Thursday, May 27, 2010

For the Love of Shel Silverstein

While reading Harry Potter to my son one evening, it made me remember fondly the time back in grade school when the teacher would read aloud to the class. This usually happened after recess as an attempt to get us riled up little rug rats settled back down into learning mode. I remember loving Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and James and the Giant Peach to name a few. If you were really into one of the books that the teacher was reading, when it came to library time you bolted to get your hands on one of the two or three copies that the library had. This way you could read along, or if you couldn't control yourself, read ahead. Only one time, when I really loved a book, did my parents buy it for me. That would be "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein. This is my idea of poetry. It rhymes, it's literal and it's cute and funny at the same time. Who could forget "Sick?" "I can not go to school today said little Peggy Ann McKay..." (By the way I'm doing this from memory so don't hold me to the exact quote). Now that I'm allegedly grown up (married with three kids...guess I have to throw in the towel on childhood, but cling to the fact I still feel early twenty-ish), I look at this poetry from a different view. Remember Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Who Would Not Take the Garbage Out? In grade school, I thought she was hysterical. As a parent...not so much. Lately, I'm finding there to be nothing amusing about kids who refuse to pick up their sh*t. It is sucking the life out of my day and taking over the house. When the cleaning people come (total luxury, I know) I am always tempted to change the locks so my little tazmanian devils, Thing 1 and Thing 2, wrecking balls can't ruin it for me. However, rather than go all Mommy Deareast on them, I'll vent in a creative way. Here is my adaptation of Shel Silverstein's "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out."

Better Listen When Mommy Shouts, "I'm Throwing All of Your BS Out!"

Better listen when Mommy Shouts,
"I'm throwing all of your BS out!"
As I take a look around our home,
I can not help but piss and moan.
Your shit is everywhere I look,
It's in every cranny and every nook.
I do not care how much you pout.
It's time to throw the BS out!
Littlest Ponies and Polly Pockets
Matchbox Cars and little toy rockets.
They fill your room, they cover the floor,
I trip on them, they block the door.
Dollar store toys and DS games
One costs a fortune, but you treat them the same
They're in a pile, they're under a bed
Find me a wall so I can bang my head
Puzzle pieces, activity books
Mangled dolls that have lost their looks
Markers and crayons and paints oh my!
We have tons but keep getting more...why?
Plymobile and Lego sets
As if those aren't enough, we have Kinex
These lovely sets with a million pieces
They're everywhere, it never ceases
Dress up clothes and junky jewels
Games to which we can't find the rules
As if the party weren't enough,
You come home from that with more stuff
The stuff you con me into buying
You say, "I'll pick it up," I know you're lying
See that is where I draw the line
The crap that is everywhere is not fine
No longer will I scream and shout
I'm just going to throw this BS out
Silly bands you can't live without
You'll pitch a fit I have no doubt
When I fill a bag like Santa Clause
And throw it out without a pause
Balls and toys from Happy Meals
I throw them in the bag with zeal.
Party bags filled with little junk
Into the trash I happily dunk
"Stop!" you say, "I'll pick up, you'll see!"
"Good," I say, "You've got to the count of three."
The house gets picked up in a snap
In one afternoon, it's back to crap
You see, the problem is too much stuff
So you have to say, "Enough's enough."
So if you must, Scream and shout
But always throw the BS out!

I am available for dramatic readings of this at your local bar. Buy me a drink and entry is free. If you're one of those folks who's house is always spotless, drink or no drink, you will be denied entry.

Ta Dahhhhhh! See what reading as a kid does for you? It gets the creative juices flowing! But seriously, this parenting gig is rarely easy (house maintenance just being a small part of it). Reading Harry Potter with my son at night is a ritual I love and one of a the few slam dunks I get as a parent. If you're not a parent, join a book club or just go to the book store. My book club forces me to read something other than Us magazine and I always feel better off when I've completed a book (even if I didn't love the selection). And although I usually buy my books on Amazon or Overstock, on the occasions I go into a bookstore, I find it instantly relaxing. That's never a bad thing.

So grab a book and get thee to bed. However, once you're done reading that book, it becomes a dust collector. Be sure to get that BS out!

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