A Poem about Milk

I have a lot of work on this week but still wanted to link up with Prose for Thought, so I am cheating a bit and posting a poem I wrote when the Toddler was but two weeks old. I have shared some of the trouble I had breastfeeding my daughter in the beginning, but breastfeeding my son was no walk in the park either. One of the many frustrating things about feeding him in the beginning was that he would seem to be about to latch on and then put his hands in his mouth instead, which is what this poem is about.


They say it won’t last forever
this fight between you and me
over where the milk comes from.
You say it’s your hands
I say it’s my breasts
and science is on my side.
Also, you’re only two weeks old
and know nothing of
well, anything, just yet.

But after I win this one
there will be more, I’m sure.
There will be: no, no, no shoes
i don’t want broccoli
please five more minutes
everyone’s wearing them.
These too will be easy to win
with “mum knows best”
and science and common sense.

In time, though, there will be other fights,
where you fight with my weapons,
you question my wisdom, my ethics,
my decisions and often, my sense.
I just hope by that time
I can lose graciously
and give you your due where it’s earned.

Until that time, look this way for milk
and put those hands away so I can feed you.

(c) Judith Kingston, 2010.

Prose for Thought

14 thoughts on “A Poem about Milk

  1. Oh I really like this Judith, I think sometimes its so easy to tell our children what to do (not that they always listen) – but how do we cope when we have to start butting out and letting them make their own mistakes? I don’t know. A lovely poem x

    • judithkingston says:

      It’s so hard to do! Especially when they’re tiny, you know you have all the answers and feel it’s your duty to fix everything: let mummy help you with that, do you want mummy to do that for you? Shall I carry you? But even when they’re little they need to try for themselves and learn from their mistakes.

  2. Judith, this is fab, I love the contrast from baby to child to teenager and above but there is still a bit of a tug of war!. No cheating at all going here – it doesn’t matter how long ago you wrote it. Thanks for linking up to Prose For Thought and your valued support xx

    • judithkingston says:

      Oh I’m glad I didn’t break the rules. 🙂 So far though, P4T has been inspiring me to do more writing again, so thank you!

    • judithkingston says:

      Hm yes really not looking forward to the teenage years… Though I am sure there are many perks, such as being able to have discussions about big issues and play complex board games together.

  3. We are mind readers! I love the free flowing style to this poem and I can totally understand the sentiment within it due to my own difficulties with breastfeeding. On reflection has your predictions of the future been correct?

    • judithkingston says:

      Aha, good question. Yes, there has been “no no no shoes” and also plenty of food refusal, and we have just started getting “no. not nap. not tired” This while lying face down on the sofa under a blankie cuddling his teddy bear.

      I will have to visit your blog again to read about your breastfeeding issues – assuming you talk about them there?

  4. Great poem. And we had the same hand problem with Austin. The Daddy D had to clamp them down every time he fed, or he’d have ended up with no milk at all! I like the way the poem progresses. We’re already seeing 3 yr old Austin using our weapons in battles he has against us. A worrying taster of things to come!

    • judithkingston says:

      You’re right, using our weapons against us happens a lot earlier than I thought at the time I wrote this – just yesterday my two year old’s response to being told Daddy was poorly was “straight-a bed, Daddy”. He took Daddy up himself, tucked him in with a cuddly toy, stroked his hair and got me to turn off the light. Also, when his six month old sister happens to push against him with her leg he says: “No, no pushing!”. It’s scary how you can hear yourself talk through your kids…

      And my husband also had to hold my son’s hands so I could latch him on!

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