The bird who wanted to take a nap (By: Tayden W)

So maybe this counts as cheating as far as writing a poem a day is concerned, but I’m happy to bend the rules. This poem was written today by my step-daughter as I watched on proudly 🙂  #NaPoWriMo

A tiny blue jay decides
To take a nap.
He flies to his nest
Flap! Flap! Flap!
And right there
Out of the blue
Out of the corner of his eye
An incredibly beautiful red cardinal
Flew into his view.
And when the light shone
On this bird
He remembered
He had to return
To his flock
And when he came back,
He saw
That the beautiful red cardinal
Was gone
But then he saw
A more beautiful
Peacock.

For Francis

A couple of days ago, as I was thinking about a close friend whose father is living out his final few days, a quote appeared in my inbox in an email from gratefulness.org, attributed to the Buddha.

I’m wary of fake quotes and I don’t know if the Buddha actually said those words. But I like them. I wrote those words down the left side of the page and I wrote some more words down the right side of the page. This morning, I heard from my friend that her father had left his body. This is for Francis.

Ain’t no algorithm

This poem is a follow-up/sequel to one I wrote before Freya was born called “Slack parenting”. I’ll share that on here some time after #NaPoWriMo is over 🙂

Before I was a dad
I didn’t know what fun I’d have
trying to figure out
what baby’s sounds are all about
when she coos, when she cries
when she wails with desperate eyes
and wakes a hundred times in the night
and makes me feel all broken inside
when she’s too tired to sleep or eat
when she’s sick and can’t even breathe
I love every single second of loving her
of figuring it out, together
mummy and daddy make a great team
we’re all that our baby needs
our heart our touch is the ultimate healing
the art of trusting our gut feeling
all the research we did means very little
all the experts in the world can’t solve my precious riddle
there’s no book, no Youtube, no listicle
ain’t no algorithm that knows her rhythm like we do
and I like that, thank you very much
thank God there’s no app
that can change her nappy
no button to click to make her happy
because then, what would be the use of Daddy?

Master eater

For a nine-month-old, my daughter is an incredible eater. We don’t mash up her food; she just eats whatever we eat. She doesn’t like to be fed and much prefers to feed herself. It takes some concentration but her fingers are able to pick up just about anything, however small – and get some of it into her mouth.

It’s quite wonderful to watch and makes me excited about the future! Until now I’ve been the only one in my household with adventurous tastes as far as food is concerned. I’m looking forward to having an eating buddy, someone whom I can introduce to the gastronomically good things in life 🙂  #NaPoWriMo

my babe, you’re a master eater
already feasting on chips and pizza
today again you’re eating daal and rice
grain by grain, each morsel delights
there are very few things that you don’t like
and even if you don’t, you’ll try anything twice

my dear, you’re a master eater
already feasting on chips and pizza
you always feed yourself and you’re so cute
when you bite off more than you can chew
you love cashews and okra and sriracha too
there aren’t many babies who eat like you

my love, you’re a master eater
already feasting on chips and pizza
you eat everything, you’re not choosey
you wear a moustache made of smoothie
it makes me so proud and so goofy
I just can’t wait to feed you sushi

my babe, you’re a master eater
already feasting on chips and pizza
yes you, you’re a master eater
already feasting on chips and pizza

The hardest part about being a dad

There are lots of hard parts about being a dad, but this has got to be the hardest…. If you agree, please say something! I’m sure it’s not just me??!

It’s not when she shits all over me
and as I clean up she decides to pee
No, that’s not the hardest part about being a dad

It’s not when she cries and keeps me up all night
makes me doubt myself and so confused inside
No, that’s not the hardest part about being a dad

It’s not how she’s taken over my life
robbed my freedom and stolen my wife
No, that’s not the hardest part about being a dad

‘Cos when I look at her and see those cheeks
her sumo wrestler arms and teeny tiny feet
I can’t help wondering how it would feel
to crunch her bones between my teeth
nothing’s as sweet and juicy as newborn meat
no salt or pepper need she’s seasoned perfectly
it’s sure not easy, my baby not to eat thee
it takes every ounce of willpower I have
and that’s the hardest part about being a dad
Yes, that’s the hardest part about being a dad

What it really means to be a step-dad

A big shout-out to all the step-dads out there! In a way it’s a huge blessing to get readymade kids without having to change all the diapers… and it can be quite a challenge, too! I’m lucky that I have so much love and we get along well. This poem is clearly a dramatisation – I don’t make dinner very often.

