The heart that naps broke


“I can’t wait until Reiden starts napping in her crib!”

“I really have to nap train her soon.”

“I wish I had time to do stuff during the day, but she’s always napping on me.”

“This napping on me thing is killing my back.”

“I heard that sitting all day is as bad as eating like ten Big Macs a day.”

“Err, what do bed sores look like?”


My heart is broken, and the worst part is I broke it myself. Rei is crazy affectionate but isn’t a sit-still-and-snuggle baby. Napping was our special time.

Solution: breastfeed forever!

(I did the holding her for naps thing for almost six months…my body just couldn’t take it anymore. Stupid body.)


PS: I know that’s a toy in her crib. I’m right here watching her. In 100 years when I’m okay with leaving the room while she naps, I’ll take it out.



Last night we were talking about how Reiden is quite, err, precocious. This kid has never sat still since she was about six weeks old. The only times she does sit still, we’ve accidentally left the TV or a computer screen on (I know, we will lose this battle eventually), someone new is holding her (anyone want to come over?) or she’s pooping.

She wants to be bounced, sung to, walked around, entertained all the time. She will sit by herself and play, and she’s willing to let us eat dinner while she sits in her bouncy chair, but there’s a short time limit on everything. She’s smart and wriggly and impatient and we would not have her any other way. She rarely cries, but she protests a LOT. She’s an amazing kid. It’s all good, all of it.

“Wait til she’s older. She’s going to run circles around us,” I said. “She’ll ask why about everything.” We talked about how we won’t always be able to answer her questions, like why don’t the rich people just give more money to the poor people? But we’ll try to set a really good example by doing things like volunteering.

Then we watched this, and reminded our future selves to remember how full of crap we once were.



It’s been a big two days around here, folks. Hold on to your hats and your jiggly parts because this post is a doozy.

In other words, we’re still trapped inside and this is all I could come up with. I’ve been feeling a bit blue, and lonely and missing my family.

Small things. Gotta celebrate them.

Also, it was either this or bitch about the weather.*

1. That Tripod Thing

It’s not really sitting up, and I had to help her into it, but Reiden stayed in tripod for several minutes, all by her own self! Even when I ran to get the camera!

Then she cried, so I picked her up. 

I may have left her there just a few seconds after she cried. Pictures!

Tripod! What is that thing called, that sitting but not sitting thing? I should read some mommy blogs. Or a book about babies.

2. Espresssoooo!

We have a fancy espresso machine, the kind that coffee shops use. It was a wedding gift; we aren’t rich, nor fancy.
No really, we found one of our couches on the street. 

Please don’t tell anyone about the couch. 

Anyway, I made a perfect cup with the most glorious, perfect crema, which is not easy because there’s tamping involved, and getting the water temperature right, and getting the doohickey into the machine and okay it’s kind of easy. But I did it while holding Reiden, my own damn self!

Pete, this was a fluke. Please continue to make my coffee every morning. 

Also, I have no idea how the kitchen got cleaned. I certainly couldn’t have done that while holding a baby. Please keep cleaning the kitchen, so I can brag about you on the Internet.

3. Independence Day

Speaking of being overly reliant on my husband, today was the first time he had to work on-site at his client’s office for an entire day. He’s almost had to before, but has always been able to come home early. As I write this it’s only 1:30 so I’m hoping for a reverse-jinx. 


I know, I know…please don’t hate me. My husband works from home. I am unbelievably lucky to have him here most days. He’s kept me from becoming a muttering, hysterical shut-in, especially during this stupid vortex. 

Anyway, so far we are managing, though it is nice to have someone else around when the diaper blow-outs require two sets of hands. 

Anyone want to come over?

4. That really expensive monitor? We used it. Finally.

Last year I got a referral bonus from the company I work for, and we used it to buy a top of the line monitor, with the video that zooms and pans and all that stuff. We even set it up and turned it on.

