It’s no secret that I like to sing. I sing songs to Nellie all the time. She’s particularly fond of: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, “Witch Doctor” (you know… ting tang walla walla bing bang), and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”.
Last Tuesday night we were waiting on her curls to dry after her bath when I started singing her the ABCs. She whirled around with a huge smile on her face and began clapping along with my singing.
“ABCD,” I sang as Nellie clapped. “EFG..”
That’s when I noticed that she was softly saying things along with me, watching me intently while her little hands smacked together.
“HIJKLMNOP,” I continued.
“P…” she said quietly along with me.
“WXY and Z. Now I know my ABCs, next time won’t you sing with me?”
“YYYAYYYY!” she yelled, applauding. “Shooome? Shoome?” she asked, which is her word for “more”.
I began singing again and sure enough, she was saying a few of the letters with me. I was floored. Floored! We sang about four more times before I switched to another familiar tune.
“Old Mac Donald had a farm, EIEIO!”
“EEEEEEE OHHHHH!” Nellie sang. Again, jaw met floor. Every time I got to the EIEIO part, she would chime in. I shook my head in disbelief as my little toddler played and clapped and sang along with me. The last song I sang to her was “Skinamarinky Dinky Dink”.. You remember, the theme song to the Sharon, Lois, Bram and Elephant Show on Nickelodeon? This one comes with hand/arm gestures and when I was doing them she began to mime me.
She and I sat on the floor facing each other and singing songs for at least ten minutes. She listened to me, captivated; my rapt audience of one. She even made requests. When I tried to sing “BINGO,” she shook her head no. I started in with the ABCs again and was met with another “no”. The third time I tried Old Mac Donald and was met with clapping and cheers.
I’ve taken a leave of absence from my women’s chorus and Tuesdays are usually my chorus night… But instead of singing a capella barbershop, I was sitting cross-legged on the floor with my pajama-clad tot with the corkscrew curls and we were singing our hearts out together as day turned to night. I couldn’t possibly ask for more.