(A few of you may remember these from when I originally posted them over at ClubMom; if so, pardon today’s stale content. I wrote these with Riley in mind, but in re-visiting I realize many of them now apply to Dylan as well.)

Parenting poetry from the heart
(or maybe the spleen)

Stop! Stop! Stop!
I do not like this game.
Where you pretend to be a thrashing alligator
and you are naked. On the changing table.
And I am some lady
trying to put a diaper on an alligator.
Alligators don’t wear diapers.
Or was that
your point?

I can hardly believe
how much noise can come from
such a small creature.
I must hide you away for the good of mankind
lest the military discover
your powers.

This is not a poisonous substance. It will not cause you harm. There is no need to make that face. Or to spit it out.
It is
macaroni and cheese.
Jesus christ.

when you make that sound
an angel’s eardrums

That sure is a lot of poop.
And here I thought you didn’t eat enough dinner.
Is that

Did you know you are my heart
did you know you fill me with happiness
did you know you are my everything
did you know, my dear, oh did you
It is 5:30 in the freaking morning?

Splashing is fun!
And you are
and adorable
in the bathtub.
Oh look!
You made a fountain.

If you stop that screaming
I will pay you
Eleventy jillion dollars.
I promise
Here is a check.

It is a good thing for the parents of small children like you
that god created

Here are the things in this household that are toys:
that. this. that. and that.
the naming of toys
is going to take a long time
for there are SO VERY MANY OF THEM.
And yet you insist
on playing with
power cords.


Sometimes I want to put you in a spaceship
and push “Destination: Mars”
and wave goodbye to you my sweet
and pray for those unsuspecting Martians.
But then you smile
and laugh with me.
And I say oh okay
you can stay.
Those Martians
don’t deserve you

I love you more than my heart has room for
so my love spills everywhere
I am a Love Valdez
because of you. Baby mine.


Maybe when you are done eating
you could say “no more”
or shake your head.
I do understand what you’re saying
by letting the last mouthful fall out onto your shirt
so I guess we are communicating
I do enough freaking laundry

No offense
but if you were on Survivor
you would get voted off
They would say you had a strong personality
but they would really mean
that you were too whiny
wouldn’t eat the coconuts
sucked at the puzzles
and couldn’t swim for shit.

Your shoes are not filled with bees
I checked.
So why not
leave them on?
Oh. I guess
you’re right
I did not
for sharks.


You are tired
do you know how I can tell?
Because you are acting
like a grownup.
One with a full bottle of tequila on an empty stomach, that is.
Let’s go to bed, drunken toddler.

Yelling from the backseat is bad
it makes Mama’s head
feel like a balloon that is about to pop
Balloons are pretty to look at, aren’t they?
but believe me
Mama’s popped head-balloon is something
you would need lots of therapy
to forget you ever saw.
Someone would have to come take you home
and a nice man named Mr. Wolf would have to clean up Mama’s car.
So please,
let’s be quiet back there.

It doesn’t seem right
that I can tell whether or not you have pooped
before I even open your bedroom door.

I have read about horses
who expand their midsections when humans put saddles on their bodies
then later
they can exhale, and the saddle is too loose. And so they cannot be ridden.
Are you like a wild horse
who refuses the saddle?
Because this puffed out belly thing during diaper changes
is quite strange.

It seems unfair
that on top of all the responsibilities
the worry
the guilt
the raw, tender love
I have to clip your goddamn fingernails, too.


I am thinking about making a cracker
targeted especially for toddlers
they will be called Danger Crisps
and they will come
in the following flavors:

Choking Hazard
Rocks N’ Dirt

I think they will be a hit, based on my extensive market research
of one.

My heart must be made of elastic
some stretchy material
with room for expansion.
My heart is like maternity wear
all because of you.


in my hand
it’s a Kleenex tissue
with lotion. Lotion!
It has aloe and vitamin E and it is soft.
If I were wiping your nose
with a Brillo pad
Maybe I could better understand
your reaction.
As it is
you’re just making me
want to take my sweet-ass time.

Guess what,
little one.
I have
a newsflash
for you.
This task? At hand?
Is not my favorite
How’s about giving
me a break
So I can more properly
dig poop

Sometimes when you run
it looks like the bottom half of your body
isn’t really connected
to the top half.
I don’t know why
I love that so much.
My little malfunctioning

Hey! Let’s flap our arms!
Hey! Let’s play with trucks!
Hey! Let’s scream with joy!
Hey! Let’s run real fast!
Hey! Let’s start crying for no reason whatsoever!
And it was going so well.