But every night after Reiden went to sleep, I couldn’t leave the room. I just sat there in the dark, hunched over my phone with the brightness on the lowest setting. 

(I am really afraid to go for a vision test.)

I bought a LOT of baby “necessities” on Etsy. And some clothes for myself. And a ring.

Shut up, we have a street couch. 

Anyway, I realized that with all the Eiko never being away from her baby for one second unless Pete is holding her, we don’t ever see each other one on one. And that’s kind of sad. 

So last night, I came downstairs! And we sat together! And watched two TV shows! 

And stared at the monitor the whole time. 

I actually came down on Friday night, but I was too paranoid and we were watching True Detective and I felt creeped out the whole time. So attempt #1 did not count. 

TV! It’s so shiny.

5. I hate winter 

I have never hated winter before. I spent part of my childhood in northern BC, where it was -40 all the time, yo. I love the sun and the cold and the freezing snot and the unflattering snow boots, all of it. 

But, as need not be detailed, winter becomes much more difficult with a baby. The getting the snowsuit on. The hat, and subsequent crying. The gloves, and subsequent crying. The “how many blankets should we bring it’s pretty cold but we don’t want her to overheat but remember she’s not moving around like we are” arguments. The stuffing her into the stroller, and subsequent crying. By the time we leave the house, we’ve got maybe an hour before her next nap. And it’s too cold for her to be out for an hour, but if we go into a store or cafe she gets too hot and freaks out. So we end up taking these piddly little 15-minute walks and we’re panicked the whole time that she’s freezing. 

Sorry about all the detail.

So for the first time ever, I hate winter. The worst part is, I hate the summers here too; the extreme heat and humidity and more warnings not to go outside and I’m terrified we’ll be stuck indoors then too.

Not that it’s all bad, I guess. 

But seriously, why do I live in Toronto? 

People keep posting photos of springlike Vancouver on Facebook. I am suffering from some serious jealousy and angst. 

Angst, yo.

Wait, I hear a tiny violin…


The Quality of Memory


The other day I wrote about how incredibly hard it was, dealing with a newborn. How it was draining and confusing and often baffling. How lost I felt, so much of the time.

But here’s the thing: it was also hard to recall. I wrote the piece partly because Peter and I had trouble remembering a lot about those early days, and I figured that breaking down the day hour by hour might bring some of it back. I didn’t want to forget any of it, even the crappiest, most agonizing parts. 

Love does funny things. It’s the best kind of drug: you know the pain is there, but the pain no longer matters. It’s what makes romantic love so dangerous, and having a baby so survivable. Love colours our memories.

Or maybe it’s just me. Years ago, I worked for an online gambling company, the last place I thought I’d find myself. When I was trying to decide between accepting that job and a prestigious position at a high-profile advertising agency, I said to Pete, “It’s sort of like trying to decide between the popular kids (ad agency) and rock and roll (gambling). And I want to be rock and roll.” 

I found my people there. Several of my closest friends came from that place. Even now, I miss it dearly. But Pete always reminds me that there were times I was miserable, and stressed out and desperate to leave. “Yeah,” I’ll say. “But the people, Pete. Some of the best people I’ve ever known.” Because today, all I see are the friends I made and kept. 

It’s funny how love can do that, can pull a gauzy curtain over things that are hard. The times when Reiden hated being put in her crib, when she insisted on being bounced or carried all day long, when I was the only person who could comfort her in the evenings: they’re faded, and vague, and no longer tinged with the same worry that things might never change. How love illuminates and fixes in my memory, in crystal detail, the first time she laughed, smiled at a stranger, babbled to herself in the mirror.

And now, after several nights in a row when Reiden kept thrashing around in her crib and waking me up and then I couldn’t sleep and kept waking her up and she needed a diaper change at 3:00 and wanted to eat at 2:00 and 4:00, even though child there’s no way you can be hungry and 5:30 is not an acceptable time to get up…

When it’s finally morning for real, and I lean over her crib, and she smiles even though the room is still mostly dark: everything else fades away, and I think about how lucky I am. How lucky all of us are, not just parents but people, to be able to love like that.

