Part of the amusement of quoting the Bard in relation to Mr B is that in comparing him with Lady MacBeth, one could not light on a character more ludicrously unlike his own. Lady M is wholly evil, obsessed with power and unwomanly in the means she will adopt to pursue her ends; while Mr B is mild to a fault and far more interested in caring for his bairns than furthering his career.
Nonetheless, mild though he be, he took bold advantage of my absence last Thursday evening coinciding with a period of wakefulness on the part of the Inexhaustible, to convince that hitherto unregenerate baby that sleeping is indeed pleasant and agreeable. Furthermore, it is a state which he (the Inexhaustible) can attain all by his little self, without interventions of milk or rocking from Mamma. He informed me that it took some 40 minutes and involved much determination and going in and out of the room to reassure the Inexhaustible that he hadn't been deserted. To Mamma's almost boundless amazement (and relief) the Inexhaustible has now decided (on the eve of his first birthday) that he does actually find himself to be rather fatigued by the end of the day and that sleeping through the night is the best cure for this. Picture to yourself my amazement yesterday when I was able to put the little man down in his crib some few minutes after seven in the evening, with only two sleepy, lukewarm protests which he didn't have the spirits to persist in. And as for this morning when he only woke at ten minutes past seven, words cannot express the blend of astonishment, gratification and relief I experienced.
This would of course lead one to assume that Mr B and I enjoyed a peaceful night's repose. However, for only the second time ever, the Infant Phenomenon tumbled out of her bed with all the covers at four of the clock and set up the kind of unearthly howling that one really would associate with Shakespeare's blood boltered tragedy. Having thoroughly frightened both her parents, she peacefully went back to sleep, leaving us to struggle fruitlessly to regain our slumbers.