Do you know someone who’s struggling with a teenager? Parents too tired to deal with well-meaning or interfering grandparents? A new mother frazzled with the anxiety of sleepless nights, wailing “I don’t know why the baby won’t stop crying!!” Please pass these on. I especially like the lullabies sang by the babies to their anxious, distraught mums.
The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Rheinhold H. Niebuhr
Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore,
And that’s what parents are for.
Go to sleep, Mum,
I won’t stop breathing
suddenly in the night.
Go to sleep, I won’t
climb out of my cot and
Mum, I won’t swallow
the pills the doctor gave you
or put hairpins in electric
sockets, just go to sleep.
I won’t cry
when you take me to school and leave me:
I’ll be happy with other children
my own age.
Sleep, Mum sleep.
fall in the pond, play with matches,
run under a lorry or even consider
sweets from strangers.
No I won’t
give you a lot of lip,
not like some.
I won’t sniff glue,
fail my exams,
my girlfriend pregnant.
I’ll work hard and get a steady/
really worthwhile job.
I promise, go to sleep.
I’ll never forget
to drop in/phone/write
I need any milk, I’ll yell.
From the private ease of Mother’s womb
I fall into the lighted room.
Why don’t they simply put me back
Where it is warm and wet and black?
But one thing follows on another.
Things were different inside Mother.
Padded and jolly I would ride
The perfect comfort of her inside.
They tuck me in a rustling bed
—I lie there raging, small, and red.