This article was first published on The Vegetarian Experience on 27th January 2012
Someone recently reminded me of this poem on our Antenatal Teacher's email group. It is a really lovely poem and I think relevant for all children... not just fifth ones!! Whenever you are having a down day, or worrying about being a good mother, just have a read of this to brighten your day.
Song For a Fifth Child, by Ruth Hamilton. 1958
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, rock-a-bye, Lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek-peek-a-boo).
The shopping is not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there is a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing "Kanga" and this is my "Roo."
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rock-a-bye, 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.
(Alternative Verse) I hope that my children look back on today
and remember a mother who had time to play
There's plenty of time for cleaning and cooking
and children grow up when you're not looking
So the cobwebs can wait and dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep