Chapter eleven: glow in the dark

Midnight is creeping closer and I’m typing this out on my phone, reaching around the soft heft of his sleeping form in my arms.

This evening was punctuated by grating squawks over the baby monitor, me and G journeying up and down the stairs between forkfuls, and once I was in bed, poking my foot out from beneath the duvet to rock his cradle.

The last few nights have been a blur, lit by the glow of my phone’s screen as I feed the baby, rock the baby, and lose at Words With Friends. I lose track of the number of wakings and go past wondering why (teeth? Growth spurt? Trying to torture me?). The days are smudged too, not quite in focus. My face feels heavy and my pace is slow.

Midnight creeps closer and I’ll be up again within hours, but still I don’t put him down and dive gratefully into sleep myself. Because he’s three months, nearly four months old, and then he’ll be half a year, a year- and then three years old and asleep all night in a bed without bars, in a room where I can’t listen to the puff of his baby breath. He won’t lie flopped on my shoulder at 11.35pm, or try to grin at me through the dark at 3am. To wish for a time when my nights are unbroken again is to wish away his babyhood. And god knows it is spinning away from me too fast already.

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