(Plus, I am banking every cute thing she does for later, when she’s a teenager and driving us crazy and I hate all her friends, especially that one kid. He’s sweaty and pimply and wears these stupid misogynistic t-shirts that are meant to be ironic and his name is Holster.)

Life With a (Teeny Eeny) Baby


Lately I’ve been thinking about how different things with Reiden are now, four months later. In the days and weeks after she was born, life was joyous, yes, but also chaotic and frightening and sad. I celebrated my new life while grieving the old. I was not ready. Can you ever be?

Call it hormones or sleep deprivation or a zesty combination of both, I was overwhelmed. I felt like I was constantly chasing time, such that looking back it has all become a mustard poo-streaked blur.

So, for some masochistic reason I decided I should write things down before I forget the details. Here then, is a factual account of what I fondly think of as: The Shit Storm.

(Note: for anyone who hasn’t had a baby, and wants to, I’m not trying to scare you or get all down on breastfeeding. Nursing, and the rest of it got better at around six weeks, and now things are incredible! glorious! rainbows! kittens! much of the time. It just took a little while, and a lot of nipple cream, to get there.)

Day In the Life, 1 Week Old

6:00 am

Wake up to the sound of my iPhone alarm. It’s still dark outside and I’m furious: who set an alarm on my phone? Was it Pete? Why would he do that? It’s Saturday. I get to sleep in, and then we’ll go for breakfast, and we’ll stumble back here and watch movies all day. Weird though; I don’t feel at all hungover and OH HOLY CATNIP WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?

Register presence of baby.

Register single awful fact: must feed baby every two hours.

6:05 am 

Struggle into nursing pillow. “My Brest Friend”, my ass. Curse nursing pillow and still-massive stomach. Wrestle pillow into a position where it almost doesn’t hurt also-tender stomach.

Take screaming baby from Peter. Pray that this time she’ll find the nipple. Pray it won’t feel like needles stabbing into my chest. Pray she gets enough to eat. Wrestle baby’s clawing, scratching hands away from clawed, scratched nipple.

Clench teeth.

6:10 am 

As Reiden “nurses”, madly Google “baby can’t find nipple”; “what are symptoms of thrush”, “should breastfeeding hurt this much?”, “My Brest Friend sucks”, “new baby does it get easier?”, “breastfeeding and alcohol?”.

Repeatedly call for Peter to bring food, any food, no not cereal I can’t eat that with one hand are you kidding me? No come back I love you I’m so HUNGRY!

6:45 am

Wonder if it’s supposed to take this long for a baby to eat.

6:55 am 

Finally, Reiden falls off boob. Ogle her sweet, milk-drunk face. Try to take photos without boobs getting in the way.

7:00 am

Hand baby to Peter. Wonder how people do this without family to help. Wonder how single moms do this. Feel bad for feeling sad. Go upstairs to cry.

7:30 am

Stand in front of the shower. Take bra off and cry again because the air hurts. How can air hurt? Ponder stupidity of current situation. Put bra on again (really) and get into shower. Cry because everything else hurts. You know, down there. HURTS. Think about calling the doctor.

8:00 am

Hold sweet little baby while Peter takes photos. Veto posting of photos because holy crap I look awful.

8:05 am 

Ask how long I have until the next feed. Answer: zero. There is zero until the next feed. Demand to be shown the baby tracking app because there’s no way that’s right. Accuse Pete of starting timer too early. Try not to cry.

9:00 am

Sit on couch, stare at wall. Snap at Peter when he suggests I have a nap this afternoon.

Feel guilty about snapping at Peter, at neglecting our poor cats, at not feeling happier. Start to cry — and I am not kidding here — over the fact that I never got to see the placenta. (I forgot to ask to see it. We had named it Patrick. Am not kidding about that either.)

