by Père Robért
(for Maria, Ida, Isabel, Maxine, Crozet, and Audrey)
It’s tough sometimes to be a dad,
Especially when your kid is bad.
You wonder why she did what she did
— And why she’s not a wonder kid.
A wonder kid is always good.
A wonder kid does what she should.
A wonder kid is never bad.
A wonder kid makes daddies glad.
She doesn’t shout, she doesn’t fight,
She goes to bed on time each night.
She makes her bed, she eats her peas,
She always says, “yes, sir” and “please.”
She never whines and never mopes.
She likes to bathe, and uses soap.
She chews her food, she doesn’t slurp,
And when she’s through she doesn’t burp.
She wears her mittens when it freezes.
She’s kind to pets and never teases.
She cares for toys and likes to share them.
Her clothes get cleaner as she wears them.
“Did you ever hear of such a kid?”
I asked my kid, who never did.
And then, oh boy, was I surprised
When my little girl apologized:
“I’m sorry for the thing I did.
I wish I were a wonder kid.
I wish that I could make you glad.
I love you so, my wonder Dad.”
I hemmed and hawed, I coughed and sputtered,
The butterflies in my stomach fluttered.
I’d focused on her faults, but she
Had only seen the good in me.
It’s tough sometimes to be a kid,
Especially when Dad blows his lid.
You wonder how he gets that way,
And why he takes so long to say:
“I love you too, I’m really glad
To know you think I’m a wonder dad,
And I wouldn’t change you, not a bit —
You already are a wonder kid.”
©1992, F.R. Duplantier