Don’t Climb Me!



 Hello to all the fellow readers. I hope you had a restful holiday season and a fresh start into the new year (it might be a little late to say that, though!). On my end, we had great fun getting together as a family and doing the Christmassy things - the tree, greetings, crackers, jokes, et al. 

Despite the winter, there seems to be something in the air that lends warmth to season. My boys, for instance, were supercharged throughout. They are 2.5 years and nearly 5 years old, but not small on any measure of energy and ambitions for the rather long winters. Carrying the weight of their excitement on my shoulders, I started December in full-throttle. Decorations, lights and games to keep them busy and entertained. Stories, puzzles, dinosaurs, board games, arts etc. went around in loops for days, eventually tiring me out. I can’t say the same for my kids, who somehow don’t mind repetition that much. What exhausted me more was the physical nature of their play for I seemed to be their favourite prop. 

My kids, especially the toddler, seem to be at a stage where they love the thrill the physical games bring. It is as if their bones are aching for sensory play, the strong-muscle-heavy-duty work. Their physical experiments of stomping, crashing, marching, wrestling, jumping, kicking, could easily turn the house upside down, if unsupervised. But supervision is the easy bit. Being part of the play is not. How they have used all parts of my rather petite self for their physical adventures could make for a holiday highlight last year. 

So, here I am, in another poetic piece of my kids’ playfulness and my benign annoyance at that. The undertones of displeasure were just that - crisp and short-lived. It’s hard to keep the frowns up all day, after all. Here you go...

Don’t Climb Me!

Please put that foot down and hands rather away.
We’ve wrestled and crashed and torn ourselves out. Now, let’s rest and stay.
Not a climbing frame, or a ladder, or a sofa, or a tempting tree,
Save your quest for Everest. I am not a mountain; don’t climb me!

The pads of your feet do hurt in places, as you kick and pounce all day,
Those generous stomps could make bones cower and muscles cringe in dismay
Not a pile of leaves, or soft play, or a mattress, or a tricky trampoline,
You may bounce and hop on the way to the shops. I am not a puddle; don’t jump on me!

As you fidget and wriggle and secure yourself, on my meagre arms that sway,
I somehow trick an impending fall, in dishevelled hair and clothes, in disarray 
Not a fence, or a swing, or a railing, or a careless curtain hanging free
Leave dangling to the playground. I am not a monkey bar; don’t hang on me!

The constant hug of that prodding elbow, the ceaseless rest of that chin on my shoulder,
Pinching and shoving, and butting and digging, the endless tirade getting bigger and bolder
Not a sand castle, or a pizza, or cake, or a crumbly cookie,
Nudging suits your cuddly teddy better. I am not your play dough; don’t poke me!

Lifting and shifting, hauling and heaving, your tireless self each day,
Sprinting up and down the house, tugging along to fun and play,
Not a scooter, or a wheelbarrow, or a shopping trolley, or your teddy’s blue buggy,
Keep your strength for a tug-of-war. I am not a toy on leash; don’t pull me!

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