Night-waking continues

I have lost count of the number of poems I have written about sleep. Here’s another one about my daughter’s uncanny ability to wake up just when I am about to crawl into bed, whatever time that is.

Sneaking, Sleeping

Ten, eleven, midnight, three
Soft-stockinged tred
can’t fool me
ears prick up:
Mummy is going to bed.
No no not yet

Your cry cuts through night
and wall and tinny
receiver, flashing green
your need to be heard
and held and seen.

Bundled in bedding
zipped and buttoned
twisted up and bleary
teary eyed you
“ney ney ney” and
“dee dee” and “mama”
with outstretched arms.

I hold we sway
you suck your fingers
snug then arching
out of arms,
your cuddle collected
you want back to bed
and sleeping sound –

but if I dare to
crab-creep to the
chink of light
to freedom and my bed-
if I dare to make a sound
so small
you grumble then protest and wail
and stay!
I have to stay.

Once more we sway.
My eyelids drooping,
knees buckling under
weight of sleep.

On we circle round this track
on and on and back
in the deep night’s black
until your breathing
slows
sucking stops
limbs relax.

I tiptoe out and
creep to bed.
So softly do I tred
you cannot
cannot
have heard me
this time round
I made
no
sound.

(c) Judith Kingston, 2013

Read more original poetry by other bloggers here.

17 responses

    • It is pretty exhausting, but it will pass. I think a lot of it is teeth – she seems determined to get them all out of the way in quick succession.

  1. Oh Judith you have just reminded me of what my 4yo used to do before she started sleeping through the night! You have my heartfelt sympathy… To be honest I found this more difficult than the middle of the night wakings towards the end! Hope it improves for you real soon, it’s such a killer.

    • It’s just so gutting when you’re just about to go to sleep and then you have to be up for another two hours. Grargh! Glad to hear your 4yo is sleeping better now, that sounded pretty horrible!

  2. Fabulous poem Judith, brought back some awful memories for me with my youngest daughter who is 12 today….still isn’t the best sleeper in the world! She’s so much better though, I promise you’ll get sleep in the end. Hang in there. x x

    • Well, this time round I know from my son that they do settle down in the end, so between that and the poetry I’m hoping to stay philosophical about it all!

  3. Not the best times are they? Still get the odd nightmare that freaks out Little Chap so much he can’t get back to sleep quickly (enough for me), so I’ve been unable to escape back to my own bed without him noticing or waking again – his room has the creakiest floorboards too! Nightmare🙂

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