Babe: 3 years and 1 month
Babeling: Due in less than 4 weeks

Since the fireworks and scary Halloween masks at the door the babe has not been keen on darkness. Her room is too dark even with the landing light left on and the door wide open. She puts the brakes on bedtime as long as possible by changing her mind about which blanket, which sleeping bag, which story, no, I want three stories, now sing me a song, and another one, can I have some milk? Bedtime took an hour two nights in a row. I told her one night that if I couldn’t go downstairs and have my supper, I was going to cry.

So – in a moment of revelation – I told her that when we said thank you Jesus at bedtime, we were going to ask for an angel to stay in her room and keep her safe. This went down well. She is keen on angels. (I didn’t tell her that I personally find angels terrifying and hope to never meet one. There must be a good reason why they open conversations with, ‘Fear not,’ in the Bible. I assume they are heavily armed nine-footers, and I’m quite happy with the usual arrangement of not being able to see them.)

We’ve taken the side off the babe’s cot now – one reason why it was important that she should be content in bed, since she can decide when to get up – and at 6.50am the next morning she rocketed into our room to wake up babyfather. (I’ve decamped to the sitting room so that the bump and I can be disruptive all night without anyone minding.)

‘I can’t sleep anymore because the angel has gone,’ she explained before climbing into bed with babyfather. Apparently that’s the time they clock off after the night shift then. They are around in the daytime as well, because later she spotted two in the kitchen and one in the downstairs bathroom, washing his hands. Anyway, bedtimes have been straightforward ever since as long as we remember to ask for an angel, so I don’t care what they’re doing round the house.