Song for a Fifth Child

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

.Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.


Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).


The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.


Oh, how I wish I had learned this concept long ago. Most of American society believes that the best children are the quiet ones and that the best babies are those that sleep through the night.

No, not in this house. Simon is eight years old. What I wouldn't give to go back again. I would do a better job. I would hold him more. I would not let the pressure of having the first baby, the oldest grandchild, get to me. I wouldn't pretend to be the sister who knows it all. I've learned my lesson and the lesson is this: whatever is happening today won't matter tomorrow. The problems and issues are always changing. Don't stress. Everything will be fine.

Hold your baby.  

8 down, 22 to go.


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