O Bedtime, wherefore art thou? You’re taking bloody ages.
The kids have worn away my calm, by scrapping, screaming stages.
It’s surely time for tea quite soon, and then they’ve got to bathe
And then you’ll come, O Wondrous One, my sanity to save.
It’s not that I don’t love them, or treasure every second –
It’s just it’s so relentless, and harder than I’d reckoned.
I’ve smiled, I’ve shushed, I’ve wiped their bums, (and noses and the floor)
I’ve played at mermaids, painted pictures, upheld turn-taking law.
I’ve fed them food (which they’ve ignored) and stopped them eating mud,
I’ve hugged and kissed it better when one of them draws blood.
I’ve been a horse, I’ve been a chef, I’ve even been a hanky –
A pillow and a punch bag (which made me somewhat cranky).
We’ve done the park, we’ve read a book, the baby had a nap
But now it’s time to put them down and claim my own self back.
I want to drink a nice hot drink, I want to be alone,
I want to look at pictures of them, scrolling through my phone.
I want the chance to miss them, I want a bit of peace
I want to want them in my arms, while I bask in sheer relief.
So please be kind, O Bedtime, and peaceful and serene,
Let lullabies yield to sleep – and sleep per chance to dream.
Let there be no more wees, wails for water, or demands for one last book,
No more existential questions, as a conversational hook.
Let them close their eyes and remember the best of all our fun,
And forget the bits I didn’t do, the bits that I got wrong.
Let me see long lashes rest on cheeks, and hands curl under chins,
Let my heart fill up with love again, and forgive their transgressions.
Tomorrow is a whole new world, to explore and start anew
But only if I get the chance – to watch them, and renew.
For there’s something rather magical about a child relaxed in slumber –
That unwinds the day’s frustrations back to sentimental wonder.
So by any name, O Bedtime – just please tonight be sweet
(And maybe slightly early, ‘cos I’m dead upon my feet).