For Dylan at 14 months.

when prompted
you tilt your little flower face up to offer a kiss
to the stuffed lion puppet.
But you will rarely
kiss me
in the same way.
the hell, kid?
The stuffed lion puppet
did not have its abdomen sliced open with a meat cleaver
so that you could make your entrance
into the world.
A little gratitude


You bitched and moaned
so mightily
over the small blue broom
I finally said fuck it
and gave it to you.
Now you push it all over the house
making swirls of dirt and dog hair
stopping only
to point accusingly at the
kept in the utility room for the express purpose of killing spiders
and scream, scream, scream at the unfairness
of it all.


When you first
bapped your little hands together
in the sign for “more”
I thought oh!
He is a prodigy.
But now that I’ve seen how you
so eagerly throw yourself backwards
in order to smash your skull on the
nearest hard surface
I am a little worried
about your future
test scores.


So tell me
if I took this Eggo waffle
and wiped it on the floor
collecting a repulsive mix of
pine needles, filth, and animal hair
would you
eat it


They say do unto others
as you would have them
do unto you
and frankly
the notion of
someone squirming their fingers
into my armpits and
wiggling them around
while I shrieked with hysterical
sounds really really
But that doesn’t mean
I am going to stop
doing it
to you.


I love the heft of your warm body
your outflung hands
your curious glances
but seriously, kid.
Could you do me a solid
and hang on when I carry you?
Consider the
or perhaps the
tree frog.
Both fine examples
of the methodology I would prefer
that you employ
instead of this business
that involves my left arm


I remember your brother
at eighteen months
how he screamed and pitched tantrums and was
a spot of bother
as they say.
You appear
to have reached this stage
a full four months
Gold star
for YOU.


Here we are
all of us
in the bath together.
I treasure these silly, splashy
Even if you are curiously grabbing
my nipple
while your father joyously yells


Oh my god!
Oh my god!
Did you hurt yourself?
What is the matter
is there
why are you shrieking like that?
Oh, I see.
Your ball has
rolled under the couch.
Sure, I guess I can get that for you.
Just let me
take a minute
to ride out the palpitations
while shooting you the double eagle salute


I don’t know if I’ve ever
seen anything quite so awesome
as you dancing
(spinning in circles)
(doing knee bends)
to Eminem’s “Crack a Bottle”
Uh oh uh oh
bitches hoppin in my Tahoe


You can say
You can walk, run, climb
and play peekaboo.
You are growing so fast,
but on the issue of
getting yourself trapped between the couch and the side table
and sitting there bonking your head and wailing in frustration
let’s be honest
there hasn’t really been any
in months.


At bedtime
you used to fit in the
crook of my arm
Now your body sprawls
from my shoulder
to my knees
and soon
we won’t sit
in a rocking chair
any more.
But for now we are here
you and I
in this
in this
The room is dark
the room is quiet
and we are


(Previous Parenting Poetry from the Spleen entries here.)


64 Responses to “Parenting poetry: Dylan edition”

  1. lisa-marie on April 8th, 2009 10:33 am

    Those are all awesome!!

  2. Shelley on April 8th, 2009 11:20 am

    I have two sons Jackson is 3 and Wyatt is 7 months… Love your blog. There is something about sons…. I don’t quite know what it is except I know that it’s special and it will be very hard to release them to some “girl” someday.

  3. Chanda on April 9th, 2009 5:21 pm

    OMG! Thank you, Thank you!!!
    I am bookmarking this. You’re cracking me up!

  4. Shangrila on April 9th, 2009 7:49 pm

    There are no words to describe the awesomeness of this poetry-LOVED it!

  5. Sharla on April 10th, 2009 9:44 am

    This made me laugh so hard. I love it!

  6. Louise on April 13th, 2009 6:03 am

    I wept with laughter. For I too, have a toddler.

  7. Tiffanny on April 13th, 2009 11:08 am

    Linda, This entry is exactly why I read your blog. Fantastic! Thank you.
    (Not that you write solely for my reading pleasure, but I sure enjoy it!)

  8. Caroline Wright on April 13th, 2009 5:05 pm

    Oh my god. You have displaced Dr. Seuss in my heart. You are now my new favorite poet. I would buy a book of this stuff. So lovely and funny and poignant and familiar. Many thanks.

  9. The Oh Really » What the Hell, Kid? on April 17th, 2009 12:56 pm

    […] Go read these awesome and funny poems written for the author’s 14 month old son. You will laugh. (My favorite, I think, is the one that starts Oh my god!) […]

  10. Christy on April 17th, 2009 6:31 pm

    This was so great and completely sums up daily parenting: you are driven crazy all day and then at the end there you are, in love.

  11. Amy on April 20th, 2009 12:30 pm

    Best post ever! I am sitting in my office with tears streaming down my face. I can so relate. Really. Truly.

  12. Leslie on April 21st, 2009 9:49 am

    You hit the nail on the head! With all of your poems.

  13. Tash on April 21st, 2009 7:35 pm

    Wow! Just WOW!

  14. Widya on June 18th, 2009 7:08 pm

    Beautifully and hilariously honest and true. I love it!

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