When I see a parent scowl

Mummy's Writing Darling

When I see a parent

scowl in my direction

I ask myself a simple set

of essential questions:

do they have Weetabix up their nose

or porridge in their ear?

do they have their bra on inside out

or some Lego shrapnel up their rear?

have they failed at ‘Dry January’

or are desperate for a cig?

are they fed up to the back teeth

of being called mummy pig?

Is their baby teething?

howling through the night?

do they have an uneasy feeling

that bath time will be a fight?

are they so exhausted

they could weep an ocean?

is their only specialist subject

The morals in fucking ‘Frozen’?

Did they have cold fish fingers

and Gin for their dinner?

and despite skipping breakfast

they’re not getting any thinner.

has their toddler started hitting

just to get their attention?

is the weather mostly spitting

and they’ve not had sex since the conception?

and I decide yes – that’s the reason

they’re scowling at me,

and I scowl right back

in solidarity.

 

Beholden

beholden

All days he’s had a yogurt-propelling snotty nose

and scrambled egg squelched between tiny sweaty toes.

All of the screeches and screams

tacky teething gels and nappy rash creams

with all the go-to-fucking-sleep nights

the fatigued and frazzled baby-Father fights

and the live long days of exhaustion

your long lost independent lives

tantrums, and he-won’t-eat-his-bastard-food slights

and you never wanted children anyway.

But then there’s a moment

isolated, suspended in your slack off Sunday

where you see:

with just one goofy, gapped grin

the reflection in your next of kin

it’s what you were both foraging for

all the thirty plus years before

and the cut-throat love throttles you

like gobbling down a podgy gold watch

and you see:

for the first time this week

his chimp-like rump

his bitty belly portly and plump

his full force, warm and fed

seeking his soft, safe, mummy-made bed

the prosperity you’ve both had

plummets through the navy nursery floor

and you swear

you won’t take parenthood for granted anymore.

 

Our love

our life

My Boy,

you were seen tonight.

 

Commended in the 2014 Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize

I am the back in the kitchen

I am the back in the kitchen

I am the back in the kitchen 

My mother was always in the kitchen

peeling potatoes

making gravy

boiling vegetables

washing up

cleaning up

ironing shirts

me stood

knee high

staring at her back

how earth shattering it is

the dawning realisation

that now

I am the back in the kitchen

not ignoring

you my darlings

and she wasn’t peeling potatoes

nothing so minor

she was caring

providing

feeding

keeping our home

a home

I am the back in the kitchen

now I understand

why it was so turned from me

and appreciate

that back

so much more

not ignoring

you my darlings

 

Farewell my baby years

Mummy's Writing Darling

I have a niggling feeling

now these years are drawing to a close

I should have counted every one of your lashes

and felt the softness between your toes

I should have spent less time eye-rolling

when you’d never settle in the night

spent those hours staring at your shoulders

in the silence, by candlelight

I should have done less complaining

about the mess around our home

left the unimportant chores

to trace wrinkles around new bones

I should have smelt the skin behind your ears

enjoyed hours stroking tiny heels

bottled the sound of your innocence

stopped the time turning wheels

I should have been present in every second

not sighed relief when you slept

I should have cradled your head when it fit in my palm

tasted every tear that you wept

I should have spent more time bare

and felt your flesh against mine

Oh my precious last born

becoming more precious than the first time

It seems it’s my turn to be the baby

As I say farewell to these baby years

you’ve slipped through my fingers

and I can not see you, my babies, for all my tears.