(Actually know what? Am still a little sad about it.)

9:15 am

Hold Reiden as Peter tries to convince me that her jaundice is getting better. Point out the yellow in her eyes. Pray that she’s gaining weight and that this afternoon’s doctor appointment will go well.

9:30 am

Stand in bedroom, stare at closet. Pull the one thing out of the closet that might fit. Try on, do happy dance. Realize there’s no way to get it off easily for breastfeeding. Stomp around bedroom. Try on Peter’s clothes. Blink at ridiculousness of outfit. Resign myself to wearing maternity clothes. Try to hide tummy with a scarf, because if anyone asks when I am due I will DIE.

10:00 am 

Feed Reiden, terrible pain, frantic internet searching, self-flagellation, etc.

11:00 am

Walk from the rental car to the doctor’s office. Walk very, very slowly. Try not to grimace. Notice that, in addition to the fact that “down there” feels held together with rubber bands, uterus must also be held or it SWINGS. Wonder if this is normal.

12:00 pm

Feed baby in doctor’s office. Raise eyebrows when told yet again that her latch looks fine.

1:00 pm

Book another car for tomorrow’s trip to the hospital. Try not to think about how Reiden is not gaining weight. Try not to think about how yellow she looked under the lights in the doctor’s office, or that she hasn’t pooped in days. Pray for poop.

2:00 pm

Nurse, cry, Google. Try the “football hold” for breastfeeding. Remind self to laugh about this later, because worst advice ever. Football boobs even more sore now.

3:00 pm

Attempt to nap. Cry, then go on Facebook. Savour nice comments from people about baby. Lie there staring at the ceiling, counting the minutes until my mom arrives from BC.

3:30 pm

Wake up to the sound of the bedroom door opening. “Sorry,” Pete says. “I think she’s hungry.” Convince myself that this is somehow his fault.

4:15 pm

Beloved cousin (who keeps dropping off food on our doorstep, who is a SAINT) texts to ask how things are going. Begin itemized list: Reiden can’t latch, isn’t gaining weight, is jaundiced, hasn’t pooped, might have to stay in hospital, is it my nipple cream is that why she won’t latch should I try olive oil, my boobs are killing me, I have tennis elbow, the nursing pillow hurts, I look so pregnant I’m starting to wonder if there’s another baby in there, I am sad, Reiden won’t sleep on her back, is gassy, is adorable I love her so much and why did I leave that to the end am I a bad mother? Erase, write, “It’s going great! Breastfeeding is hard though!”

5:30 pm

Feed baby.

7:30 pm

Feed baby.

8:30 pm

Try to comfort gassy, screaming baby. Fail.

9:00 pm

What? How is it 9:00? Discuss food with Pete, decide dinner is too much effort. Discuss bathing baby; same conclusion. Commence shared staring at wall.

9:01 pm

Realize Reiden’s swaddle sack is in the wash. Panic over lack of available options. Watch videos on how to swaddle using blankets. Tear out own hair when she busts out within three seconds.

9:30 pm

Feed baby.

11:00 pm

“Go to bed.” Attempt to comfort screaming baby while avoiding direct contact with boobs.

Set alarm for 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 for baby to feed every three hours instead of two because hey, live a little.

11:30 pm

Lie awake wondering if I will ever, ever feel normal again.

(I did.)

(Better than normal, in fact.)

(So, so much better than normal.)


The Accountant


My mom told me that babies’ hair falls out and grows back in differently, and not to get attached to the sweet, sweet curls on Reiden’s head.

I just wasn’t prepared for it to happen so fast or so evenly, in a perfectly straight ring around the Larry David.

There wasn’t even time for a combover.

Not bad, for a Monday


Occasionally, I run into people I know as I’m strolling around with Reiden. I am always thrown a little off guard, when the person I’ve run into asks how things are going, and what I have been up to. “Oh, well, this,” I say, pointing at Rei, laughing. It’s always a little bit awkward. A baby is such a monumental change that it’s easy to be struck dumb when I’m forced to step back and describe how things “are”.

