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I went back to work today. I could tell you what I do but I’d have to kill you. Actually, you’d probably just die of boredom. Anyway, back to work, part time, after ten months. I’ve been having work nightmares for a few weeks now. Last night it was that I accidentally took the baby into but when I tried to call DH to come and get her I couldn’t remember my home phone number and couldn’t work how to use the phone. It proved to be strangely prophetical, well, apart from taking the baby in. It was fine though, felt like I’d never been away, which was sad and a relief in equal measures.

In anticipation though, Iris picked this time to launch Phase 2 of Operation Teething Nightmare. Yesterday she was hot, crabby and very clingy, and early this morning she was awake between 4 and 5am, it’s like she knew…

Sleep has never been great with darling child number 2. For 3 months she would only sleep on me. I eventually managed to get her to sleep in the baby hammock, though she would only go down after 11pm. Even up until 9 months she was waking 2 or 3 times a night. “You need to put your foot down” people would helpfully say. “Have you tried XYZ?”. I’ve had a non-sleeping baby for 9 months – yes, I’ve tried everything! Yet somehow, without really changing anything, she started sleeping though. She’s still a bugger to get down though. She is still up now at 9pm, but I’m letting her off as it was my first day back to work. Trying to get her down at night is like fricking Mission Impossible, it goes something like this (click here to set the mood – warning audio!):

Step 1 Start feeding baby, at least 40 minutes in anticipation of sleep time
Step 2 Spend 20 minutes being kicked getting teeny tiny baby pinches
Step 3 Baby appears to be asleep, don’t be fooled, it’s only been 20 minutes
Step 4 Baby starts vigorously feeding again
Step 5 Baby appears to be asleep once again
Step 6 Do the arm test: lift arm and see if it drops. If test fails you will have to go back to Step 4
Step 7 Try to remove sleeping baby from breast. If this fails you will have to go back to Step 4
Step 8 Nope, too soon, she’s rooting around again. Go back to Step 4
Step 9 Try to remove sleeping baby again, good baby still sleeping
Step 10 Stand up with sleeping baby
Step 11 Wait for 3 seconds to ensure baby still asleep
Step 12 Lower baby gently into cot, taking care not to let any part of the baby slip causing a startle reflex
Step 13 Hang over cot with hands still on the baby, contorting body into unnatural position
Step 14 Gently remove hands, hovering over baby for immediate replacement if necessary
Step 15 Sleep established, prepare for exit
Step 16 Oh no! Her eyes are open, replace hands, avert eyes, DO NOT LOOK HER IN THE EYES!
Step 17 Eyes shut, stand up and move away from the cot, baby stirs
Step 18 Stand still, do NOT move a muscle, do not attract her attention
Step 19 Tip toe towards the door. Wish thighs didn’t rub together, how can they make so much noise when I walk?
Step 20 Side step a ball, and step over crinkly book, phew, that was close
Step 21 Ow ow ow, fucking Peppa Pig toy, muffle cry of pain
Step 22 Head back towards door, crap, stirring again, duck down behind the chair, stay still
Step 23 Open door gently. Why, why does DH keep his guitar behind the door of the baby’s room?
Step 24 Crawl out on hands and knees, hoping the crack of knee caps doesn’t wake her – why is my body so noisy?
Step 25 Back out into the hall, stand up again
Step 26 Downstairs for wine and Hagan Daaz until she wakes up in an hour and I have to repeat from Step 1

Mission accomplished!