Friday, September 25, 2009

When They Can't Sleep


When they can't sleep, it goes like this:

I cuddle them for a few minutes,
listening to their sad tale of bad dreams
or scary thoughts, or stuffy noses or just general discomfort.
I make low, sympathetic noises and nod my head.

Then I suggest that they put a pair of pajamas on,
instead of the jeans and shirt that they are still wearing.
I say maybe the ponytail can go too.
I ask about whether the teeth have been brushed and then
send them on to complete these tasks, asking them
to come back down when they're ready.

I give them my full attention after that.

I point to the dog and say he needs to go out.
When they come back in I show them
the laundry by the stairs because it needs to be folded.
And after that I send them down to the basement
to throw the wash into the dryer.

As they complete each thing, they return to me a little slower,
a little more sleepy,
a little less happy about being out of bed.

Finally they ask me
if they can try to go to sleep again,
and I let them,
because I am a good mamma,
and my babies need their sleep.

*

4 comments:

Beth said...

Brilliant! Why did I not think of this when my oldest son was young? He didn't sleep so well.

TechnoBabe said...

Great idea. Yes, you are a good mamma because you allow them to participate. Till they are so tired they go back to bed willingly. I sure wish I had known how to be this kind of good mamma when my children were young.

Heidi Lee said...

Brilliant!!
I'm trying that next.

mrc-w said...

Haha, so smart!