Revenge Poetry for Babies

It’s not often you get a glimpse into what the littles are really thinking, but Suzanne Weber nails it with this book of poems. From the mouths of babes …

Excerpted from “To What Miserable Wretches Have I Been Born? Revenge Poetry For Babies And Toddlers,” by Suzanne Weber. Published by Atria Books.

Iʼm Not Okay

When I bonk myself really, really hard
on the edge of the coffee table…
When I fall down ʻcause Iʼm just learning to walk
and Iʼm still not that steady on my feet…
When I slip off the swing ʻcause you were checking your iPhone
and not watching me as carefully as you should have…
Guess what?
That shit hurts!!
Youʼve got to know it does.
So why is your first reaction always,
“Youʼre okay! Youʼre okay!”?
Do you honestly think youʼre gonna trick me into thinking I didnʼt just
get an enormous goose egg on my forehead?
Or that my knee isnʼt gonna bleed like a mother-fucker?
Or that the bruise on my elbow is just a smudge of dirt?
When was the last time you smacked a vulnerable part of your
anatomy against a hard unforgiving object?
It HURT, right?
Now imagine everyone around you just dismissing your pain
with an idle wave of the hand and a pat on the head and an
“Oh, youʼre okay.”
And, even though you actually felt the lump rising on your head and
in your throat, you had to smile gamely through your discomfort,
because you could see that everyone was just so invested in
your not crying or making a fuss?
If you understand a fraction of what Iʼm trying to tell you,
then you understand that “okay” is exactly what I am not.
However…
I wouldn’t say no to a lollipop.

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


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