I like to take your pants off
because then you go all crazy
and run around giggling
As if you could say
I’m Crazy No-Pants Baby!
Give me some candy!
Maybe you wouldn’t really say that
because you don’t know who
Adam Sandler is
But that’s what I imagine you saying
when you run around like some kind of
crazy no-pants baby.

I know the first time you did it
we laughed.
And now you don’t understand
why it’s not okay
to feed the dog string cheese.
Please, just
stop. She’s getting
and you’re
not eating your goddamn

I used to joke about
how it was a good thing babies aren’t twenty feet tall
because oh my god
think of the damage they could do.
But now I know
if ever there was a twenty-foot baby
mostly things would get
drooled on.
Now, a twenty-foot toddler
that’s just

Um, sweetie?
How can I say this
It makes Daddy
when you curiously
his nipple.

We share some opinions,
you and I.
Fruit is good
the cat’s fur is soft
Being outside is fun
and that guy Joe?
On Blue’s Clues?
Is an interloper
who should be burned
like a witch!
Burn him he’s a witch!
Burn! Burn! Burn—
I just felt like you and I
were on the same page,
on that one.

I was wondering what
your ingredient label would read
(if you had such a thing)
and I decided it would

– Summer grass
– Thorn-bushes
– Labrador puppies
– Blue skies
– Treacherous seas
– High thread count sheets
– Electric eels
– Warm chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven
– Poop
– Sunshine

Exact content amounts would
vary, of course
depending on

Today you ran
full tilt
directly into my knees
and hugged me.
And I was all,
be careful!
But I didn’t really want you to be careful
if that meant
not doing it again.

Kissing you is sort of
like kissing
banana slug.
Well I’m sorry!
But it is.
Come here,
my beloved

Whenever I hold your tiny, eager hands
I think
oh please
Let me be so lucky
to hold your hands throughout the years
Let me hold your reluctant, older hands
and remember the days
when they were tiny.


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samantha jo campen
15 years ago

Thank you. I loved these then and I love them even more now. Brilliant.

15 years ago

Loved them the first time and I love them just as much now!

15 years ago

LMAO. My first time seeing them and I am sitting in my kitchen alone laughing out loud. You have such a way with words!

15 years ago

You are a genius. I loved the one about Mr. Wolf having to clean up the post-explosion car. Also I am trying to treat my body like a partner not an enemy and it is going better.

15 years ago

so sweet.

15 years ago

These poems are as awesome as ever. You should publish a book of parenting related poetry

15 years ago

The last one made me cry

Serenity Now
15 years ago

These mean so much more to me now that I have a little man of my own…I’m printing them out so I can share your brilliance with my hubs.

15 years ago

I love these! They’re like William Carlos Williams, parenting variety.

15 years ago

I love this so much! I can’t wait to have my own little boy (8 weeks left!) and experience all these things. (even the poop parts)

15 years ago

I WAS laughing at the poetry, but now, I’m just laughing at Christina (above). Let’s check back in with her in about 4 months, shall we…?

15 years ago

I about cried on the last one too …. thanks

15 years ago


15 years ago

Those are total WIN. The one about Daddy’s nipple made me spray my caffeine free diet coke all over my keyboard. And the last one made me cry. Damn pregnancy hormones.

15 years ago

Those are fantastic, but now all my coworkers are looking at me funny because I kept laughing and snorting.

15 years ago

super cute. those would make for a good book :-)

Amy M.
Amy M.
15 years ago

Loved them the 1st time & they’re still fantastic! My babies are about 3-4 months behind yours, so the timing of this post is impeccable! :)

15 years ago

awesome. thanks for sharing!


[…] linked to these and they are so very good that I might just give up writing altogether. November 12, 2008 @ 9:59 amTime is moving sideways!Quick, save yourselves! I’m not sure what’s happening today. The first partof the day took forever. Then all of a sudden it skipped from noonish to nearly 3:00. Then an hour or two later it was 3:15. I am so confused! November 10, 2008 @ 4:31 pmThe Dangers of GoogleDuring a routine search I came across a website for a cattle ranch that offers, among other things, semen and embryos. October 30, 2008 @ 5:15 pm[SIDEBLOG ARCHIVES] […]

15 years ago

Here I am happily giggling along, until I got to the last one.

