A Parent’s Plea

Received “Commended” award, FreeXpresSion Literary Competition 2010.

After years of sleeping and dreaming
When life was just carefree and fun
A tummy grew bigger and bigger
‘Till a scream hinted things had begun
So into the ward we all gathered
To witness an almighty push
Then a wrinkled bundle of wonder
Lay before us and squinted a look.

Then nights upon nights without sleeping
With no manual to guide us the way
It seemed a routine was emerging
From the flurry of chores every day
Nappy changing, bathing and burping
And feeds in the dead of the night
Our lives have been changed forever
Looking after this smallish delight.

But there’s always the smell of the bottom
Tests the nose while you’re wiping it clean
And the regular cries for attention
To remind you it’s time for a feed
And an unforseen bump of the teaspoon
Puts rice porridge all over the wall
Through the delusory haze of exhaustion
One wonders why you have children at all.

And there’s a New Year’s Eve to remember
Walking home amongst revellers and rain
With a carton of “Huggies” on each shoulder
Just because they’re “on special” again
And with washing, ironing and cleaning
And countless trips to the mall
When your partner comes home from the office
They think you’ve done nothing at all.

So there seems no logic to speak of
For reproduction to happen at all
No sleep, stubborn prams, leaky bottles
And constant worry over when they might fall
But no words can describe the emotion
When from nowhere and out of the blue
A beaming smile, a “gah-gah”, a “dah-dah”
And big round eyes that look only to you.

And a magical kind of a feeling
Wells up from deep in the heart
When a small hand reaches up to touch you
It forever gives you a start
And in English the word seems to be missing
A true description never able to reach
But if “love” was to equal a sand grain
Then what you feel is really the whole beach.

Then along comes time for childcare
A time to begin letting go
New friends, new games, new playthings
There’s a chance for independence to grow
With a teary eyed glance through the window
After a passionate hug and a kiss
All that time that we spent together
I’m already beginning to miss.

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