Summary of the poem when I am an old lady

This is the summary and the introduction of the poem When I am an old lady. The poem is in the syllabus of 1st year class 11, in FBISE and KPK boards in Pakistan. But this is also present in the books of other countries in different grades. 

When I am an Old lady Poem

This is one of the famous poems written by Joanne Bailey Baxter and is widely taught in schools and colleges. The poem is both humorous and instructive. In one way, it is full of humor because the speaker, as a mother, speaks of doing acts like children in her old age; it is instructive in the sense it minutely describes the acts that kids usually do.

The poem also explores the difficulties that parents, particularly a mother, face while upbringing their kids; despite these difficulties, the motherhood of every mother renders love, compassion, and care to the kids. Moreover, the poem is quite serious, as it also talks of the dependent nature of human beings. In childhood, it is the parents who take care of kids; in old age, kids ought to take care of their parents. Structurally, the poem is comprised of twenty-nine verses.

Summary of the poem When I am an old lady

As the title of the poem says, the poetess is imagining or intending to do childish acts in her old age. She says that she will live each of her kids and brings them the same amount of joy; in the third verse of the poem, she innocently says that she will return the joy they have provided me. She is excited to amaze her kids with the acts. Then she starts mentioning acts [the acts that her kids have done at an early age].

Usually, kids write on the walls with markers, chalks or crayons. They also do jumping over the furniture. Kids also wear mischievously wear their parents' shoes. Sometimes they leave things unopened like water bottles. She humorously says I will repeat all these things. Then she says when my kids will be on phone, I will snap my fingers in sugar or bleach and will hide under the bed. By doing so, I will avoid being caught by them. 

I will do mischievous acts on the dining table and make my kids angry. In the TV lounge, I will throw my socks in the air and play with channels. At the end of the poem, she says that I will lay in the bed at night and my kids will say something which parents usually say to kids: She's so sweet when she's sleeping!

Also, see:

3. Summary of the poem Tears of nature
5. Summary of the poem 

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