Friday, April 3, 2015

April 3: Poopy Head, Billy Collins, "Child Development Poem"

I am going to see a movie with my son this evening.  It's called Home, and it's a feature-length animated cartoon.  My son has been talking about this film since the commercials for it started appearing on the television.  He's going for the funny purple alien.  I am going for the buttered popcorn.

I will enjoy myself.  My son can make me laugh all the time.  He's playing a computer game with his sister right now.  He's shirtless, and his hair is slicked to his head with sweat.  They're actually getting along.  Of course, in a matter of seconds, things could change.  My daughter could decide she's done playing, and he could kick her in the shin and call her a poopy-head (one of his favorite insults).

For now, though, peace reigns.  I will take that.  Laughter.  Giggles.  Squeals.

No poopy-heads in Saint Marty's house.

Child Development Poem

by:  Billy Collins

As sure as prehistoric fish grew legs
and sauntered off the beaches into forests
working up some irregular verbs for their
first conversation, so three-year-old children
enter the phase of name-calling.

Every day a new one arrives and is added
to the repertoire. You Dumb Goopyhead,
You Big Sewerface, You Poop-on-the-Floor
(a kind of Navaho ring to that one)
they yell from knee level, their little mugs
flushed with challenge.
Nothing Samuel Johnson would bother tossing out
in a pub, but then the toddlers are not trying
to devastate some fatuous Enlightenment hack.

They are just tormenting their fellow squirts
or going after the attention of the giants
way up there with their cocktails and bad breath
talking baritone nonsense to other giants,
waiting to call them names after thanking
them for the lovely party and hearing the door close.

The mature save their hothead invective
for things: an errant hammer, tire chains,
or receding trains missed by seconds,
though they know in their adult hearts,
even as they threaten to banish Timmy to bed
for his appalling behavior,
that their bosses are Big Fatty Stupids,
their wives are Dopey Dopeheads
and that they themselves are Mr. Sillypants.

That's Mr. Poopy Head

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