This week, I was honored to have one of my poems, “Mother and Toddler on Ice Cream Night,” featured in the Purcellville Gazette.
It’s a poem I wrote for one of my writing groups in answer to a prompt: write something having to do with ice cream. As several people have told me in response to the poem and to my stories of toddlerhood, having a toddler at home is such a special time. Although it’s stressful and messy (I like to think of everything as cereal-encrusted), it’s also full of joy and laughter. I wrote this poem in two voices–mother and toddler–that coincide to capture the way the special interactions create memories.
I’m happy to share the poem with you today.
Mother, Toddler, Ice Cream Night
|By Val Muller
Conditions must be right
For an ice cream night.
|The television plays its song
Will it entertain her for very long?
A commercial’s on; she looks away
And runs straight over, ready to play.
|Mom seems too content
Above her bowl, bent.
Her skin, it looks too clean;
Her face looks too serene
|I stick a spoonful in my mouth,
Enjoy the chocolate while she starts to pout.
She wants what she sees in my dish.
I see in her eyes, it’s her deepest wish.
|But what is that she eats?
It looks like it’s a treat—
Fluffy white, sticky brown,
Rainbows sparkle all around!
|Mountains of fluffy cream;
Clouds descended from a dream.
Chocolate dark as midnight bliss
Covered in sugar sprinkle’s kiss.
|The chocolate’s sweet ephemeral bliss…
Gone as she sticks her fingers in the midst.
The sticky film clings to her skin
And every surface, even her grin.
|So in my fingers go!
Mommy’s voice fills up with woe.
Finger painting with whipped cream:
This little toddler’s dream!
|The rainbow sprinkles everywhere:
On the rug, dog’s fur, her hair,
Turning my once pristine room
Into Toddler’s rainbow apocalypse of doom.
|I paint the doggies, too,
With sprinkles green and blue.
While mom gets paper towels,
I lick her spoon and smile.
|Nothing makes a night complete
Like spending time with a little Sweet.