30/11/2015 15:00 GMT | Updated 30/11/2016 05:12 GMT

The Reasons Why My Three Year Old Isn't Sleeping

Dear Mummy,

Well you didn't think I was going to let my baby brother have all the glory now did you?  I mean he's a baby so his reasons for not sleeping are, well, baby-ish.  Mine though? Mine are a little different, because you see Mummy, I am a big boy now.

Me and you, well we've had three years of practice at bedtime and we've got the bedtime routine down to a tee.  Bath with the Baby, downstairs for my milk and a Raa Raa before coming back up to snuggle in bed with a story.  I might try my luck for an extra episode or another story but then you give me a kiss and I snuggle down into my covers. None of the jiggling or rocking for me.

I am a big boy.

But Mummy....

Even though I'm a big boy now it doesn't mean I don't get scared. Far from it Mummy. At night I dream now. Sometimes these dreams are great, they're about planes and trains. And I'm like Dusty flying in the sky. But sometimes they are scary Mummy. They are nightmares of monsters and ants. Ants in my bed Mummy. You've done such a good job in letting my imagination develop Mummy that even when I wake up I see the ants crawling. I need you then Mummy, that's why I call for you, that's why I want to sleep in your bed Mummy. I want to reach my hand out and know that you are there to keep me safe. And you always are. Thank you Mummy.

Even though I'm a big boy now, and normally I don't need to nap, sometimes the world is too big. Sometimes I've just had a very busy and very important day. Sometimes I need that little nap to help me catch up, catch my breath. I know it's a risk you take letting me have it as I might be bouncing off the walls until midnight when you're very tired. But you still let me close my sleepy eyes. And I promise it makes my nighttime sleep better when you do, my brain has chance to recharge. I have chance to recharge. Thank you Mummy.

Even though I'm a big boy now, learning big boy things like how to use the toilet and the alphabet and stuff, these big boy things can play on my mind. Why does n come after m and just where does poo poo go when it's flushed? These questions wake me up at night Mummy and I just need a reality check from you popping in to help me go back to sleep. I just need to remember that you're there and we can debate the alphabet in the morning. And you can tell me where poo poo goes Mummy, because I'm sure you know. You know everything. Thank you Mummy.

Even though I'm a big boy now, sometimes when I wake up I just need a Mummy cuddle (and sometimes I just need a Daddy cuddle, but Daddy knows that we had a man to man chat, this letter is just for you, you like letters more than Daddy) and you come and get in my bed to give it to me. Thank you Mummy.

Even though I'm a big boy now sometimes I just like to check that you are still there. I like to shout out your name and hear your voice tell me it's OK. Even if your voice just gently tells me to go back to sleep then I am OK because I know that you are there. Thank you Mummy.

Even though I'm a big boy now.  I'm still really only little.

Even though I'm now a big three years old, three is still only very little.

I'm still only a baby.  I still need you Mummy.  I still need Daddy.  You are my safe place.

So I wake up, and I don't sleep as well as I used to, but thank you Mummy.  (And thank you Daddy.)  For being there when I need you.  For being my safe place.  For scaring away monsters.  For helping me learn new things every day.

I won't always need you, I promise, one day I will be a really, really big boy.  Like Daddy.  And then you'll be able to see just what a good job you did when I needed you.

I love you too much.

The Toddler

x x x

This post first appeared here.