Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Rules for New Parents

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Never wake a sleeping baby.
You can't make a happy baby happier.
Change dirty diapers. Let wet ones be.
Air-dry your nipples or they'll be sore.

You can't make a happy baby happier.
A pacifier turns a crier dumb.
Air-dry your nipples or they'll be sore.
You can't take away a thumb.

A pacifier turns a crier dumb.
Never prop a bottle.
You can't take away a thumb.
Resist the urge to throttle.

Never prop a bottle,
even at three a.m.
Resist the urge to throttle
your husband, all tucked in.

Even at three a.m.,
change dirty diapers. Let wet ones be.
As for your husband, all tucked in . . .
Never wake a sleeping baby.


Food-and-travel writer Jen Karetnick‘s poetry has appeared in North American Review, The Georgetown Review, Blue Unicorn, River Styx, Black River Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Nebraska Review, and The Greensboro Review, among others. The author of Around Miami with Kids (RandomHouse) and co-author of Raw Food in the Real World (ReganBooks, July 2005), she is the editor of the anthology-in-progress, Enopoetica: A Collection of Poems Inspired by Wine. (E-mail submissions to Kavetchnik@aol.com.) She is the features editor for The Wine News; the “Kitsch’n” columinst for the Drexel Online Journal and the “Sexy Tastes” columnist for Citizen Culture. Jen lives in Miami Shores with her husband, Jon; her children Zoe (6) and Remy (4); four cats of various ages and pedigree; and 14 mango trees of indeterminate age.


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