Midnight wanderer

The midnight wanderer
wakes at night
his feet are itchy
full of flight

He leaves his room
abandons bed
she hears his footsteps
on the stairs

She listens to
the sounds below
unsure, afraid
of what he’ll do

She tries to muster
all her strength
to raise her
tired, sleepy head

Follow suit
desert her bed
check on her son
find out exactly
what he’s done

She leaves her room
enters the hall
but hears him on
the stairs once more


that Mama’s waiting

standing there!

Hand on hip
and bleary-eyed
until the wanderer
is at her side

She does not shout
she does not bawl
just asks
what the
commotions for

His eyes are focused
he’s wide awake
no little sign
of sleepy state

As he explains
he felt like water
in the night
that is the reason
he took flight

She warns him not
to leave his room
afraid of what
could be his fate

They separate
and lay their heads
on soft sweet cushions
in nice warm beds

He tries to sleep
and can this time
aware of mothers
watching eyes

She defies sleep
pricks her ear
for faint footsteps
from the son
she holds so dear

Until she’s sure
the actions over
she cannot close
her eyes
or throw her hair
over her shoulder

a good nights rest
is exactly
what she needs

and time to find
some inner peace.


13 thoughts on “Midnight wanderer”

    1. Generally, he has water in his room. But still takes turns when he rises in the night and does things.

      The medication no longer works in the night and that’s the reason I’m nervous, because he becomes impulsive. One night he woke me up standing over my bed with a fried egg he’d cooked for me at around 4am. On several occasions we’ve caught him hanging out of the upstairs window trying to touch the moon (he is old enough, of course, to open child locks etc). We then took the handle off the window so it would be permanently locked, but that left him with no exit should he be trapped in a fire. Weighing up the odds, we decided as he had a ‘thing’ for hanging out of the window, that that was a much higher risk. Now he’s taller and more interested in fire hazards, we’ve replaced the handle. Other times he gets up and watches TV (not so bad, but then he would be exhausted the next day and in the middle of the night a lot of things are unsuitable, so we now have a password on the TV).
      We have a safe in the house which has keys to two rooms so we can lock things away to keep him secure. I always joke that if we’re ever burgled and the robber takes the safe, he’ll get a shock when he discovers 2 keys and a candle lighter inside!!

      1. Instead of the water?

        Or an addition, something like:

        better than the time I awoke
        with you at the foot of my bed
        face, triumphant and red
        smile beaming from ear to ear
        bearing a present for your mother, so dear
        “I fried you an egg!”
        from a nine-year-old boy
        who should lie asleep with his cuddly toy
        but instead
        who bore
        such gifts at a
        quarter to four

  1. Little Mr. sleepwalks too, but usually it’s predictable because it will the first night where he’s somewhere new or when he’s been specifically anxious about something or if there ate been a lot of “new” things in his life all at once.
    So far it’s only been him coming to where we are sleeping and “checking we are there” and if we guide him back to bed and sit with him for a bit, then he obviously feels ok and settles quickly.
    The first time he slept over at the scouting clubhouse, all the kids were in one room and all the adults in the room next door… Himself was one of the adults sleeping over and sure enough, middle of the night pitter patter, Little Mr comes in, looks around until he’s seen Himself ( who then awake and wondering if he would escort him back) before Himself could decide, Little Mr. turned around and took himself back to the other room, clearly once he was satisfied that Himself *was* there he was ok.
    A few other adults who woke up could scarcely believe that he *wasn’t* awake though, since his eyes were wide open.
    We know from (accidental) experience that if you actually wake him, he’s very disorientated and shocked that he’s not in bed, he will cry and be angry that you woke him from his deep sleep and if you leave him, he’s totally unaware of anything he did, in the morning when he wakes.
    Apart from freaking us out a few times, our son’s night wanderings are *very* mild compared to yours… wow, your son’s window and fried egg experiences are seriously scary!!! I wish you all strength as you deal with these episodes!

    1. My little brother used to sleep walk whenever he needed to pee. Ended in a few messy scenarios… The first thing he came into contact with, pyjamas dropped!! Once it was an open suitcase ready packed with holiday outfits. Luckily someone had heard him rise and bolted up the stairs, as became our art! Managed to turn him away from the loaded case. Just. In. Time.
      Thanks Kiwidutch for your lovely story and support.

  2. Wow, I’m always worried about my kids wandering around during the night, but now you’ve got me really freaked out (your poem is deliciously anxious…). We’ve got the safety gate at the top of the stairs for now but eventually they’ll get big enough they’ll be able to open it on their own.

    Well, I hope you get better sleep tonight!

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