One hour with the twins
‘Let’s sit on this bench and watch big sister doing gym.’
‘Here’s a box full of bits to take out and put back in –
look at these cards, – boats and chairs,
penguins and cups, cars and bears,
back in the box, tipped down on the floor,
make a tottery tower! what’s this picture?’ ‘fower’
‘actually, no, it’s bananas in a bunch’,
‘Do you like bananas?’ ‘mmm’, ‘for lunch?’
‘This picture’s shoes – one, two, three, and four,
red shoe, green shoe, a purple and a blue;
cards in the box, cards on the floor,
pick them all up, look there’s more —
under the bench, and your sister’s shoe.
Had enough? Well, here’s your book,
let’s turn the pages, take a look –
Where’s Iggle Piggle? Where’s his bed?
There in the boat, and his blanket’s red.
Back to the box, there’s a house and tree,
a lion, a horse, and a camel with humps –
finger on his back, – feel the one, two bumps.
One quietly plays, cards in, cards out,
but one wants to run around, or shout,
– ‘[Will they be bothered, let’s just test
if Mum or her friend is getting far too stressed
to catch me, or lecture, show they’re in control.
Ignore them! Now, what’s that rubbish in this hole?
I wont show I understood when she said
if I don’t behave, we’ll wait in the car instead.
A mum who is sitting along the bench
is waving – and giving me! – an interesting bunch
of keys, – it takes quite a while to investigate them fully,
turning them over and round and round,
discovering what rattley kinds of sound
they make, … oh, here are some more, yes please, –
now these are a different kind of keys,
there’s a funny pink shoe, hanging on the fob, –
and the key jumps out if you press the knob!
push it in, press the knob, out it comes!
push it in, press the knob, push it in, press the knob,]’
absorbed, and amused, intense appeal … chuckles, deep and real … ;
‘[now, where are the cards, the pictures, farm,
one’s dropped behind, but I can’t stretch my arm
quite far enough down, though I twist and squirm …]
Moo moo’ ‘no, that’s a sheep’, ‘shee’’ ‘no, that’s a bear,
a white, polar bear’,
‘Mummy, baa [ if I shout she’ll hear]’
‘You’ve got a sheep?’ ‘ No, she’s saying, ‘bear’!
Oh, look, they’ve finished, pick it all up, time to go home,
back in the car, home for food,
hugs from Daddy, – and tell him you’ve been good? … ‘bye bye’