Waking up at 5:45
To the whimpers of your 3 year old
Crackling through the baby monitor
Finding your slippers in the dark
Because you forgot to plug in your phone
So now you have no light to guide you
Shuffling through the cold house
Sneaking into her room
Trying not to wake her
Seeing that her kid feet
Are tangled in her sheets
And her bunny is out of her reach
You peel back her doona
Untangle her feet
The brief moment of cold
Causing her to stir
You quickly tuck her in snug as a bug
And place her lost bunny
Into her empty arms
She hugs it close
Snuggles into her doona
And in the dark you hear
The sweetest sound
“Thank you daddy”
You shuffle back through the cold house
With those three words warming you
Better than slippers ever could
Betty Botter is a tongue-twister written by Carolyn Wells. It was originally titled “The Butter Betty Bought.” By the middle of the 20th century, it had become part of the Mother Goose collection of nursery rhymes.
I used to be into tongue-twisters as a kid and my favourite was “Betty Botter”. The version I committed to memory was:
Betty Botter bought some butter. “But”, she said, “This butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it’ll make my batter bitter. But if I buy a better butter, it’ll make my batter better.” So Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter and that made her batter better.
A nice tongue-twister, but not very exciting. She has a problem with some butter and she just goes out and buys a replacement.
Well, I thought I might be able to expand the Betty Botter story a little bit. Here is what I came up with…
Betty Botter’s Batter My expanded version of a classic tongue-twister
Betty Botter bought some butter, “But”, she said, “This butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it’ll make my batter bitter. But if I buy a better butter, it’ll make my batter better…
But Betty’s brother Buddy Botter said, “Why not try adding water?”
So Betty Botter blended bitter butter with a bit of water that her brother Buddy brought her. But no matter how much water, the bitter batter wasn’t better. All it was was a bit wetter.
“Wet and bitter batter isn’t better!” Betty barked, but before her brother said rebuttal, Betty’s mother butted in. “I’m sure it could be a bit better. Why not add bit of feta? Salt’ll balance out the bitter, and absorb a bit of water.”
Then Betty’s father Mr Botter contributed to the banter.
“Back when I was but a boy, my best friend Billy’s neighbour’s, barber’s brother was a brilliant baker. He always bragged he blended better with the best electric beater. Your broken, busted baby beater is why your batter isn’t better.”
Though it sounds bonkers, Betty Botter couldn’t let this batter beat her. So Betty, bartered, begged and bought a brand new, bright blue, Breville beater! Then with the best electric beater she beat the batter mixed with feta, blending water Buddy brought her in with bits of bitter butter.
And in the end this beaten blend of wetter, bitter, feta batter, was just plain bad and Betty muttered “I shoulda bought a better butter.”
Her brother Buddy smiled and bade her, “Come on Betty, don’t be bitter. Sure we botched a basic batter, but we’re blessed with something better… You see, what matters is not batters, but bonding with our fellow Botters.”