I started writing “I don’t’ want to go home” because that’s what my daughter would say when ever I tried to get her to leave anywhere. She was about 3 and it got to stage that before we’d go anywhere I would have to have a conversation with her about how I expected there to be no I don’t want to go homes. We would sit in the car and after applying the handbrake, I would turn around and look at her angelic curly head with a stern look and she would say “I promise mammy, no I don’t want to go homes” with a very serious voice. Only then would we make our way to the zoo, or the park, or heaven forbid my brother’s house, where her favorite cousin lived. It never worked. We lived in the land of the long good bye. There were many moments where she clang to lampposts, climbing frames, or door frames yelling over and over again, “I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME!”. I should point out that home was, and continues to be a rather nice, normally peaceful place with all the pink cushions and fish fingers a 3 year old girl could wish for.
So I started writing and it was pretty awful at first. I’m not sure when it changed to a poem. Here, for your reading pleasure (or amusement) is a bit of an early draft. I should point out that I’ve actually left out the paragraph where the little girl says “I don’t want to go home”. It didn’t really make sense, even to me. I wrote it ages ago and lets remember I didn’t keep this. It has the bones of the final in it, but I’m very happy I cut out all the excess.
Later that day Mammy called everybody for Dinner.
“I don’t like this, I DON’T WANT TO EAT THIS!” said Lucie. Daddy asked the little girl what she would like to eat instead.
She thought for a moment and then said, “Well, first of all, we’ll go on an airplane to France. We’ll eat outside with Nanny and Grandpa. We’ll eat shellfish and frog’s legs and chips. Would that be fun?”
But there wasn’t time to go on an airplane to France, she was just too hungry, so she ate her dinner, it wasn’t so bad after all.
After dinner it was time to go upstairs.
“I don’t want to go upstairs, I DON’T WANT TO GO UPSTAIRS!” said the little girl. Mammy asked, “Where will we go instead?”
The little girl thought for a moment and then said, “Well, we’ll go up to space. We’ll put on our space suits, walk on the moon and look at the stars.” But instead of putting on space suits Mammy was putting their pyjamas’ on
“I don’t want to go to bed, I DON’T WANT TO GO TO BED!” said the little girl. “Where will you go instead” asked daddy.
She thought for a moment and then said, “Well…” she yawned, “we’ll go to the beach”. And as Mammy helped her under the quilt she continued. ”I’ll jump under the water, and I’ll be a mermaid”, and as daddy gave the little girl her special bedtime blanket, she said, “I’ll snuggle into the seaweed.” And then as Mammy gave the little girl her special monkey, she fell asleep.
She’s 8 now, almost 9 and it’s still impossible to persuade her to leave anywhere. The good news is that she’s almost old enough for me to leave her behind…. just kidding.