Life in Song, in South America

The kids both refused to nap one afternoon last week, despite a very busy morning. Our little guy was so wound up that he took off his sleep sack, pants, and diaper a grand total of four times before I gave up on the nap. Well, life must go on and I’ve got things to do. So I was letting Daniel Tiger babysit the kids while I worked on boring adult stuff like cell phones and my master’s degree. (And Ryan took care of extremely boring adult stuff like buying a car and getting it insured.)

Daniel Tiger

PBS Kids’ Daniel Tiger

If you have young children and let them watch TV, I highly recommend Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. There is just a lot of really good stuff going on there. The episode the kids watched this afternoon (okay, one of the episodes) talked about how every person has something special about them. I looked over and saw them completely absorbed in the story. Lucy sang along when they broke out the “I like you just the way you are” song; then she turned to me and said, “I’m special too, Mom.”

Well, of course.

I set aside the riveting chat I was having with a Verizon rep in favor of telling my daughter how much I love the things that are special about her. One of the things I think is special is how she makes up songs throughout the day. Sometimes I don’t think she even knows she’s doing it. I will catch her narrating her playtime in song (“…and then she goes over here, and wait a minute, that’s a dinosaur…”), totally absorbed in her make-believe.

This evening, she was singing, “I love my life in South America!” This prompted a nice discussion about how we love what we’re doing here, but that we can still love the United States as well. 

And then, naturally, there was that moment at lunch today when she was singing “La Cucaracha” in the middle of a restaurant full of Spanish speakers trying to eat their food without imagining it full of, well, you know. 

It’s true — she has songs for every occasion. But we’re still working on finding the perfect song for each moment.

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