Eating out

Feb. 11th, 2006 06:36 pm
We're eating out! And off we go
Walking there and crossing roads
Holding hands and matching paces
Singing songs and pulling faces

We're out to lunch! The sandwich shop
Is waiting for us, so off we hop
This leg, that leg, both together
Hopping cold in sunny weather

We've reached the shop! Her shoulders shrug
Her bag falls off, her coat is tugged
And then she's ready for to eat
She climbs the stool with waving feet

It's time to eat! I turn around
And find her three feet off the ground
Coat and bag are on the floor
I'm not needed any more

She's ordered beans! They're nice and hot
She has a spoon, eats lots and lots
And drinks her juice, and wipes her face
A grown-up baby in her place
There is a dance, a slow and careful dance,
That starts with love and trust and some romance
And ends with spinning wildly round the room
I dance with her, who dwelt within my womb

There is a song, a high and piercing song
That starts with love and trust and holding strong
And ends with singing gladly in the light
I sing with her, who woke me in the night

There is a prayer, a short and fervent prayer
That starts with love and trust and gasps of air
And ends with thanks and staring at each other
I pray with her, who made of me a mother.
If you please, draw me asleep
Draw me a cat that's about to leap
Draw a giraffe, or a car, or a plane
Draw me a daddy-boy driving a train

If you please, give me a pen
The orange, the red, the orange again
Give me a crayon, some chalk and some glue
And I'll paint a big purple picture of you!

Winter

Jan. 3rd, 2006 09:40 pm
This is the Winter: I give it to you
I give you the frost on the morning dew
I give you the crunch of the frozen grass
I give you the mist on the window glass

This is the Winter: I give it to you
I give you thick socks and big heavy shoes
I give you a hat and a vest with long sleeves
I give you the sight of your breath as you breathe

This is the Winter: I give it to you
I give you the end and the starting anew
I give you hot drinks and slow-cooking stew
I give you all this: it was made just for you.
I think it's her legs that I like the best;
the way they stand firm under all of the rest
the muscles are curved like a sculptor's sweet dreams
and her feet, strong and supple, and her dimpling knees -

Or perhaps it's her arms that hold most of the charms,
Soft, strong and graceful, affectionate, warm
And the tone of the skin as they turn in the light
As she reaches up gladly to hug me goodnight -

No, I think it's her mouth, open wide in a laugh,
Or puckered to suck the foam from her bath,
With shiny white teeth and generous lips
All of which come at speed when she dives for a kiss -

Her back is the finest, most beautiful part;
the straightness of spine makes such natural art
and the flow of her skin over shoulderblades small...
I think it's the whole girl I love most of all.

Hug!

Nov. 30th, 2005 12:00 am
Hug! and the world hugs with you!
Hug! and we'll all sing loud!
Hug! and then hug harder!
Hug! for your parents proud!

Hug! for an early morning!
Hug! for a lunchtime treat!
Hug! without time for warning!
Hug! knocks us off our feet!

Hug! lest you miss the cuddle!
Hug! you must grab the chance!
Hug! round our necks and middles!
Hug! in a family dance!

Growing up

Nov. 17th, 2005 02:41 pm
Of course I always knew that this would come
And waited pleased and sure I'd welcome change
I always knew that growth would be great fun
That learning, changing, growing would be strange -
And of course I always knew I would regret
And knew I would be saddened as she aged
And remember fondly days she could not yet
Verbalise, act out, show love and rage -
There is no parent who does not expect
That as their baby grows to adulthood
That they will look back sadly, or elect
To cover wistfulness with gifts of food -
But goodness me, she isn't even two!
When she's thirteen, whatever will I do?
One, two, three, six -
I made it broke, now Mammy fix!
One, free, free, one,
Moon, bed, stars, morning, sun

Milko now, no down knee up!
Tea hot hot, tea Mammy cup.
Towel, bath, sing sing sing -
Baby girls tell everything!

