I wanted a baby who slept well. I dreamt of a baby who timed her naps so that I too could catch up on sleep. I longed to join the mums who turn up to school at 8:20 a.m. immaculately dressed, delicately applied mascara and lipstick flashing, eyes wide-awake and ready for a busy day of coffee with friends, laughing with their groomed heads thrown back, underwear pressed and perfume-scented. Erm, actually … no thanks. Sounds like The Victoria Beckham School of Motherhood. But still. I hoped at least to stop turning up at Tommy’s school in holey tracky bottoms, milk-stained t-shirt slept in the night before, hair like I’d used a hedgehog as a pillow, eyes simultaneously crossed and weeping. I actually imagined that a second baby slept seven sound hours by the age of seven weeks. Isn’t that the law? To stop mothers with more than one child going mad and climbing into the dishwasher on the hardcore scrape-those-burnt-saucepans-clean cycle? Apparently not. It turns out I have a baby who tricks me into thinking my wish is about to come true by sleeping five hours straight one night and then taking speed for the next seven nights, raving through the dark hours, fists punching the air like she was at a Metallica concert and doing a pretty good imitation of the lead singer’s vocals. Never have I met a being so small and sweet and rosy-cheeked, yet with the grunts and groans of a snoring 75 year old Grampy. So even when she’s asleep at night I wear ear plugs so as not to be woken up every fifteen minutes by the vocal equivalent of a Welsh gurning contest. I continue to dream of an easy-sleeping baby, but it’s only in my dreams that that easy-sleeping baby exists.