A Limerick a Day – Day 4 – If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit…


I’m pretty sure this won’t be news to any moms out there, but scientists have now confirmed that a woman’s feet grow larger as a result of pregnancy.

It appears that fallen arches and a higher risk of arthritis are also unfortunate byproducts of carrying our beautiful bundles o’ joy.

Rather than dwell on these things, though, I prefer to embrace the silver lining…


If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit…

Sure, moms’ bodies endure some abuse,
But you won’t hear us singing the blues.

Not at all—let feet grow
With the rest, head to toe —
Just another excuse for new shoes!


©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

The Best Gift

Christmas 1997

Christmas 1997

I have several favorite holiday albums, the all-time fave being Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” which I can sing from start to finish — much to my teenage daughters’ dismay. Luckily for them, however, I don’t often play another of my favorites, Barbra Streisand’s “A Christmas Album.” Well, at least not as often as my mom did when my sister and I were growing up, which would be pretty much every day during the month of December, years 1967 – 1983.

Given all that air time, it was probably inevitable that the music would grow on me — even the song that my sister and I hated with a vengeance. Each year, we could count on being subjected to my mother’s sing-along-with-Babs rendition of “The Best Gift”, mom’s eyes growing all misty as she belted out the sentimental lyrics.

Hoo boy. I’m surprised my sister and I didn’t get migraines from all the eye rolling we executed during our teen years.

Then, a few decades later…I became a mom. My girls were born just two months before Christmas, two years apart.

In 1997, as I held two-month old Kate in my arms, dancing her to sleep to a mix of Christmas songs, Barbra’s song came up in my cd carousel. And it hit me.

Something had changed.

The words no longer felt quite as sappy and saccharine. Instead of sneering sarcasm, they inspired in me a deep, lovely happiness and gratitude.

I don’t need to tell anyone that our children are gifts. Imperfect, messy, noisy and infuriating gifts – yet wondrous and glorious nonetheless.

But just in case, right in time for the holidays, here’s a very sweet reminder.


The Best Gift

The best gift that I ever got
didn’t really weigh a lot;
it didn’t have a ribbon ’round
and it sometimes made the terrible sound.

The best of all, it seems to me,
it wasn’t ‘neath the Christmas tree;
and yet, I guess I’d have to say
that it made all the other presents twice as gay.

The best gift that I’ve ever known
I’d always wanted most to own,
yet in my dreams of sugar and spice,
I never thought it could be so nice.

The best gift that I ever get
was sometimes dry and sometimes wet,
was usually pink but oftentimes red
as it lay so innocently in its bed.

The best gift of the year to me,
the one I hold most dear to me —
a gift that simply drove me wild
was a tiny new born child…

by Lan O’Kun


The Meltdown

If you’ve got kids, there will be meltdowns.

You can do your darnedest to distract or bribe or redirect your way out of or around them, but if you’re a parent, eventually you’ll experience one. And if your kid is anything like my older daughter, it’ll be abso-frickin-lutely spectacular. Linda Blair in The Exorcist? A veritable peach compared to my daughter in the midst of one of her toddler tantrums.

The good news is, they outgrow them.

For the most part.

It turns out that even the grown ups among us suffer the occasional loss of control while enduring the trials and tribulations of parenting. Dad Tommy Jordan, for example, lost it and posted a very viral YouTube response to his teen daughter’s Facebook rant about her parents. While Jordan seems calm in his video, I get the sense he’s teetering dangerously near the edge, what with breaking out the firearms and all…

And thanks to reality shows, we can get our daily dose of tv tantrums from such paragons of parenting as Kate Gosselin, “Dance Moms” coach Abby Lee Miller, and pretty much every mom in “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

Now, I’m not saying it’s a good thing — just acknowledging that it happens. Nor am I casting stones here. Heck, I’m no saint. When pushed to the limit, I’ve been known to let fly a few choice words in something other than my “inside voice.” I probably could’ve put Linda Blair to shame, too.

After all, as they say: “Like daughter, like mother.”


The Meltdown

Bystanders, beware —
when you see that seething glare
that starts growing to a grimace
while you’re simply standing there.

‘Cause it could be time to scurry
if her cheeks are flushed with fury
and her eyes are welled with tears –
Best evacuate – and hurry!

When things haven’t gone her way
there’s not much that you can say
and instead of trying to soothe her
I suggest that you don’t stay.

Just get going, just get out
if she’s got a full-blown pout
for the next thing that you know
she’ll begin to cry and shout.

And soon yell turns into roar
and she’s throwing toys galore
and her face is raging red
and she’s stomping on the floor.

You had best be safety-bound
for the reasons I expound;
it’s not wise to be around
when a mom is melting down.


©2012 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz