If there’s one thing that helps in our toddler household, it’s singing. There’s singing everywhere, everyday, for everything. When I was pregnant, I started listening to lullabies, to get into the baby mood. Soon, I started singing them and I truly believed that my unborn baby was listening. When the baby was born, singing became a tradition. I was quite busy when Pappu was born and we didn’t have enough time spend for his music introduction, but I kept singing. I sang to make him sleep and to keep him engaged. I sang while taking a shower and while using the public restroom as he listened happily from his stroller. I sang while using the computer and I even sang when I was half asleep. I didn’t realize at first, but soon I was humming lullabies even when I was alone. Quite often I spent a whole day singing and dancing along with him and would end up tired with a broken voice.
Soon the lullabies were restricted to bed time and other songs and rhymes took it’s place for the rest of the day. I almost never saw him throwing a tantrum because most of the time, I was able to sweet talk him into good behavior, while at home and while running errands. Usually I’m truthful to him and reasoning works but when it doesn’t, I distract him with singing. Oh yeah remember seeing that crazy woman in the middle of the street singing and dancing to children’s song? It’s me! I don’t mind this crazy look, in order to avoid getting the ‘horrible mother’ look I got on that day when I let him cry in the food court. I’d rather sing than getting angry or upset.
In the process, I started inventing new songs. Every morning and at bed time, I sing different brushing songs to get my son to let me brush his teeth. And I sing eating songs during lunch times to get him to stay put in the high chair. What a terrible mother I should be, lunch is served only to people who sit in their high chairs. And then there are time when he wants to watch TV. Unfortunately, that’s about most of the time we stay home, about 10 to 15 times a day. And given that the maximum screen time allowed is 1 hour, I again have to distract and start singing. When I’m tired of carrying him around, I sing dancing and running songs to get him dancing and at the same time keep moving.
This morning, when he woke up, my brushing song was this:
This little puppy went to market
This little puppy went to school
And this little puppy loves…
to let mummy brush his teeth!
Son was excited to hear the puppy who always said “wee wee wee” now willing to brush his teeth. When our brushing task was over, I took him to change his diaper. Son thought for a moment and said “puppy…. diaper change?”
It was a sweet moment. Sometimes it’s worth getting a broken voice!