Bunny Crackers

Curious George (book)

Curious George (book) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We walked up the stairs together her little feet ahead of mine, cherry socks poking out below her pants.

“I want to read the George book today. The one where he goes swimming.”

“We can do that.” As we walked down the hall towards her room I prompted, “I would like you to try to go potty before stories and quiet time.”

“Nope,” she said in determined toddler fashion. As I looked into those blue sapphire eyes that now glowed with the test of power I decided not to protest.

She immediately found Curious George on the bookshelf and cuddled into my lap. As I read I could feel her soft blond hair tickle my lip. I lifted my chin just enough so that it rested on top of her head. I felt her weight become soft in my lap, arms relaxed, legs hanging loose, her head cocked to the side. The quietness of our moment and energy from the morning began to lull her into an afternoon meditation.

She was liking the new routine of quiet time in place of a nap. After all, she had decided naps were a past time weeks ago and this new arrangement meant she had a chance to play freely in her room. However, staying in her room had proved to be a challenge.

When the story was over she awoke from her trance and settled onto the quilt with her teddy and a few more books. She looked at me with hesitant eyes. The silence between us needed no words. The moment of separation is always so intense.

“Remember, if you stay in here the whole time you can have some bunny crackers when it’s over.”

She nodded, serious eyes but I could see a tip of the lip with delight for the possibility of something sweet. Upon her request I did not close the door but left it cracked. I walked down the hall to my room and settled onto the bed with my book for twenty-five minutes of respite.

She did it. Twenty-five minutes all by herself without coming out. I was enthused to greet her in her room and congratulate her. Upon entering I found her lurking by the door and then my nose was met with the unmistakable scent of a code brown. I refrained from stating the obvious.

She initiated, “Mom, I pooped.” And a moment later, “And I peed. There’s some on the floor over there.” She pointed to two small spots on the carpet by the bed.

“You did?” I remarked trying to mask my sadness.  “Okay, well let’s go into the bathroom and get changed.”

After helping her clean up I said, “If you need to go potty that bad you know you can always call for me.”

She replied using my own words of warning, “But you said then I wouldn’t get any bunny crackers.”

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To Begin

Her first day of preschool.

My first day to say goodbye.

Other kids are already playing.

There is a pull,

a rubber band inviting her to join.

Slide, sand, pots, scoopers, strainers.

She grips my leg.

At last, goodbye sweet girl.

Hug, kiss, have fun.

My heart drops as I smile and walk away.

I pace back to the observation room,

anxious to be a fly on the wall,

my toddler unaware of my presence.

Wait, who is this?

Parent meeting.

In the observation room.

Now?

Right now?

No entrance until later.

later.

later.

Where’s my girl?

past the glass,

past my reach,

past my vision,

past my control.

 

 

*I’m frustrated with WordPress as I cannot space this poem to my preference.

Today’s Wormhole

Nerve gas expelled lives of innocent Syrian children. Will we intervene?

Scandal in DC. What today? Politicians cheating on their wives, a country that denies it’s citizens healthcare, or greed in unmentionable forms.

Ariel Castro has hung himself in jail. I hope to never hear his name again. I hope his victims sleep well tonight. For the rest of their lives.

A mother in Idaho tortured, murdered, and burned the body of her 2-year-old. Jail cell and cold floors are her future.

Friends are exercising at a nearby park, babies in their strollers watching the work of their heroes.

Rain falling from the sky on this fall day, thunder in the distance, clouds turn the sunny day to gray.

Blinds blown open from the wind. Bang, bang on the windowsill. I awake from my sloppy slumber.

Baby’s head resting on my arm, my cheek wraps his forehead, his sweat on my face, his hair tickles my nose.

The curve of his tiny shoulder,

his hand upon my arm,

breath that smells of honey,

rising and falling of his chest,

soft relaxed face, eye lids closed;

as sweet as the falling rain upon a rose bud.

 

The Tug

Sometimes I think I’m hypnotized by my children. Overwhelmed by their beauty: the blue in their eyes, half-toothed smiles, their creamy skin. I am enchanted by their affection: the way they bury their head in my shoulder, sit in my lap for a good story, share their fudgescicle with me. My chest aches as I feel my heart swelling with my love for them.

I think, “I want more of these wonderful beings.”

Then dinnertime comes around. The baby is below my feet trying to adjust the knob on the stove; he begins crying not because I nudge him out of the way but I can’t figure out the reason. The toddler pushes a chair into the kitchen knocking down toys in her way and begins rifling through the fruit basket on the counter which contains goldfish crackers I forgot to remove. She dumps the crackers onto the floor for the baby and continues to eat some herself. “I want water!” she demands. The baby continues crying, I’m still unsure why. He’s looking up at me with tears streaming down his angelic face. Crying, crying, crying. I almost forget about the vegetables on the stove and quickly give them a stir. The toddler hits the baby on the head to make him stop then offers him a goldfish cracker. This does not appease him. I stand in the kitchen, grease spattered shirt and spatula in hand, not sure what my next move should be.

I think, “I don’t know how people have more of these beings.”