Peek-a-Boo I See You

How is it that something so simple, a timeless classic such as playing peek-a-boo, can have the ability to soothe so instantaneously? To calm a hyper or agitated mood, and to bring joy and sweet smiles to all those around, regardless of age?

Of late, my own baby girl has fallen smitten to playing round after round of peek-a-boo, learning the ways to hide her face, squishing it this way and that in her attempts to hide behind her hands.

It was after one particularly charming round of the peek and the boo over our lunch the other day, that the fates aligned and I was able to document our brief foray in playful theatrics.

It is in these simple moments that I find the sweetest reprieve. It’s during these times of simple play that I take great joy in motherhood and cherish these perfect, tiny moments like the truly great memories that they are. I was thinking a lot about that tonight, when I came across this antiquated yet delightful poem.

I thought it rather suited this collection of photos. Enjoy!

Written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, modestly titled; ‘Peek-a-Boo’.

  • The cunningest thing that a baby can do...

    The cunningest thing that a baby can do…

    Is the very first time it plays peek-a-boo;

  • When it hides its pink little face in its hands...

    When it hides its pink little face in its hands…

    And crows, and shows that it understands,
    What nurse, and mamma and papa, too,
    Mean when they hide and cry, “Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.”

  • Oh, what a wonderful thing it is...

    Oh, what a wonderful thing it is…

    When they find that baby can play like this;
    And everyone listens, and thinks it true
    That baby’s gurgle means “Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo”;

  • And over and over the changes are rung...

    And over and over the changes are rung…

    On the marvelous infant who talks so young.

  • I wonder if any one ever knew...

    I wonder if any one ever knew…

    A baby that never played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.
    ‘Tis old as the hills are. I believe
    Cain was taught it by Mother Eve;

  • For Cain was an innocent baby, too...

    For Cain was an innocent baby, too…

    And I am sure he played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.

  • And the whole world full of the children of men...

    And the whole world full of the children of men…

    Have all of them played that game since then.
    Kings and princes and beggars, too,
    Everyone has played peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.

  • Thief and robber and ruffian bold...

    Thief and robber and ruffian bold…

    The crazy tramp and the drunkard old,

  • All have been babies who laughed and knew

    All have been babies who laughed and knew

    How to hide, and play peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo.

Poem From Kingdom of love and How Salvator won by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago, W.B. Conkey company [1902].

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