Thursday, March 30, 2017

sol17-30 Won't you sleep?

I am participating in the
Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC).
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day of March 2017. 
A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

I have one little preschooler who, no matter the day, cannot settle herself, stay quiet, or fall asleep at naptime unless she has a teacher's help. Truly, this is an amazing year because there is only one such student in the midst of a class of twenty-two preschoolers. There are several who are slow to nap and a handful who don't nap at all - but each of these is very quiet and respectful, able to self-soothe. Now, late March, this little girl and we teachers have our routine down - we first help everyone else in the room find their cot, lovey, special blanket, etc., and then one of us finds our way to her cot and sit down next to her, rubbing and patting her back. It actually has become a very sweet ritual. As I watched her fall asleep today, I thought I should try to capture some of this in a poem. Here goes!

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

She smiles and stares, all wide-eyed,
She calls out to her friends.
She's doing aerobics on her cot
Her body twists and bends.

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

I tell her it is time to rest,
She can't be dancing on the bed.
She frowns with slight protest
But agrees to what I said.

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

She fidgets with her lovey,
she tries not to make a sound.
Then she calls "Ms. Ingram!"
giving a pat to the ground. 

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

I move my chair next to her cot
She asks, "Will you stay with me?"
I reassure her, "I am here,
Now you must lay quietly."

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

She is so sweet and I wonder why
This napping becomes so hard.
We all learn at our own pace,
One day she will need no guard. 

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

I pat her back a little bit,
And I pat her back some more.
She wiggles her feet, nestles in,
Her blanket falls to the floor.

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

I pat her back in gentle rhythm.
Adjust her blanket just fine
The thumb goes in her mouth
I know that's a sleepy sign.

I'll watch her fall to sleep.

She looks up at me with one last glance,
Then softly closes her eyes.
There's a rhythm to her breathing
For which there is no disguise.

I watched her fall to sleep.


  1. What a wonderful piece--thank you for sharing it!

  2. This brought back memories to when I taught in an infant toddler classroom when I was in high school. I was in charge of afternoon nap time. I still remember one boy, Sean, who would never nap.

  3. It's a lovely and loving poem, Maureen. The bit of rhyme and rhythm are a lullaby. Each child is different, as I'm sure you know. I like "I know that's a sleepy sign." So nice.

  4. What a nurturing, respectful approach comes through this sweet poem!

  5. I'll love this poem! Your imagery was great!