Monday, March 03, 2008

Singing our Lives Away

The "unplugged" theme this week is music.

I haven't done much with music except to have it constantly available. Although I frequently rotate toys out to cold storage,* there is always a basket of musical instruments for the kids to play with. The Agents are well aware that even though screaming is prohibited in the house, I always allow loud music. This frequently results in a four-child heavy metal band screaming gibberish at the top of their lungs. All in good fun, right?

I also sing all day. To keep myself from screaming in frustration, I have set many of the standard household commands to music. For instance, when one of the children squirms at dinner, I substitute that child's name for "John" in the song "Sit Down John" from the musical 1776 (obviously skipping the blasphemous phrase in the original). To keep the military discipline up, our clean-up song is set to the tune of a reveille bugle call:

It's time to clean up
It's time to clean up
It's time to clean up the t-oys

It's time to clean up
It's time to clean up
It's time to clean up the t-oys
Each of the children has a theme song. P started to recognize his (which is sung to the tune of "Copa Cabana") by the time he was 5 or 6 months old. Agent 004 loves hers because it has choreographed kissing throughout. F's song is an ever-changing version of "Frere Jacques." Agent 002's is my favorite: it is an original tune with "I love you" in both English and Russian. He frequently requests it when we snuggle.

Here is a snippet of the song that allows me to blog. Sing along to the tune of The Muppet Show theme song:
It's time to go to bed now.
It's time to get some sleep.
It's time to lay your head down.
Its time to get some rest now.
At the *** house today.

Why do we always do this?
As if you didn't know.
It's kind of like a torture
To have to make you go.

It's time to go to bed now.
It's time to get some sleep.
It's time to lay your head down.
Its time to get some rest now.
At the *** house today.

*cold storage = our three-season porch

9 comments:

Piseco said...

I loved reading about how you sing songs throughout the day! We do much the same thing... one of our standards is "The Wheels on the Bus" which can be turned into "The ___ on the ___" for nearly any situation - the noodles on the fork, the blanket on the bed, the shoes on the feet, and so on. We also sing songs with our kids' names substituted in - including "Sit Down, John" from 1776! And I love your bedtime version of The Muppet Show theme. Thanks for sharing!

Mom Unplugged said...

How great that music is such a part of your lives. Having a basket of musical instruments out all the time is a nice idea. It is fun to make up new words to songs, and it is a good creative lesson for children I think. Thanks for joining in!

Heather said...

Once again absolute genious. I love the idea of making a theme song for each of them.

Mom and Kiddo said...

Love that the music is part of everyday activities! Hopefully Kiddo has gotten over his "stop singing, mommy!" phase and we can go back to doing that again, too.

Michie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I thought I was the only one who made up silly songs all the time! :)

Ruth said...

I like the theme song idea, but am a little confused as to when you sing it and what its purpose is. Can you expound?

Jenny said...

I have found that singing things that I want my daughter to do (books away, books away, time to put your books away) is far more effective than just asking. I wonder why that's true for so many children? I'm just glad it works!

reprehriestless warillever said...

Ruth-- I sing the theme songs throughout the day to calm, to entertain, or to divert attention.

Agent 004 is very groggy when she wakes up from naps. I sing her song as I get her from her bed. If Baby P sees me preparing his food or bottle he gets very impatient, but laughs if I sing to him while I work (diversion?). When any of the children is hurt or upset I sing.

Make sense?

reprehriestless warillever said...

Jenny--
I think that it works becuase it helps *Mom* to avoid insanity from repeating the same ten phrases over and over again. It keeps the day interesting, and (at least from me) keeps me from saying in frustration, "Clean up the *&^% toys, NOW"

Or maybe that's just me ;)