Is Millie thwarting the meeting of her parents to remain an only child?

Gerard and I were lying in bed last Saturday night around 9pm… alone. Yes, alone! We’d finally wrestled Millie Valentine into her own bed and threw ourselves down excited as we hadn’t had the luxury of being alone in our lovely big king bed since Millie decided a few months ago that our bed was hers.

Her own bed, you see, is filled with snakes and spiders. But it doesn’t end there. Monsters are renting the prime real estate under the bed. For the record they are all very tidy tenants because I never see any sign of them. Sadly, tidy or messy, real or not real, these imaginative creatures are all still terrifying to a toddler.

So each night her knack of negotiating herself into our bed has meant I have slept with a child who drapes her whole body over my neck, fashioning herself as a toddler scarf, or wakes up at 5am on a Sunday to brightly tell me it’s morning time. Unfortunately her cute button nose is not a snooze button — lord nose, I mean knows, I’ve tried.

I’m convinced she’s determined to remain an only child, such is her persistence for forcing us apart. On that, a Harvard scientist somewhat agrees with my theory. He reckons babies who demand to be breastfed in the middle of the night are preventing his or her parents from getting pregnant again. Another baby means having to share mum and dad, so they are programmed to do all they can to thwart the meeting or mating of their primary food source. Sad that it takes someone with a degree to tell us mothers what we suspected all along.

But it isn’t just babies — toddlers are in on the game too. Except you can’t just leave them to cry a little longer, because toddlers can walk and somehow end up standing next to your bed in the middle of the night telling you something life changing, like how someone bit them at kindy THREE MONTHS AGO.

They then demand a space be made in the middle of the bed to fit them in, and that space is about 70 to 80 per cent of the bed. That means I either end up gripping the edge of the bed, about to fall into the sinkhole of my bedroom floor, or my husband jumps into her bed.

Now I would gladly be the one who sleeps alone in a single bed with a Dora doona — I’ve never wanted Dora more — but if I even move a muscle a midnight meltdown ensues. She seems to believe that I belong to her as she and I are blood relatives and her Daddy and I only have some sort of contractual agreement.

So I guess you can understand that to have her finally tucked into her own bed on a Saturday night was an achievement of epic proportions.

What did we do to celebrate? The one thing we had been dying to do in peace for weeks.

Sleep.