I follow her back, crawling up the stairs,
Her straight little spine and her shoulderblades
(I never knew shoulders could be so small)

I follow her bottom, up the steps
Her strong thighs as big as my own biceps
(I never knew babies could grow so tall)

I follow her hands, climbing up the gate
Her sure baby feet standing firm and straight
(I never knew anything - anything at all)


Jun. 17th, 2005 05:00 pm
Little kisses so sincerely
Pressed on those she loves most dearly
With a little, rock-hard skull
Behind the kiss so soft and full.

Little smacking kisses planted
Where they're sure to be most wanted
Loud and loving in your ear
Though your skin is nowhere near.

Little kisses full of loving
Placed by babies full of shoving
In her eagerness to love us
She blows kisses high above us.

Little raining kisses falling
Little kiss-kiss noises calling
Little baby girls come crawling
For the biggest kisses back.
The firsts are fun, and sweet, and proud -
But second time round - Oh, second time round -

She's worn her first toothbrush down to a stub,
And her first shoes are lying outgrown on the rug,
And her first highchair's unused, discarded, upstairs -
Because she's sitting now in great grown-up-girl chairs.

Her first socks were tiny, and sweet, and petite -
Her second show she's got her mother's big feet.
Her first coat was fragile and soft and so warm-
Her second coat's strong enough to come to no harm.

The first are adorable. The seconds are cold -
My baby girl proving that she's getting old -
She's bigger and stronger, not practising now -
She needs all the seconds because she knows how.

A real fork with prongs and a real metal spoon
And real grown-up dinner and a real grown-up room
A real grown-up walk to the real grown-up shops
And a real baby cuddle when the growing-up stops.
Come and join us at the table,
Baby girl, baby mine,
Come and join us at our dinner,
Come and join us while we dine!

Come and join us as we're eating,
Come and join in all the fun,
Come and paint us all with carrots,
Come and cover us in lunch.
I need no sleep! I wide awake!
I run to give! I dash to take!
I crawl and tickle, shout and sing -
I do all and any thing!

I stamp my feet! I stamp your hands!
I climb all over Mammy-land!
I bounce and jog! I laugh and shout!
I play on swing! I go late out!

It's only nine! It's only ten!
It's not time for bed again!
It's not eleven, it's only twelve!
I stay up - go bed yourselves!

I climb a chair! I climb a table!
I climb a thing I wasn't able!
I run in circles, I fall down -
I want to go to bed right now!
I'm a Maternal Failure! What does it take?
A single sweet mouthful of shop-purchased cake.
A bite of my wholemeal toast spread with red jam,
Or salt-preserved soup heated up from a can.

I'm a Very Bad Mammy! You know that it's true
Because my baby sucked on a bottle or two
And she wore polyester, not once, but twice
(Though the general consensus is she looked very nice).

I'm a flop, I'm a sinner, I'm a no-earthly-good
I feed the poor infant the wrong kinds of food
And I give her the wrong kind of cure for her bugs
But she still runs towards me when I ask for a hug.


May. 22nd, 2005 09:03 pm
To use a fork,
Take the fork in your right hand,
And the food in your left hand,
And carefully place the food
On the prongs of the fork.

You may have to ask Daddy
To push the food all the way on
If it's particularly stiff.

(Sometimes by accident
randomised stabbing
spears a potato
on the fork's prongs.
Then there's a frantic
chewing and swallowing
to empty the mouth
for the spuddies' swansong).
She sleeps like a baby. That is to say
That she farts and she snuggles and snoozes all day
And then, just as dusk falls, she suddenly wakes
So we all spend the night pacing floors.

She sleeps like a baby . She's loud, and sincere
And I'm sure that the neighbours can quite clearly hear
When she rolls to the sides of her crib, such a dear,
And the impact does rattle the floors.

She sleeps like a baby. We just have to look
And we know that however much rocking it took
Or however much walking and talking and suck,
We are totally, utterly floored.
I am One, and what can I do?
I say Hiya, wave bye-bye too -
I can walk, I can run, I can dance, I can sing -
I am One, and I can do anything.

I am One, and what can I say?
With my hands I can say "Milk" ok,
And "Drink", "food" and "bye-bye" as you already know -
They half-dread the day that I learn "Uh-oh."

I am One, and what can I talk?
I can talk Didi drinking, Mama while I walk
To find milkness and cuddles and all things sublime -
I say Hiya and Dada and Eeeeh. I say Mine.

I am One, though you'd never have known -
I've started off big and I've grown,
And in terms of destructiveness, cuteness and poo
I'm at least 18 months. I may even be Two.

At night

May. 6th, 2005 10:31 pm
Every night,
Between ten and midnight,
We hear a snuffling
And a whuffling
From the monitor downstairs.

And every night,
Daddy goes up
And finds a baby lying
Face down and crying -
Just weeping there.

And every night,
He soothes her gently
Often she doesn't
Even wake

And every night
He doesn't know
How long the soothing
Is going to take

But every night
Daddy goes up
And reaches out
To his baby girl

And every night,
Sometimes fast, sometimes slowly,
He makes it well
Throughout her world.
Siddown! You're getting into that buggy!
Siddown! We have got to get gone!
We're ten minutes late, already -
Siddown! I have things to get done!

