October 22, 2003

Life As a Musical

The Boy has recently discovered the glory of song. Of course his oeuvre is somewhat limited, consisting of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Happy Birthday," "Old MacDonald," and "The ABC Song," which doesn't really count because it's just "Twinkle, Twinkle" with different words. And so our drives home now go something like this:

"Go that way?" Points in a random direction.

"No, sweetie, we won't get home if we go that way. We have to go this way to get home."

"Go THIS way." Said with a decided nod and point in the direction we're travelling.

Silence. Blessed, non-Wiggle filled silence. I become lulled by the rhythms of the engine. Then,

"Sing ABCs?"

"Okay." I sing the song, with The Boy fudging his way through L-M-N-O-P by going "lalalala PEEEEE!"

Silence. Then,

"Old MacDonald?"

I sing the beginning, and pause for him to fill in the animal. After much consideration, he yells, "PIG!" It's always pig, followed by cow, dog, and then he runs out of ideas and I have to suggest duck, horse and cat. At this point, my throat is getting dry. When we finish, I hand him his miniature Big Red Car and lapse back into silence. Then,

"Sing Birthday?"

We then must sing Happy Birthday, and it must be addressed to The Boy by name. No one else gets to have a birthday song. Ever. And every day is The Boy's birthday, apparently.

Sometimes I get bored and make up words to the tunes we sing. I like to think the lyrics are fairly clever, in an off-the-cuff way. Not so The Boy. Do not change the words on The Boy. The Boy will smite you with furious anger and flying Wiggles cars if you try to get smart. And whatever you do, don't pass a McDonald's on the way home, lest you be forced into 6 more choruses of the song by the same name. Of course, hitting the drive-thru is a lot more fun now:

Drive-Thru Drone: "Welcome to McDonald's. Can I take your order?"

The Boy: "E-I-E-I-OOOOOO!"

So to save my sanity, I'm trying to teach him ways to vary his playlist. So far, "Bingo" has been a big hit, but I'm open to suggestions. It's getting hard to concentrate at work with a constant chorus of E-I-E-I-O running through my head.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at October 22, 2003 09:09 AM

I have a three year old (tomorrow) boy and if I didn't know better, I would think that my wife has a blog and it's called bigarmwoman.com. Great description of the young mind, song selection, Wiggles, big red car and especially the understanding that Old McDonald has a farm and a chain of burger joints.

Posted by: Winston at October 22, 2003 10:27 AM

There's always "The Wheels on the Bus" if you can handle it. No guarantees on how long it'll preserve your sanity.

You might also try burning a mix cd with some of your favorite catchy tunes. I've got my kid singing along to Ren & Stimpy's "Happy Happy Joy Joy" and Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town".

Much to my husband's chagrin the boy (yeah, I live with "the boy" and "the man") is developing my taste in music because he rides around with me and listens to my favorite tunes.

Posted by: Julianne at October 22, 2003 10:30 AM

While every day with my "The Boy" is a joy, I'm much dismayed by his constant singing of the Clay Aiken song. I need more time with him. Once, I had him singing along to They Might Be Giants, but Clay's ubiquity has hijacked his musical taste.

Posted by: winston at October 22, 2003 10:38 AM

My two favorite CDs for the car are "No!" by They Might Be Giants and a compilation CD called "The Bottle Let Me Down". Both are full of bouncy, almost hip goodness.

When George was about the age of The Boy, I bought Gonna Sing My Head Off: American Folk Songs for Children by Kathleen Krull, which I thought had lots of good songs in it. Not that I could read the words while driving, but we could sing together at other times and learn new songs.

And whatever you do -- do not buy any Wee Sing albums.

Posted by: Jordana at October 22, 2003 10:45 AM

I babysat a pair of girls, 5 and 2, who loved it when I put in my "Cats" soundtrack. Katie, the little one, loved Growltiger, even though it scared her.

Other kids songs:
You are my sunshine
John Jacob Jinglehimer Smith
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Nobody Likes Me (the worm eating song)

Um... memory drying up. Damn, and I even went to summer camp every year of my childhood!

Posted by: shell at October 22, 2003 11:10 AM

little foo foo bunny
itsy bitsy spider

Got a lot of laughter out of those two.

Posted by: beth donovan at October 22, 2003 12:22 PM

This Old Man
Mary Had a Little Lamb

Posted by: shell at October 22, 2003 01:26 PM

My kids loved the soundtrack to "The Jungle Book". Nothing like a rousing "Oo-be-do! I want to be like you-oo-oo!" to make the time pass quickly. Of course, my coworkers think it's strange that I know all the words to the songs, but hey, I don't have to live with them.

Posted by: LittleA at October 22, 2003 01:31 PM

Lately, my three-and-something year old has been singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," with "Cubbies" in the appropriate spot.

Posted by: Michael at October 22, 2003 02:45 PM

When my daughter was 3, her Top 3 were the national anthem, Take Me Out to the Ball Game and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Now that my son is pushing 3, I'm trying to bring him up better. In the car lately we've been listening to Blink-182 and the soundtrack to "The Commitments" (all my REAL soul is on vinyl). He likes 'em. I like 'em. We're good, I guess, until the day at church when he starts singing, "She's a dove/She's a f****** nightmare ..."

Posted by: Lex at October 22, 2003 04:27 PM

Ah yes. When I read stories to our Boy, I sometimes alter the words a bit to see if he's paying attention. He hates that. The book is canon and must be read exactly the same way every time.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 24, 2003 08:14 PM