I started writing this poem just over a year ago and never got round to finishing it. National Poetry Writing Month is a good opportunity to do that – writing 30 poems in 30 days 🙂 It’s interesting to look back at this poem and note how things have changed in the past year – and how they haven’t! I’m looking forward to writing a follow-up poem to it someday soon-ish!!

it’s 3:45, the end of my day
switch off my world, it’s time to play
cos as your bundle off the schoolbus
there’s no more me, it’s time for us
mayhem ensues as you enter the door
jumping about, shrieking for more
my answer’s always yes if you want to jump around
I’ll carry you like a baby, though you’re 90 pounds
and I’m panting and I’m sweating and I’m aching from the falls
struggling to stand up as you’re bouncing off the walls
and I’m trying to find a moment to breathe
just a few minutes so that I can finally make dinner
and now they’re fighting over who gets to play with me next
and there can only be one winner
and the loser’s not happy, lashes out and now I’m the discipliner
meanwhile, mum does the dishes

bedtime’s a kerfuffle
cos I’ve come in between
a finely honed routine
and invited the question:
how many ‘just one more story’s can we get out of him?
for a grown up, I sure love to play
you want patience, I got it in spades
I’ll run beside you on your bike
hear the same song as often as you like
let you make the rules in every game
fall for your tricks however lame
yes I’ll act surprised when you hide in the same places
I’ll pretend to be frightened of your cute “scary” faces

but what happens six months from now?
will we bring each other such joy
when I’m no longer your shiny new toy?
when I’m more a parent than a friend
when I gotta do work not play let’s pretend
when you see that now I’m here to stay
it won’t be so easy to get your own way
what then? when baby’s here too
screaming even louder than you
when sibling rivalry goes through the roof
and I’m lost and I’m scared cos I don’t have a clue
maybe then I’ll find out what it really means to be a step-dad

Keep/stop sleeping

This poem is about that feeling when you’re lying in bed looking at a sleeping baby and she’s just so cute that you want to wake her up, but you know you shouldn’t, but you really really want to….kind of hard to explain if you haven’t felt it yourself 😝

I started writing this poem when Freya was less than a month old. I never got round to finishing it until just now! Thank you National Poetry Writing Month – this is day 9 of writing 30 poems in 30 days 😀 #NaPoWriMo

keep sleeping, babe – you look so at peace!
so cute it’s illegal I should call the police
you’re gurgling and twitching, dreaming of milk
your titchy tiny nose, your skin like silk

stop sleeping, babe – I want to play!
and walk with you and talk with you all night and day
about football and Corbyn and how I met your mum
so many funny stories about where you come from
and listen to music, whole albums not songs
I don’t know you yet but I know we’ll get along

keep sleeping, my love – get some rest!
trust me on this: sleep is the best
and between you and me, I confess
that I don’t always invest in rest
so do as I say, not as I do!
this won’t be the last time I say that to you

stop sleeping, my love
so I can cradle you and rock you and sing your back to sleep
and comfort you and soothe you although you never weep
you’re amazing, incredible, an angel it’s true
I’m so lucky to have a daughter like you
and I suppose I should take this chance to rest too
so keep sleeping, babe
keep sleeping, my love

My toe is bigger

Day 8 of 30 of writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month. #NaPoWriMo

my toe
     is bigger than your foot

my foot
     is bigger than your leg

my finger
     is bigger than your forearm

my pinky fingernail
     is bigger than your big toe

my hand
     is bigger than your cute little bottom

my tongue
     is bigger than your face

my love
     is bigger than the universe

Fascinating

Another poem inspired by watching my baby. Day 7 of 30 of writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month. #NaPoWriMo

everything is fascinating to you
you don’t care if it’s old or if it’s new
it’s something to touch, something to chew
everything is fascinating to you

I love how everything’s fascinating to you
but your curiosity needs some watching too
especially when you go to the loo
‘cos everything’s fascinating, even poo

ever so closely you look at it
squish it between your digits
you lift it up and put it to your lips
‘cos everything is fascinating to you

even though it tastes like shit
you just don’t know when to quit
you’ll try it again next time you sit
‘cos everything is fascinating to you

I wish everyone found things as fascinating as you
us adults have such a fixed point of view
we think we have imagination, but we rarely do
I’m not saying we should all eat poo
but maybe if adults found things so fascinating too
things wouldn’t end up the way they always do