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undressing

I should be whooping with joy. Finally, after 17-months, little Ivy is moving into her own bedroom. She's been in a cot beside our bed since she came home from hospital at 13 days old. Her brothers were both gone from our bedroom at four months -- but that was because we had somewhere to move them to.

Ordinarily, a three-bedroomed house would be perfectly adequate to house a family with three children. The problem is our third bedroom is my home office. It's where I'm sitting now, typing away at my glossy Habitat desk surrounded by the trappings of my career.

It may be the box room, but it's my space and somewhere I can shut the door on after a day's work. The kids know they're not to play in here, and mostly respect the rule. It's a lovely bright room with sanded floorboards and white walls. I've worked in it for years, apart from a two-year stint when it was turned into our firstborn's cosy nursery.

When baby two came along we swapped the boys into the big back bedroom, which they now share, and I reclaimed it for my own.

Over the weekend we'll dismantle the desk, attempt to de-clutter the shelves and move Ivy's cot and changing table from the master bedroom. It will give us back a lot of floor space, and, most importantly, the opportunity to turn on the lights when we're going to bed.

It seems ridiculous, but I've been undressing in the dark for almost a year and a half! I haven't read in bed in that time either, which I can't wait to rectify. Snuggling up with a good book is one of life's simple pleasures.

I'm also keen to test a long-held belief. Our little girl has woken every single night of her life looking for a drink, except for two occasions when she was on sleepovers with her auntie and her godmother. It seems the little minx is well able to go without refreshments when her mummy's not around, which makes me wonder if a new bedroom will help her sleep right through.

If I could ask Santa for just one thing, it would be a night of unbroken sleep. Ivy only wakes for a few minutes, just long enough to let out a cry and wait for a bottle to appear over the side of her cot, but it's enough to break my sleep pattern. She was breastfed for 11 months, so may have become a little spoiled with her feeds on demand. Nowadays she just gets water when she wakes, but this hasn't discouraged her.

While I'm hoping 2012 will mark the end of sleepless nights, there is a downside to Ivy's eviction. It's my eviction too -- from my little office. As of next week I'll be moving my operations downstairs to a corner of our open-plan kitchen. I'm being downgraded from an office owner to a workstation dweller, and I'm not exactly overjoyed.

My glossy desk will have to go into storage as it's too big for downstairs, and I'm off to IKEA to source a more modest desk from which to run my empire.

I'm thrilled my daughter will have her own bedroom, and we will have fun decorating it for her, but I'm a little sad to see the back of my lovely home office.

Perhaps a good night's sleep will ease the pain.


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