Friday, March 2, 2012

Babies Don't Keep

Song for a Fifth Child.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Poem Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton, written in 1958 and first published in the Ladies Home Journal.

I read and re-read this poem. I have an obsession with wanting to be the perfect wife and mother with an amazingly clean home, dinner perfectly cooked, but also having time and energy to do all of the little things with my boys. I'm a fan of kids learning to self soothe to sleep but before naps M and I have this recent routine where I rock him for just a few mins, sing a song and talk, then I lay him in his bed where he promptly gets up and plays quietly until he's ready to sleep. (He likes his own playtime before naps) Sometimes when I'm sitting there starting into his gorgeous blue eyes and my mind wanders to the housework needing to be done I say to myself "I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep" N likes his one on one cuddle time with me too but it's not the same as when they're babies/toddlers. N is a big boy and rocking with mommy isn't quite as fun and cuddling on the couch watching a movie or playing together, although the message is the same. I'm coloring with my baby and babies don't keep. I love that I found this. I want my boys to look back and say "My mom payed with me, sang silly songs with me, painted the sidewalk blue because it was my favorite color, and made me my favorite food just to see me smile" not how clean our house was or how perfect our crafts came out. This reminds me to let them be them and enjoy them at each stage because I can always go back to the To Do list but I can never get back small moments.

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