For Dylan at 14 months.

Consistently
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.
What
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
please.

:::

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
tall
YELLOW
broom
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
THEN?

:::

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
uncontrollable
laughter
sounds really really
unpleasant.
But that doesn’t mean
I am going to stop
doing it
unto
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
koala
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
falling
the
fuck
OFF.

:::

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

:::

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

:::

Oh my god!
Oh my god!
Did you hurt yourself?
What is the matter
is there
blood?
Why
why
why are you shrieking like that?
What—
oh.
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
first.

:::

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
ball
Dada
Mama
dog
kittycat.
You can walk, run, climb
and play peekaboo.
You are growing so fast,
sniglet
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
improvement
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
chair
in this
moment.
Shhhhhhhh.
The room is dark
the room is quiet
and we are
here.

:::

(Previous Parenting Poetry from the Spleen entries here.)

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lisa-marie
13 years ago

Those are all awesome!!

Shelley
Shelley
13 years ago

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.

Chanda
13 years ago

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

Shangrila
13 years ago

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

Sharla
Sharla
13 years ago

This made me laugh so hard. I love it!

Louise
Louise
13 years ago

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

Tiffanny
Tiffanny
13 years ago

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!)

Caroline Wright
Caroline Wright
13 years ago

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.

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[…] 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!) […]

Christy
13 years ago

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.

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

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

Leslie
Leslie
13 years ago

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

Tash
13 years ago

Wow! Just WOW!

Widya
13 years ago

Beautifully and hilariously honest and true. I love it!