Borrowing again from Mr Dickens, this time from Our Mutual Friend, I find an appropriate name for my son, now nearing a year old. He is a perfectly splendid baby in many ways (like little Johnny Bold in Mr Trollope's Barchester Towers he takes his food with a will and doesn't have fits) but I cannot pretend that his sleeping is other than erratic.
This, as I woefully tell myself, is no more than can be expected from a baby - inexhaustible or not. What I find inexplicable is his ability to go through an entire day with a bare half hour of sleep and still be full of energy, while other babes will sleep for three hours (to the great relief of their fond mammas). While I am aware of those nursery authorities who would castigate me as a bad mother for not imposing an iron discipline on the Inexhaustible, I am simply unable to arrange the day in such a manner that both the Inexhaustible and the Infant Phenomenon sleep and eat at the optimum (and different) times for each. I suspect that I am sadly disorganised and wonder whether the redoubtable nannies of the fictional past, ruling with absolute authority over well-organised nurseries, really existed or whether, like so much in fiction, they are something that we would like to have had, but which never really existed.
Mr B, loving and considerate spouse and parent that he is, has been striving to the utmost to help, nonetheless his avocations in the city of London render his help but part-time. Hence five nights out of seven, it is Mamma who has to deal with the Inexhaustible during the hours of darkness. His vagaries are now exacerbated by the usual seasonal ailments and I find that an occasional night passes when the only means with which he can be persuaded to sleep is if I sit up in bed supporting him in an upright position to render his breathing easier. While I have a relatively felicitous arrangement of pillows to support both head and neck, this cannot be considered a comfortable attitude for repose.
I fear it will be a long winter.