(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
somewhere
an angel’s eardrums
explode

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

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
know
It is 5:30 in the freaking morning?
GO.
BACK.
TO.
SLEEP.

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

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

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

Here are the things in this household that are toys:
that. this. that. and that.
wait
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.

Oh
hey
what
do
you
know
another
goddamn
tooth.

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
anyway.

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
but
I do enough freaking laundry
already.

No offense
but if you were on Survivor
you would get voted off
first.
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
check
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:

Electrical
Choking Hazard
Toxic
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.

::::

Look!
Here,
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
either.
How’s about giving
me a break
So I can more properly
dig poop
from
your
scrotal
area.

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
robot.

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!
Wait.
Damn.
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
fat
and you’re
not eating your goddamn
dinner.

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
terrifying.

Um, sweetie?
How can I say this
It makes Daddy
uncomfortable
when you curiously
touch
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—
ahem.
Sorry.
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
include:

– 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
various
things.

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
a
banana slug.
Well I’m sorry!
But it is.
Come here,
my beloved
Old-Navy-clad
gastropod.

Whenever I hold your tiny, eager hands
I think
Please
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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whoorl
15 years ago

I must have missed these the first time around, but I am so stoked you posted them again. Perfect.

Eleanor Q.
15 years ago

They were so funny (and true) I was laughing out loud with tears!

Christy
Christy
15 years ago

So, so brilliant. Thank you for re-running them.

NK
NK
15 years ago

So, so great. I laughed through most of them, and then cried at the last one. You are amazing with words.

kristylynne
kristylynne
15 years ago

Well damn. I was laughing my way along and then I get to the end and you go and jerk tears out of my eyes.

SleepyNita
15 years ago

I forgot how funny those were. Also: they would make a great set of cards for new and expecting parents. Lure them in with a cute baby photo on the front, and add the snark ass funny but true poetry inside…..

Liz
Liz
15 years ago

Absolutely brilliant.

trackback

[…] November 12, 2008 · Filed under Babies, Teh funny No offense but if you were on Survivor you would get voted off first. 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.. […]

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Oh boy, the last one about the hands just killed me! I’m not a mom, but I’m my mother,s daughter and I know she must think of this. How do mommies survive the heartbreak of it when the child grows? I’m not having childfren, but I must say I salute all of the mothers out there. I can never repay my mom’s love, which is infinite. Heroes all of you.

Maddy
15 years ago

This totally made my day! :)

I agree with MissAnna– these poems would be an awesome book.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Only a mom who has suffered through 5000 clues would get your “Joe is an interloper” poem, which makes it even funnier. Steve FTW.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Beautiful and hilarious. Thanks. More please!

Amanda
15 years ago

I’ve probably gone back and read these a dozen times on my own.

Honestly, out of a body of EXCELLENT parenting writing? These are your best work.

bouncy czech
15 years ago

now there. you made me cry again. thanks.

Amanda
15 years ago

Oh Lord, these were funny (and touching too!). My husband is trying to do work next to me and I keep saying “read this one” “oh read this one too” – thanks for these!

MyDoppleganger.wordpress.com

I hadn’t read these yet, but I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. I had one of those days where you think that your kid is the worst in the history of kids, that NO kid could ever be as bad as your kid is, and that maybe you’re not cut out for this mommy-gig afterall, someone SHOOT you! I read this after my daughter was asleep and cried. Because she’s NOT the worst kid in the world (Hitler might have been worse), and other parents go through the exact same thing I went through today.
Thank you thank you thank you for picking today to post this.

Karin
Karin
15 years ago

OMG – you are singing to my soul on a crappy day with husband who is sick with “the plague” and my daughter who is “her royal whine-ness”. These made me laugh out loud when I was really ready to run out the door screaming. Thank You!

Heather-in-Australia
Heather-in-Australia
15 years ago

I love them all, but I can’t make up my mind which UTTERLY delights me the most, the Survivor one, the nipple one or the Blue’s Clues one :).

Anais
15 years ago

My favorites are the ones about the angel’s eardrums exploding; the malfunctioning robot; and the shoes filled with bees. Loved them then and still do.

Jennifer, Playgroups are no place for children

I LOVE your parenting poetry!

And damn if Joe just won’t go away. Bring Steve back.

Stacy
15 years ago

All very cute. That last one really spoke to me. Beautiful.

