Ogden Nash

(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971 / New York / United States)

Children's Party


May I join you in the doghouse, Rover?
I wish to retire till the party's over.
Since three o'clock I've done my best
To entertain each tiny guest. My conscience now I've left behind me,
And if they want me, let them find me.
I blew their bubbles, I sailed their boats,
I kept them from each other's throats. I told them tales of magic lands,
I took them out to wash their hands.
I sorted their rubbers and tied their laces,
I wiped their noses and dried their faces. Of similarities there's lots
Twixt tiny tots and Hottentots.
I've earned repose to heal the ravages
Of these angelic-looking savages. Oh, progeny playing by itself
Is a lonely little elf,
But progeny in roistering batches
Would drive St. francis from here to Natchez. Shunned are the games a parent proposes,
They prefer to squirt each other with hoses,
Their playmates are their natural foemen
And they like to poke each other's abdomen. Their joy needs another woe's to cushion it,
Say a puddle, and someone littler to push in it.
They observe with glee the ballistic results
Of ice cream with spoons for catapults, And inform the assembly with tears and glares
That everyone's presents are better than theirs.
Oh, little women and little men,
Someday I hope to love you again, But not till after the party's over,
So give me the key to the doghouse, Rover

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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