Last night was horrible. A mixture of everything that has slowly been going wrong rearing its ugly head and punching us in the face with an almighty bang.

We’d had a lovely day out and got home, had tea and settled H for the night. She whimpered to me as I tried to leave the room “one last cuddle mummy?” “I need a drink of water mummy” “Please give me a kiss mummy” and so on. I know she’s trying it on and she has done in small parts in the past – but last night everything came out. I sent Shaun out for his run so dealt with the first bit on my own. I’d sit with her in the room and watch her fall asleep. I’d move further back and then BANG. I’d cough.

I have the cough. I’m around people with colds a lot, and I thought I’d fight it off, but no, it is slowly not being a throaty tickly cough any more and is being a chesty one.

“You woke me up, Mummy” she tells me. I know this. I can’t stop this cough. it’s evil and I curse everyone I’ve been alongside spreading their germs apologetically “so sorry, I’ve got a bad cold” they say. I’m prone to these kinds of coughs, they last around two weeks as I’m just hitting the can’t-sleep-at-night-for-coughing stage (and yes, I’m well stocked up on various medicines including Codeine Linctus). So I accidentally woke her up.

I feel instantly dreadful too, as she may well have had a good sleep.

Instead she gets so worked up and angry she’s screaming at me. I sit with her, cuddling, calming her after trying time out to get her in control of her anger again (and being asked “Mummy, why won’t you talk to me? – I ignore it feeling foul inside). (she also has different tones of voice to talk to me – the angry, the sing-songy one, the cutesy one – I know she’s trying it on hoping to get a reply)

Shaun gets back from his run. She realises he’s home, and changes tack. “I want daddy to give me a cuddle” with a slight air of desperation.

Shaun comes upstairs to have his post-run shower as usual. “yep, she’s still awake” I confirm, as H wakes up a bit more. It’s no good, we’re losing this battle. I feel like I’m having a parenting fail, I keep reminding her WE are the ones in charge, decisions aren’t down to her. Let’s face it though, you’re tired, not feeling too good AND your child is playing up, and then you wake her up anyway. It isn’t fun.

This all wouldn’t be so bad but two weeks ago she’d settle every night without any fuss, not wake up in the night – it’s like someone has plugged in a demon child at night suddenly. It’s since she was ill – since those nights with a temperature when we’d cuddle with her for a bit. Is she used to it? Is she demanding something which we should never have done? Well, I’m not about to stop comforting my child, but I’ll do it when it’s right. Last night it wasn’t right.

Shaun takes over. He’s gone for another 30 minutes, I get her more water and take some time out to relax. I don’t relax though, I just cough – coughing constantly barely able to breathe. I know this cough well. Time to find the inhaler.

We had another episode with me putting the light on in her room telling her to stay up and read books then, as I’m going to bed now which surprises her. Shaun does another time out “Daddy pushed me onto here mummy, I’m very sad now” (he didn’t, I suspect that was a battle she knew she was losing). Lots of apologies and cuddles, things go calm.

She falls asleep eventually – at 9.45.

So then we had to print out the photos for the diary for H’s nursery. Shaun points out we’ve had a glimpse into the future – us doing her ‘homework’ – I laugh and fear for everything at the same time. I am unable to print out the photos but Shaun does, our stupid printer recognises I bought a non-branded compatible print cartridge instead of an HP one – even the printer hates me. Our happy days printed out, the sad and angry bits omitted and soon forgotten about apart from on here.

I head to bed where I then cough all night and manage an hours sleep (also due to H waking at midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am demanding to come into our bed every time. We share this but we’re all shattered). By morning I’ve been sick. I phone in to work and head back to bed and get two hours of cough-free exhaustion sleep.

I fully expect this to happen again tonight. I really miss having no family nearby right now for support. Massively.