If Shel Silverstein’s poem “Sick” had been written by a mom, this is how it would go:
“I cannot go to work today,”
Said this mom the other day.
“I’ve lost my brain cells and my pump,
The time, my prime but not my bump
My bra is wet, my hair is dry,
It’s going limp and lacking dye.
My eyes are really looking pink,
Like those kids’ in his class I think
There goes the other—it’s kind of itchy,
And can’t you tell it’s gotten twitchy?
His diaper’s small, it’s full of poop—
He might have the spasmodic croup.
I pee and cry and leak and doze,
I’m sure he’s got a hair ‘round his toes—
My boob hurts when I move my arm
His forehead’s feeling a little warm,
My back is wretched, his carrier’s stained,
My scar pains each time it rains.
His toes are cold, my mind is numb,
Why can’t this baby find his thumb?
My patience is strained, my bags have turned black,
My sleep’s completely out of whack.
His spit up’s filling up his mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
I’m full of guilt, I’m out of wine,
I woke up at 4-o-nine.
My libido’s shrunk, I can’t stand straight,
I’m always swaying where I wait.
I have a chipped nail, and my husband is—what?
What’s that? What’s what you say?
You say today is…Daycare payment day?
G’bye, I best be on my way. “
About the author: Colleen Masters is Copy Chief at an ad agency in Philadelphia. She’s a mom who never knew she wanted kids, and a wife to a husband whose job takes him all over the world. Like most, she’s trying to figure out how to have it all and failing mildly in the process.