She sits up in bed at some ungodly hour and musters all her self-control to stop crying.

“Mummy,” she hiccups, “let me explain why I have to have booboo to get back to sleep.”

“Okay.” I’m a bit delirious with tiredness because my body is no longer inured to waking every two hours. I know I should stick to my guns and refuse to nurse her, but I also know that I owe her at least a listen to her point of view, and that I’ll probably give in.

“Because…” she casts about a bit for something that will convince me of the strength of her feelings; “…because it’s milky and … squishy… and I neeeeed it.”

Really, how could I refuse such an eloquent plea? Also, see above, re tired.

Night-weaning is a long process, it seems. We go back and forth. Blanket rules just don’t work here. I can make an edict, but for the sake of all our sanity, sometimes I give in. Mostly, I get into bed with her when she wakes, and she asks for booboo, and I say “First, I’m going to tell you Cinderella,” and she’s asleep before I’ve got to Act II (The Prince Decides to Throw a Ball).

But sometimes she’s wide awake, open-eyed and waiting for me to hurry up and get to the end so she can have what she’s patiently waiting for. Meanwhile I’m wandering off at every sentence and trying not to just fall asleep mid-word. She’ll say “Mummy, have you finished yet?” and I’ll say “All right, here, then; just go to sleep,” and hike up my pyjama top.

We’ve said – I’ve said, and she has sort of acquiesced, so far – that once she’s four there’ll be no more booboo at bedtime, only first thing in the morning. I don’t know how that’s going to go on Sunday. There might be more back-and-forthing, it might not be as clear-cut as that. But we’ll start trying, and eventually, we will see progress.

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