Came across this today

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby 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 her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for 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.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

The last verse is my favorite. I think I said “just a minute” to Mackenzie too often today while I chopped veggies and wiped down bathrooms and picked up the living room for the fiftieth time. I think tomorrow I’ll say “yes, let’s play” instead.

Babies don’t keep.

Neither do nearly-three year-olds who put on their swimming shorts and want to go for a dip in the middle of the living room when it’s snowing outside. Tomorrow I’m joining her in the pool.


About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
This entry was posted in Deliberate Mothering, I am a mother. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Came across this today

  1. Andrea says:

    I love that! I’ve only read the last verse, too, but I love the whole thing. Makes me cry! You’re a wonderful mother, Anne. Especially because you’re always trying to be that much better.


  2. melanie says:

    MacKenzie is such a sweet darling little girl. I bet you have so many wonderful moments with her. What fun for all of you!!


  3. Angie Kelly says:

    Needed that today! Here’s to a little more mess and a little more play!


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