Poems about Childhood

Questions (or A Puzzle for Daddy)

Written for my nephew’s 7th birthday in celebration of some of his (and my) childhood perplexities. Available on a postcard as “A puzzle for Daddy”.

My head is full of questions that keep buzzing to and fro
‘Cos why won’t Daddy tell me what it is I want to know?
It’s not about my spellings or the things I learn at school
But where do some things come from and why are they there at all?

To start with, there’s the tooth fairy; well, does she have a name?
And who was it invented things like cats and dogs again?
Does twirly pasta start to curl when on or off the tree?
And why is it my wee’s not green from all this broccoli?

And then there is my Daddy’s work; what does he do all day?
I know that when he works from home he hardly stops to play.
He says that he has meetings, yes but what about the rest?
Perhaps he just drinks coffee and hides underneath his desk.

Oh these questions keep on buzzing and it’s all just such a muddle.
I think that I will go and find my Daddy for a cuddle!

My Sister

Written for a brother and an older sister. Available as a postcard as “Growing up with You”.

I want someone to play with and I want someone right now.
I want to climb up there: I need a friend to show me how.
This climbing frame’s our pirate ship; this blanket is our den
Its my turn, your turn, who’s in charge? OK, I’ll play again.

I want to do things my way and to show my way to you.
But when you start on something else, I want to do that too.
I want things to myself sometimes, I want to be alone.
But when you’re out, I’m always asking when you’re coming home.

This puzzle is too hard for me, these words too long to read.
I’ll copy what I see you do, you’ll show me what I need.
I think you’ve had more sweets than me, I’ll shout that it’s not fair
But things I eat don’t taste as good unless you’ve had your share.

We do most stuff together; you don’t like some things I do.
I’m finding out what makes me me by growing up with you!


Written for my 13 year old niece who was sceptical of the benefits of growing up.

Is being a grown-up a fun thing to be?
Yes you get to drink wine and to make endless tea,
But the niggles and naggles of all that you juggle
Seem ever so dull and make nothing but trouble.

You might get the post and the calls on the phone,
But I get to be in my room, on my own.
I can sit on the floor, or lie on the bed,
Starting one book, then choosing another instead.

You can’t laugh too loudly or people will stare;
You can’t spend all day plaiting someone’s long hair;
You can’t kick through puddles or squelch in the mud,
For the first rule of grown-ups is “never look odd”.

So the grown-up’s in charge but we get all the fun.
But of course that will all change when I become one!

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