Monday, 10 January 2011

The leaky bottle

4.30am. I am woken by the thudding of footsteps in the hallway. Thud thud thud down towards the bathroom and a moment later thud thud thud, back again. The baby is crying. Her cry is the mewling of a newborn, seven weeks old, mouth persistently wide. My husband is on duty, but from behind the closed door of the spare room, maternal instinct rouses me and I stumble from bed. 

I almost collide with my husband, who’s standing just outside the doorway, holding a muslin in one hand, an empty milk bottle in the other, his hands raised in announcement. 

‘Something is wrong with this bottle,’ he says. ‘I’ve already been downstairs once to fill it again because the first bottle has soaked the baby, now this one is doing the same. I don’t know how it’s happening.’ He speaks as though there are gremlins at work.