If I have plans to see friends, I’ll do a little thinking in advance. How are things going, really? What else am I doing? Because I *am* doing other things, like writing and traveling and reading and seeing people and cooking and trying to exercise. (And watching a whole lot of Community.)

But some days, there’s not much of anything. When a day is made up of nursing and a bit of play time and an overtired baby falling asleep on me for hours, the most exciting things are often rather mundane. I was in my bedroom for 90% of the day today. I don’t always get out much.

Then again, sometimes the thing that you’re still excited about, at 10:00 at night, is just too weird and/or trivial to tell anyone about. Even if, as a mother, you find it fascinating.

So yes. This morning, when I figured out that I could successfully use the NoseFrida snot sucker on Reiden 1. by myself, 2. without making her cry, 3. while making her smile, in fact?


I was triumphant. I whirled around the room and whooped. “I did it!” I shrieked, grinning at Rei. “And without Daddy!”

Monday, eat your heart out.

NYE, 2013 Style


I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Eve. About New Year’s eves gone by, when I would claim not to care about making plans, that whatever I did was fine, hum and drum. “I’m not a big New Year’s person,” I’d say.

Except I did care. I cared that there was some kind of something, anything, as long as it was planned for. Something to look forward to. No tiresome nightclubs or overpriced dinners, but an attempt, at least, to celebrate.

The worst kind of plan was the backup, the thing you really didn’t want to do but there weren’t any other options. If you’d left it too late, say, or the majority of your friends were away. One year, when I was in college and living in Vancouver, I agreed to pay $40 for a ticket to a party (in the building that was once Graceland, and then became a ridiculous club that probably put on the Much Dance Mix ’98 CD and called it a night) in order to spend the evening with my friend and her boyfriend. A sad little threesome, we were: I hardly knew him and I was shy, a terrible conversationalist; she was eager to make sure we all had fun; he seemed bored and apathetic. Oh, the awkwardness of tagging along after a new couple. Just imagine us on the dance floor: her, being kind and attempting to dance with me and with him at the same time. I have a vivid memory of the three of us lined up in a row along the back wall near the washrooms, drunk people careening around in front of us as we just…stood there. Doing absolutely nothing. It wasn’t even the sort of situation you could try to rescue. I watched the time pass, waiting for midnight. Was it too soon to go to the washroom again? Should I buy another soda (just soda, because I’d spent all my money on the ticket)? Why did I wear this stupid dress? Why didn’t anyone want to talk to me? It didn’t occur to me that simply leaving was an option, and anyway I never would have gone through with it because, after they had sacrificed a romantic evening with me, it would have been rude.

So I stayed. At one point a girl tripped and cut her foot on some glass, and was bleeding everywhere, and I hurled myself at her, shrieking, “Are you okay??”, trying not to grin like a maniac. I was just so relieved that something had actually happened.

By contrast, I look upon the year that a bunch of us got stuck in the village at Mt. Tremblant (three miles from our condo, in -20 Celsius, bickering and then crying and then nearly walking home over a probably-but-not-definitely frozen river) with fondness.

This year, I’ll be spending the majority of the evening in a dark room, trying not to move. I am still too new-Mom paranoid to let Rei sleep without me in the room. Every night, at around 7:30 when she is done her bath, I go upstairs to nurse her and get her into bed and turn the lights off. And then I wait until it’s time to actually go to sleep, because if I go to sleep when she does I’ll wake up at 4 am and the cats will also wake up and cry until I feed them. We earned their 6 am wakeup call by pushing them just a tiny bit forward every morning for months and months, earned it, dammit. So I sit in the dark, and try not to make any noise or to buy (too many) things on Etsy. Then Pete comes to bed.

