Suburban Haiku: Thanksgiving (a guest post)

©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved

(Today’s post, like last week’s, was prompted by my recent Japan trip. I asked Peyton Price, the genius behind Suburban Haiku, to share some of her witty work in the familiar Japanese poetic form.  She graciously obliged, using the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as her theme. I’m very thankful.)

I love haiku—little poems with seventeen syllables in three lines: five syllables, seven, then five.

The simplicity of haiku leaves space for readers to fill in personal details, seeing their own lives in the space between those three lines. I’m writing about my neighborhood, but you’ll want to know whether I’m spying on yours. (Answer: No comment.)

And it’s so satisfying, really, to boil life’s absurdities down to seventeen syllables. Being a mom is so complicated, and somehow so mind-numbingly boring. The holidays are a perfect example. Are you feeling the pressure yet? Wouldn’t you rather laugh than cry? A tiny haiku can be sweet revenge . . . or just sweet.


Preschool Thanksgiving:
Moms and dads in tiny chairs
ask “Did you make this?”

The teens volunteer
at the neighborhood food bank
for their rèsumès.

My kids cannot wait
to wake up on Thanksgiving
and see all the ads.

Thanksgiving parade:
A Pilgrim in white stockings
and white Adidas.

Once our guests arrive
I start out with a simmer.
Then I stir things up.

Every November
he sits there stuffing his face
with all our birdseed.

Weekend visitors
finally head off to bed.
Even the cat purrs.


Peyton Price lives in suburbia (of course) with her long-commuting husband (of course) and two above-average children (of course). You can find Suburban Haiku on twitter, facebook, the blog, and Amazon (of course).


The Well-Versed Mom & Tom.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Well-Versed Mom & Tom.


One Sweet Plan

trick or treat Halloween ©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reservedAT FIRST they just hid their Halloween loot, ostensibly in a place I wouldn’t find it. Those poor, sweet, delusional children of mine.

Then they resorted to taking an inventory and making a detailed list noting each piece of candy — down to the very last, awful, ugly Mary Jane. (As if I’d stoop to steal, much less ingest, one of those.  Jeez, kids, give me some credit.)

Eventually they landed on a winning solution to keep me from snagging their sweets.

Those dear, savvy, resourceful children of mine…


“Trick or treat!” my kids both yell
as they approach a door.
And when it opens, they recite
a speech not heard before:

“Trick or treat! Smell my feet!
Give me something good to eat!

We’ll take your Peanut M&Ms,
your Reese’s Pieces, too –
your Snickers and your Almond Joys,
and Baby Ruths will do.

Bring on the Butterfingers!
Milk Duds? Those are fine.
But at Milky Ways, Three Musketeers
and Twix, we draw the line.

Zagnuts, Jolly Ranchers –
Add ‘em to our haul!
Bit O’ Honeys, Tootsie Rolls,
Mounds, we’ll take them all!”

Finished with their list,
my kids just stood there – quiet –
their donor no doubt wondering
about their candy diet.

But I knew why they did it,
this strategic trick-or-treating:
the sweets they listed at each door
were those I hated eating.

©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Mommy-proofing their Halloween candy with a detailed inventory.

Mommy-proofing their Halloween candy with a detailed inventory.

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Note: This post originally appeared over at Great Moments in Parenting.

The Cravin’

LATE OCTOBER, in my kitchen: for some sugar I was itchin’
and I knew that satisfaction lay behind my pantry door.
Though I should be upstairs sleeping, here I was, downstairs, creeping
‘round my kitchen, no one peeping as I tiptoed ‘cross the floor.
Nothing stirring, just me creaking, sneaking softly ‘cross the floor
for one Kit-Kat, nothing more.

Ah, how happy and how handy to have bags of bits of candy
tucked inside each nook and cranny after purchase from the store.
Bought but not meant to be eaten, bought for kids for trick or treatin,’
bought for goblins who come knocking, trick or treating at my door.
Gobs of candy here so handy stored behind my pantry door–
Oh, those Kit-Kats I adore!

All those candies so fantastic bulging from their bags of plastic
thrilled me – filled me with a crazy craving that I’d felt before.
So that now, to satisfy it, I ignored my sweet-free diet
and let appetite run riot, scarfing Kit-Kats by the score.
I let appetite run riot, crunching Kit-Kats by the score,
till the bag had nothing more.

Still my craving grew much stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Time,” said I, “to raid my other sweet- and treat-filled reservoir.”
For the fact is when I’m craving chocolate candy I’ve been saving,
you can bet that I’ll be caving – misbehaving – that’s for sure.
So for new treats I went seeking, sneaking to a closet door:
“Just a few treats, nothing more.”

Deep into that closet peering, long I stood there perservering,
craving, raving for the chocolates that lay waiting by the score:
Kit-Kat, Krackle, even Skor bars —
Hershey’s, Twix and many more bars,
one by one, they disappeared as through the bulging bags I tore.
Milky Ways, Three Musketeers — their wrappers spilled upon the floor.
Then: just wrappers, nothing more.

Back upstairs I started heading, something deep within me dreading
what I’d have to tell my kids and those who’d knock upon my door.
What excuses would deceive ’em? Lies I’d tell, who would believe ’em?
How explain my thievin’ of the candy bought mere days before?
Then – it came! – I’d simply blame my faithful fellow candy-vore:
“‘Twas the dog! She’s poached before.

Satisfied with this solution, plotting now its execution,
up I headed to my bedroom, with a vow I firmly swore.
Next year, would this mom be buying gobs of candy and then lying
and denying my own role in its depletion yet once more?
Dare I tempt my will again with bags of chocolate bars galore?
Quoth this mother: “NEVERMORE!”

©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved