I imagine most mothers have done it: woken up in the night with an urgent “where’s the baby?” accompanied by a frantic patting down of the bedclothes. I do it every single night, convinced that Leila is somewhere in the bed being squashed by her parents. On the nights when she wakes up for a feed, I whisper-shriek “where’s the baby?” even more, having forgotten whether I put her back in her basket or not. For the last two nights, Leila has had a haitus from sleeping through, and has woken up once each night. This is still totally bearable, when I compare it to the first few nights, which were (gorgeous-baby-cuddling aside) hell on a stick. This step back to broken sleep has added a whole new dimension to my antics- I’m pretty sure that last night I plucked Leila from her crib in a panic, convinced she was choking (I think she probably coughed in her sleep- drama queen, moi?). But I may have dreamed it. Another time I did actually dream that I fed her, and asked G whether I’d put her back in her crib. I was most put out to discover that she hadn’t ever been out of her crib, and I’d just wasted precious sleep dreaming about being awake. Such is the murky night world of the new parent.
One vintage Where’s The Baby moment from recent weeks:
Me (half-asleep, patting G’s face): Where’s the baby?
G (actually asleep, not noticing the face-patting): Ssssh, the baby’s fine
Me: Is she in her crib?
Me (aghast): No?!!
G (dreamily): She’s not in her crib… she’s nearly in her crib…
Me (bolt upright, wide awake): WHATDOYOUMEANSHE’SNEARLYINHER CRIB?!!!
Checks crib, sees baby sleeping, arms flung above head
Me (annoyed, relieved): She’s in her crib
I suspect I’ll spend the rest of my life waking up asking “where’s the baby?”. I’m grateful that for now, I know exactly where she is, because she’s always by my side. There’ll be a time when she isn’t, and I won’t wake up every morning to this vision:
(Seriously, that is how she greets me every day. What could make a morning sweeter?)