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Posts Tagged ‘Queen’

Usually I know how to calm him at first, to get him used to being with me.   Singing softly.  Today I try Guster and The Beatles but he gives me a no to both of those.  I’ve Been Working on the Railroad it is.  We take turns with the lyrics, me singing a line or two, then pointing to him, he picking up tune & rhythm without breaking tempo.

It’s a complicated song as children’s sings go, but he prefers complicated songs with distinct bridges into all-new musical directions, and back again.  Keep it Together by Guster, for example.  I should turn him on to Bohemian Rhapsody or A Day in the Life.

He asks me for hug and so I slide over to him, and he wants kisses on his head, and I wrap my arms around him gladly, taking advantage of this somewhat rare physical closeness I get with my son.  More kisses? he pleads, giggling.  I kiss him all over the top of his sweet little head and then lean back to face him for a kiss on the lips.

SLAP his hand flashes out and catches my upper cheek and eye.  SMACK comes the other hand, fingers now curled to grab and pull at me, though my glasses are off and I’ve tucked my hair under a hood, so contact is minimal.

I caught his wrists after that, and we got him to the apartment okay.

I forgot my camera; this picture is from another week.

When I got home, I did laundry and dishes and raked my whole front lawn, stripping off layers of sweaters and zip-up fleeces until I was wearing just a t-shirt.  I moved in hard sweeping lifts, leaves clinging to the rake, my clothes, my gloves.  The sun and the cool and the wind-less day made for ideal raking conditions.  I felt strong: alive and focused.  I shoved the leaves down inside the bags with one leg, my foot stomping hard, compacting – my nose filled with the almost-decayed smell of fallen leaves.

I’m just a hair shy of the kind of OCD that would have me picking up stray leaves one by one from the lawn.

It felt so good to work fast and hard, to know what to do to complete a task, to literally bag it all up, and to have a different result than when I started.  Anything I can do that brings with it a logical beginning, middle, and end is good.  These blog entries are vital.  Making a difference somewhere, somehow, any way I can.  Even if it’s just clearing a scattered gathering of autumn leaves.  The leaves aren’t going to pretend to go willingly into the bag and then suddenly stage a coup and escape, attacking me with their sharp pointy stems and edges.

Work is important. Tasks are vital.

Otherwise I would go mad.  Mad madder maddest. 

Keep it together;
Can we keep it together?
We’re singing a new song now…
and everything starts today.”

~ Guster

My friend D send me a coloring book in the mail, and I’m about to go have brunch with two other wonderful friends, after which I will take a walk in the sunshine to the park. Maybe make some nature art with what’s left of the colorful leaves.  Or break out the crayons and play in my new coloring book.  Play UNO with M’s kids.  Play with my dog, pet my cat, send out some cards, maybe a package.  Perhaps I’ll even call someone I haven’t talked to in a while.

Just to pass the time away.

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To entertain Jonah (and one another), Andy and I sometimes change around existing songs, Weird Al style, to suit our very own weird little family.  And because we are often putting Jonah in a soapy bathtub right after changing a poop, one of our “top 10 hits” revolves around this activity – it’s sung to the tune of  “Another One Bites the Dust,” by Queen, and goes something like this:

Da-da dum. dum. dum.  Put the soap… in your butt!

Da-da dum. dum. dum.  Put the soap… in your butt!

Putt the soap in your butt, putt the soap in your butt, put the soap… in your butt!

Hey!  I’m gonna clean you, too!  Put the soap… in your butt!

We sing gems like this to Jonah, he memorizes them, and then he performs them.  Loudly.  In public.

I know, I know.  We have no one to blame but ourselves.  But how else to explain the necessity of a clean nether-region to a kid like Jonah?  He loves music.  He remembers songs.  This little boy, who can’t string together more than 5 or 6 spoken words at a clip, can sing entire songs – verse and chorus, the whole shebang.  Go figure.

Probably 65% of his repertoire is made up of Guster songs (Yes, I brainwashed him)…

…and maybe 10% kids’ songs (The Wheels on the Bus was an early favorite), 5% Beatles songs (he especially loves Michelle and Yellow Submarine), 5% old-fashioned standards (my dad taught him songs like “Daisy” and “Bye Bye Blackbird“), and the rest these silly made-up tunes that Andy and I sing to him.

Oh, wait – I almost forgot about “Happy Birthday” – one of Jonah’s all-time favorites, quite possibly because its performance at certain gatherings is rewarded, nearly immediately, by cake.   There was a time not too long ago when lighting any candle anywhere in our home necessitated a sing-along of the tiresome tune you should really only have to hear once a year.   Every so often I would deliberately indulge Jonah, lighting a candle so we could both sing the Happy Birthday song (to Jonah every time of course), pause for effect, blow out the candle, and clap wildly, shouting “yay!”

And then light the candle again and start all over.

And over.  And over, and over, and over.

Light, sing, blow, clap, yay! “More?  more?”

Light, sing, blow, clap, yay! “More?  more?”

Light, sing, blow, clap, yay! “More?  more?”

It makes sense to me, though, that Jonah learns well this way and can remember lyrics and tunes.  I mean, I learned more math, grammar, science, and history from Schoolhouse Rock songs (sandwiched between The Superfriends and Bugs Bunny on Saturday morning TV) than I did from the entirety of my elementary school education.  And I remember memorizing many a sedimentary rock for geology tests in college by putting their names to some then-popular tune.

No, I can’t say I’m surprised that Jonah sings along to life.

I have to wonder, though:  was it right for us to mess with such an anthemic Queen song, bastardizing it shamelessly into a ditty about (of all things) putting soap in your butt?

Even Weird Al didn’t stoop that low.

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