This year, we had no New Year’s plans. We didn’t even have an anti-plan, a, “Let’s just stay at home and cozy up and drink hot chocolate and go to bed at 7:30,” sort of plan. There was just nothing, because what can you possibly do on New Year’s that also doesn’t mess with your infant’s precious bedtime? (A babysitter is not an option. Yet.)

Et voila, we got invited to a party! That starts at 3:00! We can arrive early and leave early and still be home in time to celebrate the rest of the night in separate rooms, Pete on the couch with the cats, me and Reiden in the dark.

I’ll spend about five minutes feeling sorry for myself, and the rest of the time mooning over pictures of my baby, feeling grateful and amazed and sappy.

It won’t be the most festive of New Year’s eves. But, as with every other night, I will love it.

I’ll Be Home


You move a lot. Nine places in nine months is your record. You like change, and new environments, and because you have no money you can never get quite the type of place you want. You go through roommates. You move in and out with boyfriends.

Every year you spend Christmas with your mother and brother, because that’s how it’s always been. The first year that you’re away breaks everyone’s hearts, but next time is a little easier. You spend one year with your father and stepmother, a year at home, a year with your in-laws. Scotland, Vancouver, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Kelowna, Kelowna.

You’re never where you actually live.

Except this year, because you have a reason.

At 5:00 am you nurse your little baby. You think about what she’ll wear on Christmas, about taking photos in front of the tree. How she’ll stare at the lights, mesmerized, while her dad sings Rudolph. About presents and After Eights and dinner. You hold her and look at her milk-drunk sleeping Buddha face and once again you can’t believe how crazily, stupidly, ridiculously you love her.

You think, “This, this, this. This is home.”

(And then she farts.)

The Princess and the Soother


(I wrote this weeks ago, intending for it to be a brief little story about yet another dumb thing I did to mess with Rei’s sleep. But the more I wrote, the longer it got and I couldn’t finish it without saying more, more, more. It became the Energizer Bunny of blog posts. Anyway here’s a story that could probably be a lot shorter. No one ever accused me of pith. … Except that one time, in sixth grade, when I tried to write a scary story and someone told me, “You get to the point too fast.” Maybe I took that to heart a tad too much.)

(Great, now this is even longer.)

Rei had a bit of a weird night last night. I’d decided, based on something I had read, to start giving her more frequent feeds in the evening in an attempt to help her sleep longer. She was pretty happy until bedtime — let Pete walk her around the house, smiled during her bath, only cried a little when she was getting into her pyjamas (and this baby cries a lot before bed, because she’s so hungry and feed me now and what are you doing this isn’t a boob, it’s pyjamas helllppp!).

For a baby who’s not even three months old, Rei’s normally a great sleeper. She doesn’t love her crib, and she always fusses a bit when I put her in it, but it usually only takes a few rounds of comforting and shushing, and maybe an extra feed, to get her to settle. Once she’s down, she often sleeps for 6-8 hours. But the other night she ate every hour, on the hour, from 7:00 to 11:00. And then in the morning, she woke up and ate at 5:00, 6:30 and 7:30. I worried that something was wrong.

So last night, based on ONE exception to her pattern, I figured she might be afraid of going to sleep, because she sleeps for so long that she gets extra hungry. So feed more, right? Right?

Pete handed her to me. She looked at me, her face blank. Not crying. Peaceful. “Oh good,” I said, “feeding her more at nighttime is working! She’ll eat a lot and feel better about going to bed! I’m so smart!”

I’d fed her at 5:00, and then an hour later. Now, I presented her with the boob, and stuck her on it. She started to suck.

And then she screamed.

There’s nothing quite like watching your baby howl, red-faced, clearly in agony because you are trying to FEED HER. The special thing you do together. That she loves. That she normally wants to do all the time.

She pulled back, still screaming. I picked her up and tried to comfort her. “There’s lots of milk, Rei,” I said. “You just have to get it out.”

And then I tried again.

It was bad.

