And with a sigh, I said goodnight.

Submitted into Contest #3 in response to: Write a story about a parent putting their child to bed.... view prompt

1 comment


I spat onto a tissue and wiped a bit of paint off the table. With one hand I held a warm milk bottle, under my arm I held a book that my little boy had picked out and in the other hand, I clutched his arm tightly so he won't runoff. 

Hopefully, he would fall asleep before we read the story and then I could go to my armchair, which seemed to be calling me. 

I opened the blue door to his room, lifted him up and put him in bed. I gave him the bottle and kneeled down next to him. 

'Goodnight sweetheart.' I whispered. I was very close to laughing in delight as his eyes were already drooping. 

I got up and slowly walked out. As my hand was on the doorknob, I heard a...

'Mommy! Stay here!' I sighed. My eyes were basically closing and I STILL needed to put all the paint away. So much for mommy day camp but who knows, maybe tomorrow's activity can be tidying up the house. 

'But sweetheart you need to go to sleep!' 

'I will! Just say goodnight to me again and then I'll be ALL tired.' 

And with a sigh I said goodnight. 

I was very close to running but I walked out slowly. I can't say he called straight away, I was already one step out of the room when I heard the oh so sweet voice. 

'Mooommmyyy!' I definitely did NOT groan hearing this. 

'What is it darling?' I called. 

'Come hereee.' 

And so I walked back to the room and crouched down beside him. 

'What is it?' I asked again.

'Mommy, what did you learn in mommy school?' It took all my willpower to not burst out into tears. Oh, how I wish I went to mommy school. I mean wouldn't that make life so much easier. But hey, if they did have mommy school I am sure they would teach us that you should make everything a lesson. 

'I learned that children need to go to sleep when their mommy tells them.' 

'Oh. And how do cows sleep?' Was I actually having this conversation? 

'They listen to their mommy.' 

'Ok. Goodnight mommy.' 

And with a sigh I said goodnight. 

This time I ran out but only just started making myself coffee when I heard the familiar...


'Yes, darling?' My voice was getting considerably higher. 

'Can you read me a story?' 

'Of course, darling.' 

And so I read my little boy's favorite book with my eyes closed. I read as fast as I possibly could and shut the book (don't worry, I did NOT slam it shut.) 

'Did you like that?' I asked softly hoping that he would just roll over and go to sleep. Finally. Please. 

'Yes! Goodnight mommy!' I swear a tear came out of my over-exhausted eye. We were going to be here a while, I could hear it in his voice. 

And with a sigh I said goodnight. 

'Mommy! Come here quick! There's a MONSTER under my bed!' 

There were no monsters (just like there wasn't last night and the night before. And the night before that.) And with a sigh I said goodnight. 

'Mommy! I wanna drink!' I poured him a drink ('but I don't like this drink!') and with a sigh, I said goodnight. 

'Mommy! Can you switch on the light?' I got to the point that I don't argue anymore. I switched on the light and with a sigh, I said goodnight.

'Mommy! I need a cuddle. FAST!' I cuddled my son. My cute little boy. My fun-loving kid. The one that I love even if he drives me up the wall and totally batty. I kissed him on his forehead and smelt his sweet smell of baby shampoo. I ruffled his sticky, messy, curly and knotty hair. 

Do you think this made him go to sleep? Hahaha. No. Of course not. He's my kid for goodness sake. Why should he?

And so we switched the light back off and then got him some teddies and then confirmed that teddies do not feel angry if you drop them on the floor when you're sleeping and then sang a lullaby. 

And with a sigh, I said goodnight. Again. And again. And again. 

Finally, at the very late hour of 8:21, I heard the familiar jingle of daddy's keys. 

'Ooh! It's our daddy! Hooray!' And so daddy sat with our little boy while I filled up on coffee. I wondered whether I acted like this when I was his age. Did I take about three and a half hours to go to sleep? Were my parents getting revenge? If that was the case, then I couldn't wait till this little boy grew up and had his own kids. I have to say that thinking about this did give me some encouragement and strength to carry on. A minute later, Daddy came out looking triumphant. 

'He's asleep!' He grinned. So Mommy and Daddy sat down for some well-deserved supper of chicken and rice. It still looked yummy even after hearing my little boy say that 'this is yucky and I'm never eating it again.' just a few hours ago. 

Our peace and quiet didn't last long though. Mr. I-Hate-Chicken-And-Rice came padding along. 

'Oooh, I'm sooo hungry.' He groaned clutching his stomach dramatically. So he sat himself down on Mommy's knee happily and ate off her plate. Great. 

Two full stomachs later (belonging to Daddy and my little boy.) Daddy carried our prince back to bed and sat next to him. Daddy goals. 

And with a sigh, we said goodnight. 

Some 25 minutes later I heard the all too familiar pit-pat of a little boy's feet. I looked up at my boy in his superhero pajamas. 

'Why are you not in bed? And where's daddy?' To which my little boy answered with his fingers on his lips. And so we found daddy snoring in a bed too small for him while the boy who fit perfectly in that bed was starting to play happily with some toy cars. 

So I picked my boy up and snuggled him next to his daddy. 

'Goodnight mommy!' 

And with a sigh. An exhausted, annoyed, happy, proud, exasperated, hungry, content and loving sigh, I said goodnight. 

August 23, 2019 11:11

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Milly Margeret
18:14 Jan 07, 2024

Talented writer! Would love to see more work like this x


Show 0 replies

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.