Clean Sailing

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry Add comments

How you doodling?


I begin writing this under the weight of our three year old. I am propped up in bed, having just read the first two chapters of Five Go Off To Camp (a relic from my childhood) to the eldest. Eldest got very sleepy, and willingly went off to bed after a big hug ‘n’ kiss.

Something about lying across me has stopped youngest’s incessant cough for a bit. Unfortunately, mine has been aggravated by the reading, so I doubt I’m particularly comfy to lie on! But still, he sleeps.

I can’t actually believe how long youngest has got. As eldest snuggled into us, I could see youngest was still relatively small; but lying on my chest with both little arms cuddling me, his hips are about where mine are and, stretched out as he is, his toes skim past my knees. 

I am wearing the top I birthed him in, and when he first was flopped upon me and gave me a long look (!) he just seemed so dinky! How can that be almost four years ago?! 

I don’t usually preside over the toothbrush tantrums but, as hubby is at a work dinner thing, I had to this evening. Both boys are so confident – and proficient at it these days!! They both took their brush from me and started going around their mouth with a concentrated look in their eyes.  Thinking back, it must have been about June that I last went through the

From Jimpix

ritual with them. Geez. I did their teeth for them as well, to make sure they were sorted, but to be honest the boys had done a very good job. Scary and yet awesome stuff!

(It’s something hubby does because watching the boys do their teeth makes me feel weird)

Anyway, having to “cherish them while they’re young” has been on my mind as I see our Spring babies hurtle towards another birthday, and was probably partly why today’s poem was written. 

I have also had the privilege of wandering  back n forth with a lovely mum pal of mine on some legs of my school commute this week; our eldest kids hung about together quite a bit when they were little. My friend’s youngest is so like her big sister that just looking at her stirs memories of playgroups and playdates when the bigger kids were that small. It all went so fast!!

I had to look up ‘Pochard‘, derivation and Lostine today (yes, I got to the point, eventually) and they were not the easiest words to fit in (Jimpix!!) but you can see what you think…


Clean  Sailing  Person  Pochard  Derivation  Lostine  Badminton  Anvil  Jangle


It just takes a clear day

And some clean pieces of paper

For us to be sailing the shallows

With our new boats.

A knight: the person at the helm,

Evading Pochard (and our dog

Whose derivation from our ‘play’

Is ‘to give chase’)

And cousin Louis, so enthralled,

(Here with us from Lostine, Oregon)

Loving all the chaos kids create.


Later, we play badminton, football;

Lay on our backs and watch the sky,

Pointing out big anvil clouds make things –

And before eyelids start to droop

Or the jangle of their squabbles come to roost;

We homeward trot with memories we’ve shared.


Little red writinghood

You can tell I live in Scotland, when I can start a poem talking about it being a clear day, then mention anvil clouds towards the end!  Aaah, the lovely changeable climate in which we live…

My first memory is actually of lying in my pram and looking at the clouds.  I couldn’t have told you then about the crocodiles or faces held therein, but I can tell you that it gave me a sense of peace. Explains a lot, really 😉

Did you ever get to sail paper boats with an adult when you were a kid?  I don’t remember actually doing that, but we did make quite a few paper hats over the years and use them for different costumes.  I like that the kids in the poem have a knight as the captain.  My boys would do that.

I did love a game of badminton, my mum used to go to a class every week, and I vividly remember playing games of it on a holiday in Cornwall, along with lots of table tennis.  There were facilities for both near the beach, if I remember correctly.

The days of childhood always seemed to be a lot longer than they are for me now, and I really miss that.  It saddens me often that my days are once again governed by school terms and events, but then I am lucky in that my boys still like telling me stories about their time without me.  I love hearing about how they interact with their peers, and how they relay time at home to their teachers.  I really hope I give them good memories of the simple things that they will carry all their lives.


[Photo credit: Pixabay]

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4 Responses to “Clean Sailing”

  1. Jane Wright Says:

    A very, very nice poem

  2. Montaffera Says:

    Thank you Jane, glad you enjoyed it 😊

  3. Sandra Douglas Says:

    Love reading your poems. So talented x

  4. Montaffera Says:

    Awww thanks, Sandra! I love that you want to read them 😉 X

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