It was like I was torturing her.

“Weird,” I said to her purple, howling face, still trying to smush the nipple in. “I think there’s lots of milk, but let me check.”

And I tried to express some milk.

And sprayed her in the face.

After giving up and walking her around the room singing to her, she started to calm down. Eventually it occurred to me that maybe she hadn’t been hungry at all. Maybe she had thought I wanted her to eat and I was basically force-feeding her and she would never again enjoy our special time and AHHHHH!

Or maybe she just wanted something to suck on? So I set her down in the crib, and she cried. I gave her a soother and she accepted it. I crawled on to our bed (she sleeps next to us, in her crib) and waited, fully expecting her to wake up when the soother fell out of her mouth. Instead, she fell asleep! On the first try! Which never happens.

And woke up again an hour later. Given that she hadn’t had much to eat earlier (despite me repeatedly shoving my nipple in her mouth), I wasn’t surprised, and I picked her up and fed her.

She took the boob (yay!) and minutes later, fell asleep nursing (yay!). I ignored the rule about always putting a baby in her crib “drowsy but awake” (for anyone who isn’t aware, this is the magic bullet of infant sleep: you’re never supposed to put a baby down after she’s asleep. She should always be a little bit awake so that she can learn how to fall asleep on her own. It’s about as easy as it sounds.), because waking her up at that point just seemed mean, what with the earlier trauma and all (and okay, I didn’t want to deal with another round of getting her back to sleep).

I lifted her up off my nursing pillow and carried her over to the crib. She was all floppy, which meant the chances of her waking up when I set her down (which happens almost all the time, and often involves fussing and squawking and general protesting over having to sleep on her back, which is why she refuses to go near her crib for naps, which is a whole other post) were basically nil.

Unless, of course, a third party was to intervene.

I do this all the time: I accidentally rap the crib with my knuckles, I wake up wondering why I woke up and poke her to check her breathing (and then her temperature, because why stop there?), I panic about the heat and have to get out of bed to turn it down and rustle our inexplicably loud duvet, I sneeze, I do some bonehead thing that wakes her up.

I laid her down, pleased with myself. She ate! She doesn’t hate me! We’re all going to have such a great sleep! Except…

Where is the soother?

The room, at this point, was pretty dark. I squinted into her crib and felt around, expecting to find it near her head. I patted around her face, jabbing at her cheeks. I began to worry that she was, in fact, lying on it.

Getting a baby to sleep is sort of like getting yourself to sleep when you’ve had one of those nights where everything is keeping you up. You get so close each time, and then your nose itches. Or a certain someone starts to snore. Or the cat meows. It’s not easy. And you do not want to mess with it. (Poor Peter, the countless number of times already I’ve flung an arm out at him to tell him to stop him moving because he’s rocking the bed and her crib is right next to the bed and why is our duvet so freaking loud?)

So now I had a dilemma: pick Reiden up and undoubtedly wake her, or let her sleep on her soother. Which was probably right under her head. Stuck in her ear, or something.

I felt her ears. No soother. I took a deep breath, put my hand under her and rolled her to one side.

Nothing. I rolled her to the other side.

She whimpered.

If it wasn’t by her face, or underneath her, where could it be? Could it somehow be in the middle of her back, the part that didn’t roll?

I texted Pete. “I put her in the crib and now I CAN’T FIND HER SOOTHER.”


He replied, “Well, it can’t hurt her.”

“But it could! What if it does? Oh dear. I’m going to look on the ground? Maybe it fell out?”

“How could it?”

It was, in fact, on the floor, which I discovered while crawling around with the light from my iPhone.

I got back into bed, the cheap Ikea duvet crackling like a camp fire, and texted Peter the good news. I had retrieved the soother, and, impossibly, Reiden had managed to sleep through the whole thing.

I think the sleep gods took pity on us that night. The poor baby, her blissful sleep routinely sabotaged by her own bumbling mother.