Italics denote stuff that's NOT an actual quote from the baby
Talk to me and laugh at me and bop me on the nose
Tangle up my ponytail, put dinner on my toes
Ask for answers, nag for treats, summon me for dancing -
It won't last long, this trusting phase, and it is so entrancing.

Give me kisses full of cake, and hugs all full of paint
Climb my legs and tell me all about the teddy's train
Knock me down and roll on me, my ribs you can hear breaking -
It won't last long, this trusting phase, and to think this has me aching.

Call me loud and wait assured of my sure and prompt arrival
Launch yourself from high to hard, knowing I'll ensure survival
Tell me what you've done today and what you're going to do -
It won't last long, this trusting phase, when I know all of you.
There's a cuddle round my neck
It's shouting "Sing! Sing! Sing!"
In tones which are not strident
Yet have a commanding ring
And the cuddle on my neck
Is putting kisses in my hair
And kneecaps in my shoulderblades
Toes in my underwear

I'm singing songs of foolishness
Of mothers and of worry
I'm singing to the tunes we know
That there's no need to hurry
I can feel the wetness spreading
From a nappy freshly peed
But the cuddle is fulfilling
A far more urgent need
Travelling with you is a pleasure and a privilege
Travelling with you is a treasure and a joy
The journey that we make, from the midlands to the water's edge
Is full of fun and questions, making friends and toys.

Travelling with you is exciting and adventuresome
Travelling with you is delicious and delight
The journey that we make could so easily be bothersome
But it's full of games and pictures, good morning and good night.

This is a train, and we're on a train and drawing one -
This is a boat and it's sailing on the sea
This is a bus, and it's going to meet another one -
This is a cart, and it's drawn by a horsey.

This is a car and it's driven by a baby's dad
This is a tram and it's running like a train
This is a buggy and I'm pushing it like crazy mad
This is a bike, rushign past us in the cycle lane.

I see a tractor, I see a cow
I see a birdie and a tractor and a plough
I see a crane and a boat and a cup of tea
I see you and you see me

Travelling with you was four days full of learning things
Travelling with you was eight trains of having fun
The journey that we made would be faster if we used some wings
But the way we did it slowly has made me a richer mum.
I am a mother now, it's not a race
I've slowed down to my baby's pace
We see a bird - we stop and stare
As long as he is standing there
I wonder why his beak's so sharp?
And could we hear his beating heart?
His feathers seem all of a piece
More like a fur or woolly fleece
Why cock his head?
Why look away?
What has this bird eaten, today?
Where is his nest, does he have eggs,
Would I hop, if I had such legs?
Do birds have babies too, and stop
And stare at people as they shop?
I've had to hide the bananas
She can bite through the skins
And she can recognise
The box lunch comes in
The muffins are stored
In a self-sealing box
Like the flapjacks and biscuits
Kept behind locks

Now that she climbs
On counters and tables
The food is in danger
As long as she's able
To reach with one arm
While the other holds tight
But if all she can reach
Is the bread, that's alright.

I lock up the bad foods,
Let her loose on the good,
And hope that the message
Gets lost like it should
Because it's already difficult
To be ok with eating
Without moral values
Applied to the sweeties.

Nightmares

Sep. 19th, 2005 12:02 am
What has my fearless child now learned to fear?
Perhaps she knows there's temper lurking here
My soft voice and my calm demeanour mark
The hiding of a passion vile and dark

Perhaps she knows that underneath the love
Is anger, cruel and hot. Her fear is of
Me. Her mother. She's afraid that I
Will cease to cherish her, and make her cry.

Perhaps she fears what I fear too - maybe
My self-control will falter and then she
Will be the closest target for my fury
And she cannot defend herself with beauty.

She's crying, crying out though she's asleep
She's crying, whimpers sore to make me weep
She's crying, even though we hold her tight
She's crying, crying lonely through the night.

Bees!

