Don’t let me go to sleep Mammy, I don’t like it when it’s dark. I can’t see your beautiful face. I search for it Mammy but all I see is black. I try my hardest to recall you, to summon your features, to picture you exactly as you are but its hard. Sometimes I manage and can’t but help smile. Even though I’m sleeping, it’s you that makes me happy. That smile that you’ll claim is simply ‘just wind’ is because I saw you in my mind but it doesn’t last Mammy, you vanish quickly then I’m left feeling alone again, abandoned without your face.
Don’t let me go to sleep Mammy, unless I’m in your arms. My cot is so vast and I feel vulnerable on my own. I feel so secure on your chest. You protect me, I don’t need to worry about mean monsters or scary snakes. I feel safest in your embrace. I can close my eyes and let myself drift off into the world of slumber. Your scent reminds me that you’re close by so I snuggle in tight and dream peacefully. Then you put me down and I’m left feeling alone again, abandoned without your touch.
Don’t let me go to sleep Mammy, not without your sweet song. This world can be a scary place. When I was in your womb, I listened to your heart beating and it lulled me to sleep. It was a delicious noise that let me know you would always be there. It was constant, a definite, reliable. Now I can’t hear it, I try and try to remember the soft sound but I can’t. I get upset trying then you sing to me and I no longer even try. The best thing about this world is that there’s even better sounds for me to hear. Your song is my favourite. I enjoy it more because I can hear the tenderness and love in your voice. You sing to me and, once again, I know you are mine forever. Then you stop and I’m left feeling alone again, abandoned without your melody.
Don’t let me sleep Mammy even though I’m tired. I miss you when I’m sleeping, I’d rather stay awake. I can feel you rocking me Mammy, the sensation is mild and pleasant. I know what you’re doing but please don’t let it work. I’m just not ready yet. I’m fighting and fighting but you’re trying and trying. I can’t tell you’re getting mad at me Mammy but please don’t. I won’t be small forever and I promise I won’t need you in this way for long. Just hold me while I’m small Mammy, let me listen to that song. Let me lie in your arms and feel the warmth of your body just for a few more minutes more. I promise I’ll sleep tomorrow.
When my son, Tristan, was born he didn’t sleep for at least 3 weeks. Although frustrating and tiring, I would see the fear in his eyes. This is what I imagine he’d say. At 5 months old, he started sleeping through. Now, at 15 months old, I’d do anything for one of his midnight snuggles. For all those Mammies in the ‘newborn’ period, I wish you luck and the strength to find enjoyment in the 4am snuggles – they disappear far too quickly.