munch stories (all of which either start in media res, or I was too tired to find the first page of each and every story), we offered milk, we gave hugs, we tried to reason with her.

You cannot reason with a two year old.

Inevitably, after Daddy-No, Mummy-No, Daddy-No had run its course and she was beginning to settle, Destroyer woke up and demanded milk, so her mother had to leave the room and see to that while La Serpiente went back to howling mode once more.

By now I waa quite awake, which would have been useful if I wanted to go and be a productive member of society, but it was midnight, I wanted to be in bed. On went the complaints for milk, the declarations that sleep was all done, that I should bye-bye, until, like a cheap clockwork toy, she began to wind down, to accept her fate. It was dark outside, as we kept telling her, so it was time to sleep.

Unhelpfully, there’s a streetlight just outside the window, which feels a lot like Bromley Council are heckling me while I’m trying to parent. But eventually La Serpiente stopped twitching the curtains, and we both lay down to sleep, a few short hours before she woke up again to request redeployment to the parental bed. Apparently a princess duvet cover is only tolerable for four hours at a time.


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