Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Bedtime Story (30/8/2017)

As I write this, I'm struggling to stay awake, following a couple of late nights and poor sleep (guess who seems to have caught some kind of cough/throat infection combo?!).  They say write about what you know, so...

Unfortunately, this week's story can't be listened to as a podcast, as I've been losing my voice, lately!  Sorry!

Pearl Stays Up

Pearl was so excited:
Her dad was coming home!
For the last three months it had just been
Pearl and her mum on their own.
Dad had been working away, 
But tonight, he'd be back at last.
And every time Pearl spoke to Mum,
There was just one question she'd ask:

"Can I stay up to see Daddy?
I know he's getting home very late,
But I won't sleep until I've seen him.
You know I really can't wait!"
And with all Pearl's constant badgering,
Her mum gave her head a shake.
"Fine, you can stay up to see him,
Providing you can stay awake!"

So, Pearl played only quiet games,
To be sure that she wasn't worn out.
She didn't run round the garden.
She didn't sing, scream or shout.
And her plan seemed to be working,
For she didn't feel sleepy at all.
But it was still the middle of the afternoon,
According to the clock on the wall...

So, Pearl tried to have an afternoon nap,
To get her sleep out of the way.
Then, she reckoned she could stay up all night,
Right through to the very next day!
But the sun outside was shining,
And her room was far too bright for sleep.
Poor Pearl tried all she could think of;
She even tried counting sheep!

But it was no use and she got back up,
Deciding she'd just stay awake.
Besides, the time she'd been trying to sleep,
Surely counted as a rest, or a break?
Pearl was determined to be up,
When her beloved Dad walked through the door.
"I won't even let myself yawn,"
An excited and earnest Pearl swore.

By the time Pearl ate her dinner,
She'd usually be feeling quite tired.
But today she'd come up with a plan,
Which she felt was truly inspired:
She'd make a welcome home card,
At the time when she'd usually sleep.
It would help to ensure she stayed awake,
And give her Dad something special to keep.

So, once her dinner was finished,
Pearl grabbed card, pens and glitter.
By this point her eyes felt quite heavy,
But brave, young Pearl was no quitter!
She worked hard on her creation,
Blinking fast to stay awake.
She decided she needed another project:
What else could she make?!

Before she could think of anything,
Mum hurried Pearl up the stairs.
"You still need to have your bath,"
She said.  "And I need to wash your hair."
The bath water was lovely and warm,
And Pearl felt so very relaxed,
That by the time she got into her pyjamas,
She felt like she might just collapse...

But bed was the last thing on Pearl's mind,
And each time her eyes threatened to close,
She'd say to herself "no!" in a very cross voice,
And bop herself right on the nose!
Daddy was getting home ever so late,
But Pearl so wanted to be up when he did,
That she refused to let herself go to sleep:
There really was no stopping this kid!

She climbed up on the sofa with Mum,
And watched a little bit of TV.
"Do you want to snuggle up?" Mum asked.
"You could come and sit on my knee?"
But Pearl shook her head. "No!
If I cuddle up, I'll go to sleep!
And I have to be up when Daddy comes home.
I've got a promise to keep."

The sofa was ever so cosy, though.
It felt soft and warm, like a bed.
And Pearl was so tired, she could barely think;
As though there was fog in her head.
She couldn't focus on the TV, anymore.
The pictures kept going all blurry.
But no, Pearl couldn't fall asleep now;
It was still very much too early!

Pearl thrashed her arms and her legs,
To stop them from lying too still.
"I said I'd stay up until Daddy got home,"
Pearl said.  "And I will!"
But her eyes were longing to close, now.
She shut them, just for a while.
She could stay awake with her eyes closed,
Pearl told herself, with a smile.

She tried to think of noisy thoughts,
To keep her mind wide awake.
She even thought of things she was scared of,
Like spiders and needles, or snakes.
Anything to stop her from drifting,
Into a peaceful, dreamy state.
Daddy would be home soon,
Pearl just had to wait...

She thought of Daddy's cuddles,
That felt so warm and snug.
She could surely stay up a little longer,
To give him a welcome home hug?!
"I'll open my eyes again now,"
Pearl thought to herself, as she dozed.
But no matter how hard she tried,
Her eyes stayed stubbornly closed.

Pearl sank against the cushions.
She'd really tried her best!
But she was fast asleep now;
And she needed her rest.
Mum placed a blanket over Pearl,
So that she wouldn't get cold.
She fetched the teddy from Pearl's bed,
And slipped it into her hand, to hold.

Pearl didn't hear the soft click of the door,
Or see her daddy come walking through.
She thought she dreamed him whisper
A very soft "I love you."
Her eyes didn't even flicker, 
As he gently kissed her head.
Dad scooped his little girl up in his arms,
And carried her off to bed.


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