Freak Show’s in Town

Come one! Come all!
Step right up folks!
See the amazing,

Come see this matron
turned tigress!
Witness how the weaker sex
transforms into a powerhouse
of resourcefulness –
a magnificent multi-tasker!
You will not believe your eyes!

These are no ordinary
babies, Ladies and Gentleman!
See the menacing three-year-old
who looks like an angel but
has the mind of a devil!
Look upon the smallest child –
only months old, but with lungs
that will shatter glass.
Be awed by the gigantic
boy baby, youngest of them all,
whose appetite is insatiable.

Step right up folks!
Watch as this extra-
ordinary woman
breast-feeds two babies
and prepares supplemental formula
all whilst reading to the third!

Behold how she balances
two baby carriers
while strapping
a toddler into
her car seat!

Marvel over how
she shops for groceries –
a impossible feat!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Tremble as she manoeuvres
her two-carted entourage
through people-ridden aisles,
list firmly gripped between
her teeth, while emitting
a constant stream of baby talk,
keeping the trying toddler
on a verbal leash.

Sigh with relief
as silence settles
over the household
and our heroine falls
into a deep, exhausted sleep.
Be terrified as she awakens
with a start, suddenly realizing
she has abandoned her boy-child,
in her vehicle, overnight!

You will be amazed!
You will be inspired!
You will be horrified!

Step right up,
Ladies and Gentleman!
This is a one-of-a-kind,
attraction, guaranteed
to entertain!

Catch it here, live!
Twenty-four/ seven,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
No two shows are alike!
Step right up folks!
Admission is free!

(Sarah S. is hosting dVerse Poetics with the theme “Come to the Circus”.  I wrote this poem in April of 2016 when dreams of parenting three small children – and an oversized boy-child – kept haunting me.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

60 thoughts on “Freak Show’s in Town

  1. YES, YES, YES! I never had it quite so bad, but I can remember feeling like I’d done a full day’s work before I even started. You have caught the tone perfectly, and you made me laugh and wince. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Odd, isn’t it? By the time I had my son I had three under 5. When he was a toddler, he liked to hide in closets and cupboards. I was always panicked looking for him.


      2. Same here. Then four under seven, and five under eleven. I’ve never stopped worrying about them. The youngest was the worst. She was standing at four months and walking round the room by six months. I caught her half way down the stairs once when she was small enough to fall through the banisters…


  2. A clever and fun twist on the prompt; kudos for originality. Mothers who shop with multiple children are like super heroes. My wife did it with three daughters. Men just fall short.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is refreshing and excellent in every way! As a mum of 4- I can totally relate. I left a child on a plane once- didn’t realise he’d fallen asleep! Luckily, we hadn’t moved too far away from the other planes’ steps😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh! This is so clever and well-done. No one can multi-task like a mother! I remember my first morning home alone with my older daughter–newborn latched to my breast while I made myself breakfast and talked on the phone. I was also finishing my dissertation then. I never left a child anywhere, but I can imagine being so exhausted that I almost could have. And then when they were older, trying to get them to different activities.. .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love, love this. Quite an amusing circus act — I love the tone of it, it is reminding of the announcer who would go from street to street invoking everyone to come to see the show. And what a show this is! I also admire the subtle politics and the affirmation of a mother’s identity in this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i kept going over the words and laughing, seeing myself in many of those lines, you have captured the juggling acts and feats of unimaginable bravery so well, simply love how you have used the words to describe our extraordinary abilities

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was always a circus at our house. Though we were the heart and soul of self control. You must be thinking of some other toddler, lol. I tell my niece that. She has this crazy little laugh afterward. I can’t imagine it

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your poem is a brilliant take on the prompt, V.J. Motherhood is a circus act. I’ve almost forgotten what is was like after all these years but I know from my daughter’s experience and those of the mums who come to my Bounce and Rhyme sessions that they are constantly balancing, juggling and entertaining their youngsters..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OH WHAT A GRRRRRREAT TAKE ON THE PROMPT! TRULY THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH! 🙂 May I just share one quick story? Two little ones – 15 months and not quite 3. Middle of winter with snow on the ground. Stay-at-home mom at the time (me). I bundled them all up: snow suits, mittents etc. Drove to grocery store. Parked in lot and literally carried them under my two arms into store. VERY first time I could trust my almost-3-year old to walk beside the cart and at the same time, my 15-month old could sit securely in the cart with my belt-with-extra-holes-in-it securing him like a seat belt. They were both so good in the store!!! AMAZING. I put them back in the car. Drove home. Took them into the house first and took off all those winter clothes. THEN quickly went back to car to get the groceries. YEEEEOW! I’d been so excited that all had finally gone well…perhaps beginning of a new era, that I’d left the groceries in the cart, sitting outside the store, in the pick-up line!!! Yep….you’re already ahead of me….had to bundle them all up again and this time the 15 month old was NOT happy to get back in snow suite etc!!
    You’ve really nailed it here! 🙂 LOL and LOVE IT!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – just when it seemed that everything was going well. Reminded of the time I had a doctor’s appointment. Winter, of course. Bundled them all up, set them by the door while I stopped for a quick pee. Middle one started screaming, youngest had taken the hinge off the front door and it wouldn’t open. It really was a circus, lol.


  10. Yes, she is a marvel, should be the star of the sideshow. A woman indeed!! I loved your poem. Life is often like a circus, and then the curtain drops, for another season, we can’t wait to see the “amazing woman,” again. A wonderfujl write!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Absolute image of the reality of motherhood. What pleasure the kids were for us then. Your humorous side of circus theme is fabulously funny. We can look back and see it all nowadays. We did not have time to even think about it then. Thank you for sharing this VJ

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your poem cleverly captures the way women are able to juggle so many tasks when mothering young children. My daughter has been ill this week and I have to be a very hands on grandmother collecting kids from school, taking care of all the laundry, cleaning the family home and cooking meals. It’s been exhausting! Although I raised four kids on my own I’d forgotten just how much work is involved.

    Liked by 1 person

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