I thought I’d take a break this week from my usual routine and have a bit of fun as we prepare for Christmas. This poem has been adapted, of course, from Clement Clarke Moore’s famous work, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” I dedicate this one to hard-working parents and caregivers everywhere.
‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a person was healthy, not even my spouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
While I nursed a fever with hot tea and prayer.
The children were nestled all sick in their beds;
As menthol and camphor sublimed from their heads;
And Dad in his Dearfoams, and I in my wrap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When from the babe’s room there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Down the long hallway I flew like a flash,
Pushed open the door and heard a big crash.
The nightlight aglow like a bright golden ore
Gave a luster of dusk to the scene on the floor,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a mountain of Legos and board books, oh dear!
The sniffly little toddler so lively and quick,
Said, “I couldn’t sleep, Momma, my nose is too sick.”
More rapid than eagles, the others they came,
And I whistled and shouted and called them by name.
“Now, what are you doing out of bed, all you three?
Go back to your rooms, there is nothing to see!
You to your bunk beds, and you down the hall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
And then, in a twinkling, I heard the dread sound
Of retching and coughing, liquid hitting the ground.
As I straightened my back and was turning around,
The dog came a-runnin’, just to confound.
His paws were all wet, he was tracking – yes, vomit,
And that’s when I finally went into orbit.
Then Dad in his Dearfoams appeared at the door,
Saying, “I’ve got the dog, and I’ll mop up the floor.”
I rushed to the gal, newly sick to her belly,
Helped her take off her pj’s, now chunky and smelly.
Her brow—it was wrinkled, her face, not so merry!
Her cheeks were all rosy, her nose like a cherry.
I dampened a washrag, wiped down her sad face,
Put a fresh set of clothes on her, begged God for grace.
She soon fell asleep again, snuggled in bed,
I hoped it meant I had nothing to dread;
Dad cleaned up the dog and the hall and the floor,
Got the babe back in bed like a brilliant encore.
Exhausted, we said in our room, “That’s a wrap!”
And collapsed for what would be a short winter’s nap.