Get up! You can't sit on the footpath!
Get up! You can't climb on that chair!
I don't have the time to play bloodbath -
Get up! You've just sat on my hair!

Siddown! I am putting your socks on.
Siddown! Now we need to be quiet.
The library is meant for reading.
Siddown! You are starting a riot!

Get up, darling, come over to mama.
Sit down, love, and we'll have a hug.
I don't mean to go so bananas -
Lie down, for a rug-snuggle-bug.
It's very important -
No, very important -
To pull Mammy's shirt up before
You blow on her tummy
With raspberries yummy
And giggles and tickles galore.

It's very amusing -
More so if he's snoozing -
To launch a surprise Dad attack
And lay bare his middle
For raspberry giggles:
If you're lucky, he'll get you right back.
I'm climbing up to where it's at
I'm going to be cool
It's boring down here on my own...
I'm going to fetch a stool.

The action's all much higher up
It's happenin', up there -
I can't quite reach the lofty peak -
I'm going to fetch a chair.

It's easier when they're down here,
With games and toys and fun -
I like to play "Stand on your Mam"
And "Run, my puss-cat, run!"

But sometimes they perch higher up
As high up as the sofa
And then I need to stretch and climb
And drag a step-stool over.

Hi! It's me! I'm here! Didja miss me?
I'm a pushy, pushy parent
And my baby's going to soar -
When it seems she might be flagging,
I just push her even more.

I'm going to get her higher
Than she knew that she could go.
Don't ask me how I'll do it -
We mothers, we just know.

It causes social problems,
This early walking thing,
But she doesn't need to do it
When I push her on the swing.
Peek-a-boo, I see you!
Peek-a-boo, you see me!
Peek-a-boo, I see you!
Peek-a-boo, where can she be?

She's a very tiny baby,
And she doesn't walk or crawl,
But she cannot find her Mammy -
In fact, she can't see at all!

She's hiding in the duvet,
She dropped her face down fast
And Mammy hasn't found her -
Oh! she's coming out at last!

Peek-a-boo, I see you!
Peek-a-boo, you see me!
Peek-a-boo, I see you!
Peek-a-boo, where can she be?

Drop down, peep up, laugh out loud:
That's the way to draw the crowd!
Drop down, peep up, if you're able -
But don't try this upon the table.

The bed is very large
And the table's very flat
But the primary resemblances
Seem to end at that.

The bed is very soft,
And the table's all of wood,
And to drop down on the table
Doesn't feel so very good.

Drop down on the bed, my love,
And hide your face in feather
And we'll avoid the table 'til
Your bruises are all better.
This is what happens, my baby, my love;
This is what happens, you see,
When you refuse your potatoes and meat
And subsist on . . . broccoli.

A moment's delight, a mealtime of pleasure,
Of face-stuffing, tooth-gnashing joys -
And then round about midnight, the baby wakes crying,
And making a deflating noise.
Daddy walks out the door and turns and smiles
So she waves bye-bye Daddy
Then she walks out the door to him
Carefully carefully down the sill
And confident, sure, to the kerb
And down again carefully, across the road
And all along the street we go -
Hippetty hoppitty hippetty hop!

Stopping for chewing gum stuck to the path
And interesting bricks in the walls
And cigarette butts all covered in grass
And even occasional falls.

So adult and baby and grown-up and young
And it's hard to believe that soon she will be one.

That cat

Mar. 10th, 2005 08:18 pm
She was crying, so I upside-downed her,
And dangled her over the cat,
And, safely distracted, she giggled,
And clearly and loudly said "Cat."

I thought it must be a mishearing -
Pride of a mother gone mad,
But she said it again while she chased it
And again while I talked to her Dad.

The C-sound is a little unwieldy,
But the meaning is def'nitely there,
Because she only says it in context -
My legs wobble. I need a chair.
Month by month she's growing up:
Walking shoes and sippy cup.
Highchair, cot with lowered base,
Calloused knees and safety gates,
Teething ring and baby gym,
Spoons for spooning solids in.

First cry, first smile, first laugh, first noise,
First clothes, first grasp, first book, first toys,
First time of sickness, first getting well,
First startle, first small tale to tell -
First change, first bath, first swimming pool,
First love, first kiss, first day at school,
First noon, first midnight, first day of rest,
First girl is first at being best.


Feb. 10th, 2005 04:32 pm
Grow big! Grow strong! For I gave you the world
When you reached for it with your baby hands.
Grow big! Grow strong! And walk, my girl;
May your strong little feet know many lands.

Grow big! Grow strong! Grow loved and secure
As you are when you lie in my arms at home.
Grow big! Grow strong! And grow so self-sure
That you never need fear just to be alone.

Grow big! Grow strong! Let the whole world know
That the love of Linnea is full of charm.
Grow big! Grow strong! And grow old, grow old.
Let the sum of your life be more joy than harm.
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