Now, am crying.
Sobbing on the laptop.

15 years ago

These were wonderfully hilarious.

15 years ago

I laughed so hard … good stuff!

15 years ago

I am sitting at the Reference Desk (I’m a librarian) laughing, and wheezing with tears running down my face getting disapproving looks from my students.

So FREAKING funny!

15 years ago

I love these so much they almost make me faint. Like, seriously, I get a head rush from laughing and crying, and I feel kind of crazy and light-headed.

15 years ago

I’m with Swistle.
I remember some of them from last time and if anything, they get better with time.

15 years ago

Oh my god, I laughed so hard. Thank you.

15 years ago

The only thing that’s changed is your ‘market research of one’ is now two; other than that a spittle-worthy oeuvre of parenthood!


[…] Asides Poems on ParentingViolet linked to these and they are so very good that I might just give up writing altogether. November 12, 2008 @ 9:59 amTime is moving sideways!Quick, save yourselves! I’m not sure what’s happening today. The first part of the day took forever. Then all of a sudden it skipped from noonish to nearly 3:00. Then an hour or two later it was 3:15. I am so confused! November 10, 2008 @ 4:31 pmThe Dangers of GoogleDuring a routine search I came across a website for a cattle ranch that offers, among other things, semen and embryos. October 30, 2008 @ 5:15 pm[SIDEBLOG ARCHIVES] […]

15 years ago

Ah, these are great! I love them.

15 years ago

those are fantastic!

15 years ago

oh god, i just read the last one and now i’m crying. thanks a lot.

15 years ago

I somehow don’t remember these….I LOVE them….am now crying, at work!

thanks buddy!

15 years ago


15 years ago

First I was laughing… and then and then and then…. ohhhh that last one…for fuck’s sake Linda… I’m bawling and snotting all over my desk! Thank you… seriously thank you… you just put into words what it does feel like… the bigger than mine now, 19 yr old college boy hand of my son’s rarely takes mine anymore.
You are truely gifted with words. Thank you for sharing them with us.

15 years ago

Cried the first time (laughter and sweetness) and cried this time with even more recognition. So beautiful and poignant and pitch-perfect descriptions!

15 years ago

Just another one chiming in to say I was at first tears-laughing and then tears-crying at these. You are a genius! And I am full of breastfeeding-a-6-week-old hormones!

I also want to let you know how happy I am you are NaBloPoMo-ing, I love reading your posts daily.

15 years ago

I just so enjoyed these. Thank you.

15 years ago

I shared these with my husband, who is currently sitting in the student union at his university. He had to excuse himself to the restroom because his laughing/crying/hiccupping was disturbing other people! Linda, you never fail to make us both laugh, and we truly appreciate the sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and baby poop that you bring to our days!

15 years ago

I found these through Swistle and I am so glad. They are hilarious, true, and beautiful!

15 years ago

I read this hilarious post re a dog needing a home and it mentions ZOMBIES. I of course immediately thought of you.

Please to enjoy:

15 years ago

I absolutely LOVED these when you first posted them! They are even better the 2nd time around. Hilarious!!!!! Thanks for reposting.

15 years ago

Thank you for sharing those poems! They made me smile, nod in agreement and laugh out loud. :)

mrs. breedorf
15 years ago

These are just as good the second time around. Most had me nodding and snickering at my desk (Danger Crisps! The injustice of fingernail clipping!) and the last one, of course, made the tears well up.

15 years ago

These remind me of the “pocketful of peppermints” poetry book I had as a child and can’t seem to find anywhere…

15 years ago

I’d like to see one of these as a preface to every entry, please!

15 years ago

I was JUST thinking about your poems the other day! I loved them when you posted them on Club Mom and I still love them.

You made me cry with laughter. And with the awwww…, too.

I would love to see more, if the spirit moves you.

15 years ago

Edit–not Pocketful of Peppermints…called a box of peppermints by Libby Stopple.

15 years ago

I died. I now understand why my new-mom good friend is completely insane.

15 years ago

I love these so much. You are so brilliant and funny that it makes me want to QUIT because what’s the point? Who could be funnier and more awesome that YOU? :)

15 years ago

I thought this was going to be 100% silliness. now I’m crying. A lot.

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