Thursday, April 05, 2007

Song Selection

For a long time, I have been singing the same two songs to Elise. Okay, more than two, but two particular songs were far and away the most common. One is "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and the other is a nameless song that my mom sang to me and my siblings when we were little. I don't know if she made it up; I've never heard it sung outside my home. It is the song we sing every night when tucking Elise into bed. For quite a while, Elise has been making the motions (sort of) to "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", and that is how she identifies it. When I ask her what song she wants to sing and she responds by waving her hands in the air, I know she is requesting "The Itsy Bitsy Spider". Cute.

Recently, she has started to identify other songs. We've been adding songs to our repertoire one at a time, and she has started to ask for them. Not exactly by name, but by identities that she has assigned to them. For example, our little nighttime song includes the line, "When you're not near me, I'm blue!" Now Elise asks for that song by saying, "Boooooooooo!" (Not to be confused with "BOO!", usually shouted when she is right next to you, followed by giggling. Someday she'll understand that "BOO!" is more effective when accompanied by actually surprising the person with your presence. For now she is satisfied with shouting and giggling.) "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" is requested by grabbing her toes. "Old MacDonald" gets an "e-i, e-yo". And "Jesus Loves the Little Children" has been abbreviated to "Bebe?" (Baby).

Figuring out what she is trying to communicate can be challenging, but it's always fun. It's a little easier now that she shakes her head "no" when I guess the wrong thing, and nods "yes" when I get it. This is so much fun. Yeah, there are tough days, and there are tough moments within every day. But overall, having a kid is simply delightful. I really can't express how great it is. Before Elise was born - even before we were expecting her - people insisted on telling me how hard it was to be a parent. They would find out that I wanted to have a large family and they laughed at me, telling me I would change my mind as soon as a became a parent. I always wanted to refute their confident claims, but felt that I had no right to do so. How could I, a non-parent, tell a parent that I knew I wanted a lot of kids, and that I fully expected to enjoy being a parent? I couldn't. But now, more than a year and a half into this endeavor, I know that I do love being a parent, and I still would like a large family. And there are still people who laugh at me. "You want how many kids? Oh, just wait until you have more than one!" And I can only smile. Of course I cannot prove that I will enjoy having multiple children while I have only one. But I strongly suspect that I will. I guess time will tell.

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