Christopher Pyett, painting, (detail) Symphonic Poem No.1 (2013)
Barbara Pyett © 2013
When I grow up what shall I be?
When I grow up I’ll be a builder,
work with my best friend Matilda.
Build houses to survive a flood,
from straw and wood and brick and mud
Solar heated, triple glazed,
warm as toast on freezing days.
Being a princess would be hard,
n’er alone on my promenade.
I’d wear jewels and crowns of gold
always doing what I was told.
My gowns too grand to stay outside
and play upon the slippery slide.
When I grow up I’ll be a baker,
sausage rolls and croissant maker.
Cream puffs, pastries, breads the lot,
the smells will waft and wake the block.
Cooking through the night till dawn,
draw joggers in the early morn.
When I grow up I want to be
a vet just like my Auntie Fi.
Helping young ones to be born,
heal animals of every form.
Wombats, possums, lizards and cats,
large or small dogs and even rats!
When I grow up I’ll go to sea,
a captain’s hat’s the one for me.
Some waves will gently rock my bed,
as I wearily rest my head.
Loading cargo and people too,
never dull, as it’s always new.
Gardening is the job for me,
planting flowers for all to see.
Adults watch whilst children play,
gardens blooming in full array.
Running children fly their kites,
dogs chasing them with great delight.
When I grow up I’d like to be,
working with children just like me.
A doctor, nurse or someone kind.
bring joy to the sick, so sublime.
Wearing a hat upon my head,
to bring some smiles to those in bed.
When I grow up I’d like to wear,
an Apiarist’s hat, oh so square!
I’d hide behind a well-sealed suit,
the smoke would make the bees quite mute.
From the hive I’d take the honey,
after eating, make some money.
Cousin Susan is a teacher,
dressing- up is quite a feature.
It sounds like fun to sing and play,
with Kindy children every day.
I could wear an outrageous hat,
keeping the sun off, slip, slop, slap!
Catching fish is a dream of mine,
waking early rainy or fine.
A beany borne to keep me warm,
trying to lure illusive prawns.
Arriving home with lots of fish,
we’d never have an empty dish.
What about a farmer’s life?
Much fresh air and free from strife.
Then I’d wear all kinds of hats,
suiting weathers, that’s a fact.
Sometimes out in frost or rain,
blistering heat I’d harvest grain.
What about a lawyer’s wig?
Do you think I’d look a prig?
Dressing up to play the part,
arguing justly to outsmart,
Convince a jury of a crime,
judge declares, ‘it’s worth a fine!’
A cricketers’ life would be fun,
play outside in the mid-day sun.
Bowling a googly with such grace,
the baggy green in pride of place.
Travelling far with the Aussie team,
would develop my self-esteem.
Playing hats is a game to play when drying the dishes or going for a ride in the car. This will encourage conversation and learning.
Each person takes a turn saying the name of a different hat.
- Repetition is not allowed.
- The game continues until you run out of names of hats.
Some hints for finding names; think of hats being worn from different:
Careers, sports, religions, safety helmets, dressing up, history, leisure activities and most importantly the myriad of hats from different cultures.
- I envisage this poem illustrated with people wearing hats in different work settings. On the inside covers a multitude of different hats. It is written for children aged 5-8 years.
- This book ends with an exciting game of Hats that encourages discussion; brings awareness of different cultures and career paths, at the same time expanding vocabulary.
I would be grateful for any feedback from those of you who have children in your lives. How did playing hats entertain your children? Poetry is another area for me to explore. A book recommended is, ‘The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within.’ by Stephen Fry.