Kristen
Kristen
15 years ago

these are fantastic!

anna
anna
15 years ago

OH man, the surivivor one…..excellent!

Meggish
Meggish
15 years ago

Beautiful!

Ryan
Ryan
15 years ago

. Um, yeah, something in my eye, on that last one. Little thrashing alligator– excellent diaper analogy.

trackback

[…] Re-run: parenting poetry : All & Sundry "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 anyway.No offense but if you were on Survivor you would get voted off first. 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 check for sharks.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.Guess what, little one. I have a newsflash for you. This task? At hand? Is not my favorite either. How’s about giving me a break So I can more properly dig poop from your scrotal area." […]

Seesh
Seesh
15 years ago

Definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY get these published!! Wide appeal. Thank you for sharing this!

superblondgirl
15 years ago

I read these before, at club mom, but I’m thankful for the re-run. I loved them then, and I love them now, and I really wish that you would do more. I’ll say it again, too (I think I have many, many times, now): You need to write a book. Even if it’s not about parenting at all, if it’s noir like that short story you linked to long ago, you are an amazing writer and I would love to read a whole book of yours. Get on the stick, girl, you’re not busy enough!!

Bec
Bec
15 years ago

Oh thank you!
You made me laugh so hard I have tears rolling from my eyes and then the tears stayed with love and tender joy.

Must Be Motherhood
15 years ago

I had not read these before. They are fantastic!
The last one has given me one of those mini headaches you get when you want to cry but you hold it in.

Stephanie
15 years ago

LMAO at the Mr. Wolf comment!!

Robin
15 years ago

Oh my god, I love you. I loave you. I luff you!

Robin
15 years ago

Okay, I was inspired to write one of my own:

I kiss your cheeks, I love them
I nibble your cheeks, I love them
I eat your cheeks,
I love them!
Ouch!
You pull my hair.

Shelly
15 years ago

These are fantastic. Hilarious, and then the last, so very sweet. All so true. Absolutely brilliant.

AmyQ
15 years ago

These are so fantastic. When can I buy the book?

Joy @ Big Time Fancy
15 years ago

Holy crap I love this SO MUCH.

Nicki
15 years ago

I was LITERALLY “ROFL!”

Missie
15 years ago

I remember reading
these at ClubMom
and thinking how you must have
visited my house
in secret.

I laughed with you then,
and I laughed now.
Until I got to the last one,
Then I teared up.
You big stinker.

Wendy
Wendy
15 years ago

A friend sent this to me yesterday when it made her day – and today it’s making mine. My 16-month old is testing me today at every opportunity, but especially when I’m nursing his new sister and have a hard time yanking him away from what he’s touching…I’m losing this battle and my patience today. Thanks for sharing!

Victoria
15 years ago

Publish these!

Cheryl
Cheryl
15 years ago

Laughing and bawling here.

I have two little boys myself, and all of the poems are so perfect.

Becky
15 years ago

I loved these the first time around, and even more now. Fabulous.

I know you want milk
I heard you the first
ten times.
Oh, not that cup?
The blue one with
stars on it?

Here’s your milk.
Now you don’t want it?
YES, YOU DO WANT IT?
Here, I’ll set it on
the table while you make up your mind.
Aw, crap.
You’re cleaning that up
yourself.

April Luxner
15 years ago

Wow. The Survivor one made me laugh and the ingredient list made me teary. This is my favorite post that you’ve ever done.

Susan Voskuil
15 years ago

You need to publish these, and I have the title for you: Alligators Don’t Wear Diapers

I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed, and it’s all true, true, true!

christy pinnock
christy pinnock
15 years ago

They make me cry thru the utter truth, yet I am sure my neighbours can still hear me laugh. MY I am truly speechless!

Maria
15 years ago

You should be pusblishing this stuff. I laughed for 5 minutes, until the end when I cried at the last one. Your words are so true, and so perfect.

Sylvia
Sylvia
15 years ago

Absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t see them the first time, so thank you for posting them again. Tears and smiles and laughs throughout.

Cindy Dumont
Cindy Dumont
15 years ago

Kim, You are so talented I really enjoyed your poems. You brought me back to when Mary-Helen and Teresa were small. fun memories..

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[…] 20 November 2008 by scroobious Evidently kids are a great source of humour and poetic inspiration, but… […]

Rachelle
15 years ago

LMAO!!!