I’m standing at the doorway to my daughter’s room. It is 10pm, and as I flick the switch on the lamp I see that she’s not alone. It has been this way for the past few days, strange goings-on after lights out.

It started on Sunday. I’d popped in for the usual night-time kiss; as I approach the toddler’s bed, I am surprised to find her spread-eagled with a toy dachshund miraculously balanced on her nose. Such poise! So impressive, I take a photo.

Two nights later, I tiptoe in again, this time to find her comatose, dressed in full winter gear (replete with scarf and mismatching shoes) with a pile of fake one hundred dollar bills – a present from a prop-designer friend – scattered across her.

Once more, I reach for the camera, delighted, imagining a bizarre photographic collection perfect for presentation at her 18th, or perhaps even a wedding.

Then, on Thursday, things take an unexpected turn as I shuffle eagerly into her room, my husband hovering behind, only to find our beloved first-born face down on the mattress, with two hairy over-stuffed legs belonging to Big Ted jutting out from beneath her.

So, it is with some trepidation that I linger at the door this evening, breathing deeply as I step out from the shadows, whereupon I discover our daughter conked out wearing a single leather glove (mine) with Maisy Mouse stuffed down her trousers.

Still clutching the camera, I lean in for a peck on that soft pink cheek. She clenches my hand, and with her eyes still clamped shut, whispers: “Where’s my LUNCH?”.

More in Regulars

Writers Bloc #1 Val McDermid

By , 25th September 2018
Features, Regulars
From imposter syndrome to plotting, in a new series for Marie Claire authors give me chapter and verse on how the writing process works for them - starting with multi award-winning crime writer Val McDermid, who has written 32 books in as many years

The Lives of Others #6

By , 23rd July 2018
Education, Features, Regulars, Travel
Georgie Higginson moved from the UK to Uganda 14 years ago. After losing their daughter to stillbirth, she and her husband were inspired to build a lodge on the banks of the River Nile, overlooking Murchison Falls National Park - an area once occupied by LRA rebels

Global Village #6

By , 9th July 2018
Design, Features, Regulars, Travel
Designer Kate Pietrasik lived in London, Edinburgh, New York and Byron Bay before moving to a town near Biarritz when her daughter was four years old. She reflects on life as a 'blended family', running her own business, and the joy of being rootless

Global Village #5

By , 21st May 2018
Regulars, Travel
When Rosalind Miller's daughter was born, the medical student was determined having a child wouldn't stop her moving to India to carry out her PhD field work. She reflects on swapping London for a local community in Bangalore with a toddler in tow

Global Village #4

By , 14th May 2018
Education, Regulars, Travel
From Scotland to Costa Rica (via East London, New York and Mexico). Mother-of-four Abigail Pilcher talks multiple relocations, opening – and closing – a guesthouse, and how a holiday to Turkey inspired the move of a lifetime