S has been up three times this evening; I'm not even sure if she went to sleep in between times. Eventually I gave in, and put The Snowman on for her. It's all music with no words, so usually encourages her to drop off to sleep.
An hour later as I creep up the stairs, I can hear nothing. The Snowman has finished, and the dvd is stuck on the silent menu screen. I creep into the bathroom and clean my teeth, and do my best to get into my PJs in silence. Sneak, sneak, sneak.
I pick up my mobile, my drink and S's drink, and turn off the light on the landing. As I creep into the bedroom, I look over to the cot to check S is ok. She's laying in the cot, eyes wide open, staring right at me. Eye contact. "Uh-oh!" she shouts, as loudly as she can.
It's bloody 11:30pm. I'm knackered. She should be knackered. She should be fast asleep. She's not been sleeping too well for the last couple of weeks, and has ended up in my bed by 3am most nights... but at least I've had until 3am!
I put The Snowman on again. "time to go to sleep sweetheart..." She has other ideas. She's standing up. "Uh-oh!" I climb into bed. "It's sleepy time, lay down please." She sits down in the cot and I am momentarily relived... until she stands back up and comes to the side of the cot. She's not watching The Snowman; she's watching me. "Mummy's going to sleep now darling, lay down please."
I take a closer look, and realise she is holding not just Ted, but Tigger and her taggy blanket as well. She's staring at me, holding onto the bars of the cot. She's not going to sleep in that cot tonight.
I give in and pick her up, laying her next to me in bed. She lays back on the pillow, clutching Tigger in one arm and Ted in the other, and falls asleep almost instantaneously, her soft snoring lulling me to sleep myself.
At 5am I am rudely awakened by a thump on my stomach. S has sat up and flopped sideways onto my belly; I clearly make a much more appealing pillow than... you know, an actual pillow. I wake up enough to realise that I'm really thirsty, but I can't reach for my drink or I will wake my daughter, who is already snoring again. I give in and go back to sleep.
We sleep like this until 7am, when S decides it's time to get up. She climbs onto my chest to reach the DVD remote from the bedside table next to me. While she's there, she grabs her beaker of water, using my face as the perfect place to rest her hand in doing so.
We watch Despicable Me in bed together, S alternately cuddling up on my belly, and clambering to stand on my chest! Eventually I give in, and we go downstairs for breakfast. She sits on the work top, enthralled by the boiling kettle and whirring whisks. We have pancakes with chocolate chips, a weekend treat. The perfect start to a day together.