Birthday Rules

by Bruce Lansky
Don’t invite your friends who haven’t learned to use the potty.
Changing diapers, certainly, will drive your mother dotty.

Don’t complain when Grandpa Gus gives you a birthday kiss.
If you’re bothered by his beard, just dodge so he will miss.

Don’t spill cake and ice cream on your sister’s brand-new dress.
Do not start a food fight; you will have to clean the mess.
Don’t try to pin the donkey tail on your fat uncle Fred.
Don’t ask Auntie Jane’s new boyfriend when they plan to wed.

If you get a gift you hate, remember not to swear.
Do not cry when Grandma gives you purple underwear.

If you follow all these rules, your birthday fun will double.
And if you disobey them, you will be in lots of trouble.


Text © Bruce Lansky reprinted from If Pigs Could Fly...and Other Deep Thoughts, published by Meadowbrook Press. Illustration © Stephen Carpenter. Any copying or use of this poem or illustration without consent is unlawful.

Click on the book cover below for more information or to buy the book.

go back to Birthday Poems