Sep. 17th, 2005 10:59 pm
Today I'm glad to be alive
(These two hands are a beehive)
And she is glad to play with me
(These climbing fingers are the bees)
Today we're playing in the park
(The bees are hiding in the dark)
Today we're singing songs of love
(The bees come tickling as they buzz)
I'm doing it right, it's easy to tell -
She tucks up her teddies in towels so well,
And she spoonfeeds them breakfast, and puts on their clothes
(It wouldn't do Teddy to have frozen cold toes)

I'm teaching her something, it's easy to see -
When I was upset, she came up to me
And patted my head, and asked "Are you ok?"
In chirrups and babbles as clear as the day.

I'm good at my job, it's easy to hear -
"Thank you" and asking are always quite clear.
She tidies her toys away, one at a time,
And insists on risk-taking with her hand in mine.

Helping

Sep. 13th, 2005 05:16 pm
Every dish, once washed, is washed again
In a basin on the floor, with extra vim.
And every piece of clothing neatly pegged
Is fastened with a clothespeg sweetly begged.
And every meal is tasted, once or twice,
The vegetables tasted slice by slice -

What did I do, do you suppose
Before I had access to Someone Who Knows
Just how it is done, and how it should be -
How did I manage, when it was just me?

When I do laundry, I am supervised:
No unmatched socks can pass those eagle eyes;
No badly loaded shirt can be allowed;
No trousers put in legs-first, upside-down.
When cooking meals I'm careful to ensure
That nothing lands up on the kitchen floor.

What did I do, do you suppose
Before I had access to Someone Who Knows
Just how it is done, and how it should be -
How did I manage, when it was just me?

I walked into the dining room today
And found the toys all neatly put away,
And all the bits of fabric folded small
(Towels, napkins, shirts and cushions all).
When cleaning floors I always check they're clear
The insepctor will be 'round again, I fear.

What did I do, do you suppose
Before I had access to Someone Who Knows
Just how it is done, and how it should be -
How did I manage, when it was just me?
She wakes and she stumbles, rubbing her eyes
Looking for mama - but to her surprise
I'm not where I ought to be.
Maybe I moved.
Maybe I've gone for good, left her unloved!
Maybe I've walked away, maybe I've died -
Maybe I'd come if she cried - cried - cried - CRIED!

So she cried, and I came, and I held her to me
And she howled her betrayal and stood on my knee
And she thrashed with her fists and she kicked with her toes
And at some point her skull came in touch with my nose
As her face turned more purple and my bruises showed through
And she arched until there was nothing I could do.

I put her down gently. I laid her right back
On a quilt on the carpet, so she could have her attack
In safety and comfort. Well, safety will do.
I waited until her frustration was through
And she turned to despair.

Oh, the howling despair!

Her tears ran right down from her eyes to her hair,
And onto the carpet, and into her ears,
And I held her again, and I kissed up her tears.

I sang her a song. I clapped her a game.
I sang her a song which repeated her name.
I played with her tummy, and tickled her toes,
And at last I could hear, from her red, running nose,
A forgiving sniff, and I saw a small smile
And I knew that we were, for the next little while,
OK friends. Good companions. Reasonably happy.
So then I spoiled everything.

I changed her nappy.

Today

Aug. 14th, 2005 07:52 pm
Today was exhausting, rewarding and happy:
A totally normal parental day.
Today was enlightening, scary and sappy:
I guess, from the evidence, we're doing ok.

Privilege

Aug. 1st, 2005 08:35 pm
I can hear her breathing
And my breath speeds up to match
I can smell her skin and feel
Her hands reach up to catch

I can see her grinning hard
With her teeth bared broad and white
And I can touch her skin when she
Is nursing in the night

I can taste her when I kiss
A bruised and dirty hand
And I can feel her hand in mine
She likes to hold my hand

Her hands are strong and broad and small
Her hands are tanned light brown
Her hands reach out and choose to touch
Her hands pull cuddles down

Her hands can talk, with sign and push,
And dance with songs, and wave -
Her hands first reached for those she loved
On her third living day.
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