It is ten p.m. This is supposed to be “my time”, when the kids are both peacefully sleeping in their beds, and I can sit down to read and write emails and blogs and books. However, Léonie, who usually goes down so easily – a feed, a cuddle and she drops off to sleep in her cot – is in MummyMummyMummyMUMMY mode and each time I try to creep out of her room she bursts into tears and sobs unconsolably as if I was leaving for the West Indies for a year. I have spent over an hour bent over her cot (I can now not only put my hands flat on the floor but can get my elbows down there too), cradling her in my arms as I jigger-jig gently up and down her bedroom, lying with her on the single mattress on the floor… all to no avail WHATSOEVER. As soon as I try to extract myself from the room and from her grip, she starts bawling her eyes out again. Trying yet again to get her off to deep sleep, I kept thinking of the salad awaiting me outside on the terrace so in the end I brought her down and she sat on my lap nicking my salad leaves until it got a bit too chilly for her little pyjama-clad body so now we are in here, in the living room, on the sofa. She is sitting next to me pointing at the screen and chattering away, no doubt advising me on my writing style. She has brought me a lego speedboat. She is feeding me tiny bits of salad from her mouth (they’ve been in there for fifteen minutes). Now she is unzipping my hoody and pulling at my vest straps. Baby-signing ‘milk’ and looking cheerful. Messing about with the touchpad on my computer, stroking my hair, hiding under the cushions and babbling away quite happily. Ah, the milk sign again. Maybe she is actually ready to go to bed. I’m going to try once more. So this post might just stop here, as I suspect I’m going to fall asleep with Little Miss Ardèche. This is not the post I was planning on writing this evening. But I can happily say that I don’t actually mind. I am so madly in love with this little girl, so utterly loved-up, fuzzily high on LOVE whenever I look at her (yes, I’ve just used the word love three times in a row but that’s the point) that I am going to accept that for once my evening is not my own, go and brush my teeth and fall asleep with her in my bed.
PS: In the end she fell asleep on the sofa with me stroking her back, blissfully.