The Small(er) One is on sleep strike and I am re-enacting The Night of the Living Dead. Last night she wailed and whined and screamed and yelled pitifully for rescue, starting with a plaintive plea of "Mummy! 'Elp me!", then running through all the names of family members she could remember, and finally ending with "Teddy!"
Ignoring a seemingly desperate child is a tough call (although if I recall, we were fairly stern with Firstborn; maybe the guilt of working full-time is chipping away at my resilience). The Small(er) One worked herself up to the kind of blood curdling screams worthy of a Hammer Horror, resulting in Firstborn racing into our bedroom with her hands over ears and shouting "Make it stop!", at which point lying in bed gritting our teeth and hoping she would cry herself out seemed like an exercise in S&M (trust me, a gimp suit would have been more relaxing). Alpha Male and I ended up clinging to the sides of our bed for the rest of the night, with the Small(er) One in a starfish pose slap bang in the middle. Firstborn, poor love, passed out in the foetal position at the very end of the bed, groaning and grumbling at her misfortune in having a nocturnal beast for a sister.
Going into work this morning was a flashback to my early twenties, without the fun that used to come before the severe sleep deprivation after-effects. My auto-pilot haze was so severe that I felt surprised when I emerged from the tube station; my brain was still deep underground.
I'm starting to look forward to the girls reaching puberty. The thought of them staying in bed all day seems like an impossible dream...