Skip to main content

Household Rhythms

I wrote this back in January, but have had it in my drafts because I wanted to have another stanza. I've been trying to write the other stanza for three months. (Should it be about fixing breakfast in the morning, getting the kids ready for the day? If so what dance would that be to? I think probably the salsa... And shouldn't a stanza about the mornings and breakfast come first? But how to start it?) I am finally thinking that if needed another stanza, the words would have come to me by now. I can't force more to the poem when it doesn't feel right. So I'm just going to publish this as is, and if more comes to me later, I'll update it.

When I am in step with the rhythm of the house,
I waltz my way through the piles of laundry.
I sort the clothes to a 3/4 rhythm:
lights, darks, reds; lights, darks, reds.
I box step to change over the loads.
Wash, dry, fold. Wash, dry, fold.
I promenade the clean clothes into the closets,
open, turn, close, to shelves, hangers, drawers.
As I twinkle and reverse step through the day,
our clothes are cleaned, folded and put away.

When I feel the beat of rhythm of the house,
I swing the toys off the floor, throwout the
books onto shelves. With a rock step, I chassé
this doll into this chair, another rock step,
and chassé that doll into that stroller. I
cuddle the stuffed animals for a beat, two,
three, and then push them into their places.
A swingout for each ball into the bin.
When I jive out the door, the floor is neat,
toys are straightened, the clean up complete.

When I am attuned to the rhythm of the house,
I dance through the kitchen without missing
a beat. A pirouette to put the clean dishes
away, an arabesque to put the dirty ones in the
washer, a plié to put away dried pots and pans.
I sponge down the counters and the table
with long stretches of my arms, graceful
port de bras movements to gather the crumbs.
Before I chassé up to bed, the sink is clean,
the dishwasher running, the counters sparkling.


Anonymous said…
Very cool and contemporary!
limboland la la said…
hmmm... each stanza appears to be about cleaning or straightening. I wouldn't broaden it with adding fixing breakfast. Seems like your rhythm (in this poem) is focused on creating order, and lending sparkle to what had been smudged.(or at least coated with macaroni cheese ;) ).

I could see a really wonderful last stanza after you chasse up to bed, what if you tended to your house? (And as I wrote that I see how that can be misinterpreted) but... what if you had a last stanza about cleaning yourself up and falling asleep with the rhythm of the house all around you?

I just was on a 3 day cleaning streak. enjoyed your work woman. :)
caramama said…
@La folle maman - Thanks!

@limboland la la - EXACTLY! That's why it didn't feel right. And your idea for the last stanza... brilliant! As soon as I read it, words and ideas started coming to me. I'm going to work it for a while and we'll see what I come up with. (p.s. I MISS YOU! Are you on break yet? Do you have a free weekend any time soon?)

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Fidgets in Sleep (and While Awake)

Since I've started this blog, I've had quite a few visitors find me through a search for something like "baby fidgets in sleep" or "baby fidgets in bed" or simply "baby fidgets." This leads me to believe that there are others out there with fidgety babies who drive them crazy enough to search on the internet for some information about fidgeting babies. So I thought I'd do a whole post to discuss the fidgety nature of my child and how I deal with it.

Do you want to know when my child first started fidgeting? IN UTERO!! I'm not kidding. When I was pregnant, this baby moved a lot. She was very often kicking and pushing and hiccuping. OMG, the hiccups! I thought they would drive me nuts. Every. Single. Day. For. Months. Straight. Often more than once a day. I am not exaggerating--you can ask Londo or the many people I worked with, all of whom had to hear about it. I just thought it was part of being pregnant, and it probably is, but I've al…

Some Babies Just Fidget

I have mentioned before that we had a very fidgety baby. It's been a while sinced I talked about it. Although she is still pretty fidgety, at her currently toddler stage it seems more normal and has in many ways translated into bigger, general movements, like climbing.

But I still get a ton of search hits that have to do with baby fidgeting or flailing while sleeping or nursing. Some people stay around and read a bit, and I hope they get what they need from the posts I wrote specifically aboutthis topic hoping that others realize they are not alone. Most people don't stay at all, and I figure they are probably looking for medical reasons why babies fidget (like I would).

Then I got this comment, which does indeed show that people are looking for medical reason. Anonymous said that she wasn't sure if the Pumpkin's fidgets were as severe are her 3.5 month old. Well anonymous, I can't be positive since I haven't seen your child, but at some points they were as bad …

Fidgety Baby Growing Up

My daughter was a very fidgety baby. More fidgety than any other baby I knew through all my years of babysitting, being an aunt and having friends and family with babies. So fidgety that I wondered if something was wrong, if there was an underlying reason for her fidgetiness.

There really wasn’t anything wrong. As far as I can tell, she simply has a LOT of energy in her body. Her father is the same way. Londo is full of energy and has always been a fidgeter. And me? I can’t sit in one position for a long period of time. I don’t really fidget so much as I shift positions periodically, and I don’t think I ever simply sit normal, facing forward with both feet on the ground when I’m in a chair. In fact, sitting normal sounds like torture to me.

But three years ago, when the Pumpkin was a few months old and through her babyhood, I didn’t know why she was fidgeting so much. When I would nurse her, when we’d be rocking her to sleep, when we would try to hold her calmly, when we’d be lying in…