Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Song of the Stay-at-Home Mom


There’s a zebra in my foyer and an Elmo in my tub.
Daniel Tiger’s on my TV and I’m missing one red glove.
In my purse there are four diapers and a Matchbox car or two,
I’ve a Lego in my pocket and a crayon in my shoe.
My closet’s full of shoes that have no partners in plain sight,
And every one’s a left-hand shoe – what happened to the right?
My fridge has sippy cups where the wine bottles used to be,
My cupboard’s got more Goldfish than are swimming in the sea.
In my car, never pristine before, but now a total pit,
There’s a box of baby wipes where jumper cables used to sit.
Where there used to be a Bach CD there’s “Truck Tunes” now instead,
“Forklift Boogie” has replaced the symphony once inside my head.

Though I never draw a paycheck and though sick days there are not,
Though there is no water cooler where the gossip’s always hot,
Though I’m teaching potty training, not anatomy or phys,
There is something great about this job, and this is what it is:
Despite the moments when I think this job will drive me mental,
It has benefits intangible, far better than just dental.
I never punch a time clock and I’m never late to work,
I don’t dress by a dress code and my boss is not a jerk.
I can take a coffee break whenever caffeine calls to me,
I can eat my lunch at ten or I can eat my lunch at three.
I wake up every morning, not to the beeping of a clock,
But to tiny voices giggling and jiggling the lock.

I’m paid in tickles, kisses wet, in snuggles and in hugs,
I’m paid in hide-and-seek and tag and rolling on the rugs.
I’m paid in story time, in art, in walks and playground times,
I’m paid in new vocabulary and I’m paid in rhymes.
I’m paid in firsts: first step, first word, first venture on their own,
The first time making their own lunch, or answering the phone.
I’m paid in, “Mama, stay!” and “Mama, look what I can do!”
I’m paid in goodnight kisses and in boo-boo kisses, too.
I’m paid in Candyland, in Chutes and Ladders, and in War.
I’m paid in ways I never knew I could be paid before.

Some days are chaos, some are fine, and most are in the mids,
But every day is perfect when I spend it with my kids.

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