Thursday, March 5, 2009

Whimsy With the Written Word

Around Valentine's Day, my kiddo and I spotted this pink metal mailbox. It was in the dollar section at Target.

Q loved it at first sight. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to inspire both of us to write more. It invited me especially to work on holding onto whimsy, to keep a spark of creativity in our relationship. So I bought it. For Q. But for me, too. Of course, once we had the mailbox, Q wanted to actually use it. And I kept forgetting about it.

Until finally she wrote me a note asking me to please write her a note and leave it in the mailbox.

It says:

"Please write a note to me and put it in my mailbox! I love you.

P.S. Can you put it in there when I'm asleep and put the flag up so in the morning I can see it!"

So I finally remembered to write a little note, which was a sappy little I love you sweetie-pie kind of thing. She liked that there was a note in there. But I think we need to graduate beyond simple little I-love-you notes.

To that end, I have decided to write her a poem. I decided that whatever I write, it cannot take a lot of time. So, we're going for quantity over quality, I'm afraid. Here's my first attempt, which took me about ten minutes to write, and you can totally tell, 'cause it blows:
(Once upon a time
I needed a dime
So I sold lemonaid
So I could get paid.

I earned enough money
to buy milk and honey
So I went to the store
And bought groceries galore.

When I got home
I tripped on a comb
And was in a bad mood
'Cause I'd dropped all the food!

Now the house is a mess
And I've torn my dress.
The food is all gone
And this poem's a yawn.)

I'm going to be away most of next week on a business trip (to New Orleans...woooooo!) and I've decided to ask Leo to place a note from mommy in the mailbox every morning of my absence. He has grudgingly agreed to do so (but don't be surprised if this turns out badly...I've been burned by him before on this kind of thing).

So now I am faced with the challenge of writing five days' worth of cute stuff. Why do I do this to myself?! And for that matter, what did Q ever do to deserve such awful poetry?

Is this a bad idea?


dgm said...

No, no! This is a GREAT idea; I might even hijack it (with due credit). In the beginning of the school year I started putting funny quotes from movies in my kids' lunchboxes, and now they live for those every morning! I've branched out to clean quotes from The Simpsons and other funny stuff, but mostly the idea is 1) kids love receiving little notes; and 2) always good to start the day with a laugh or, at the very least, a smile. I originally chose movie quotes because my kids love to quote lines from movies and laugh, and this never seems to get old for them.

Maybe I'll branch out to silly poetry because they also love Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky et al. I need to stock up and have things on hand--that way I won't stress about it every morning.

Love the idea!

teasinglydiverse said...

This is a FANTASTIC idea! I was going to say that if you have a hard time coming up with original poetry you could always use short little poems (Shel Silverstein is a great idea, kudos to the previous poster) or quotes.
I wish my mom had done something like this when I was growing up!

gudnuff said...

dgm - Well, credit to YOU for stirring me to write a silly poem (which P.U. STUNK, unlike yours, which I've memorized by now..."Sarah Sarah underwear-a"...).

TeasinglyDiverse - Thanks! I think both of you have the right idea about quoting Shel Silverstein, and I don't know Jack Prelutsky (yet!), as well as Ogden Nash. Q has already drafted two poems as of tonight, and it didn't take her long, either. They were cute. I'll post the one she wrote in response to me and the one she wrote to her father. It's one more thing "to do" each day, but it's worth it, I think. You should have seen how happy and tuned in she was. Sorta woke ME up, too, if you know what I mean.

Hyphen Mama said...

I love this idea. I can totally see Wynnie and I doing something like this.

gudnuff said...

Hyphen Mama - Cool! The bond you have now with Wynnie comes naturally and easily and, for me at least, it seems like it becomes more challenging to find ways to keep the momentum going, to keep the kiddo's interest, as they approach those tween years.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Ah, to be young and so easily delighted. And your poem was deightful. How about asking Q to leave you a note or two?

Cat said...

This is the sweetest thing I have heard of and am a little green with envy that I had no girl to do this with!