How I Get My Kid to Like Cool Music

One of the cutest things ever is listening to a small child sing. It is precious. It is adorable. But let’s face it: there are only so many times one can hear “The Wheels on the Bus” before they start to feel slightly homicidal.

I made Nellie a Spotify playlist a few weeks ago and loaded it with her favorite Disney songs from Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, The Lion King, and a few other movies. She loved it so much, and it made me feel so happy to see her singing along each morning on the way to daycare.

And then I heard “When Will My Life Begin?” one too many times and wanted to dig my eardrums out with a bobby pin. So I got to thinking: how can I get my child to like cool music – the music I like? I decided I’d give the songs names that would appeal to her. Here are a few of Nellie’s favorite songs from my playlists, along with the “fun names” I gave them:

  1. Little Lion Man A.K.A. “The Lion Song”. Okay, so this might not be the most appropriate song for her to listen to (“I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I my dear?” being one of the lyrics), but it was one of the first songs I introduced her to that wasn’t sung by a chirpy-ass princess.
  2. Wake Up, Little Susie A.K.A “Wake Up Little Kitty”. Nellie is obsessed with cats. OBSESSED. She has this small stuffed cat I brought her from Chicago. One morning, she came to me and said, “Mama, tell this baby kitty to WAKE UP!” I started singing “Wake up, little kitty, wake up!”. Once we got to the car, I turned that song on and sang it like I just had and now it’s her favorite song to sing.
  3. These Boots Are Made For Walking A.K.A “A Song About Boots”. I told her it was a song about boots and started laughing hysterically at how silly that was. It worked.
  4. The Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In A.K.A “The Moon Song”. “When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter lines with Mars” is the first line. So I told her it was a song about the moon. I also told her that her zodiac sign is Aquarius and that the song was pretty much all about her. Which might be a lie. It’s really about hippies and probably LSD.
  5. Brand New Key A.K.A “The Rollerskate Song” Told her it was a song about rollerskates. I’m not sure she even knows what rollerskates are, but she loves this song. It is kind of awkward, though, because all I can think of when I hear this song is that one scene in Boogie Nights. I’m also relatively sure that “I’ve got a brand new pair of rollerskates, you’ve got a brand new key, I think that we should get together and try them out, you see” isn’t REALLY talking about rollerskates and the key that goes with it. AMIRIGHT?
  6. Radioactive A.K.A “The Toothless Song” This one might be my most creative. Radioactive is a song by Imagine Dragons. Nellie loves “How to Train Your Dragon”, specifically the dragon Toothless. So I told her the song was about Toothless.
    I am a liar. The song isn’t about Toothless at all.
  7. Cocaine Habit This one has no alternate name.  She just started singing it one day. Again, not the most appropriate song but Josh and I love some Old Crow Medicine Show, sooooo…… Plus, you have to admit, there is something funny about hearing a three-year-old sing “sign on the door that says ‘no more dope’!”. Or is that just me? Just me? Awesome.

The downside to this, of course, is that once she fixates on a song she insists on playing it over and over and over. The fact that these songs are ones I enjoy make hearing them on repeat slightly more tolerable than the Disney songs, but I’ve about had it with the Everly Brothers and “Wake Up Little Susie”. LET LITTLE SUSIE SLEEP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. No more Little Susie.

What are your kids’ favorite songs?

 

Three.

On January 20th, 2010 at 4:15 P.M, a 7 pound 2 ounce baby girl with a head full of jet black hair came into this world and made me a mom.

This past weekend we celebrated Nellie Rose’s third birthday (I’m just now getting around to making her birthday post. Fail.) On Saturday, we took her out for a celebratory treat – something she had been requesting for months. “A pink cupcake. A big one. With sprinkles.”

We didn’t disappoint the birthday girl.

 I took a few photos of her on her last day as a 2-year-old.

 

On her birthday, we told her to choose a place to eat breakfast.
She chose Waffle House.
Whatever, she’s a cheap date.

After breakfast, some fun at the mall playground, and a nap we headed downtown to the Children’s Discovery Museum to take advantage of my dad’s birthday gift to Nellie – a year-long family membership! She had fun “fishing”.

 

We were going to have her family party afterward but my mother-in-law was not feeling well, so we decided to reschedule. It’s a good thing that we did, because it turns out that Josh came down with some funk that lasted for three days. He is just now getting over it – and I am hoping that this icky feeling I have is not me beginning to have it.

Nellie’s 3rd birthday was spent with the two people who saw and held her first – her mama and daddy. It was low-key, but special. It was perfect.

At 3 years old, Nellie is stubborn. She is willful. She is smart, funny, and ridiculous. She is a whirlwind of activity. She has the uncanny ability to remember things that make my jaw drop. She loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Princesses (especially Merida), and kitties. She loves music. Her two favorite songs right now are “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. Her favorite TV show is He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (yes. Seriously.) and her favorite movie du jour is Aladdin.

At bedtime, she wants two stories read to her. Usually “Llama Llama Mad at Mama” and something else (the second one can usually be whatever). After her stories she wants to be rocked while we sing “Wagon Wheel”. She still snuggles with her Fox. She is potty trained, paci-free, and growing more independent every single day.

Nellie Rose, welcome to 3. I cannot wait to see what adventures it has in store for us.

I love you to the moon and back, more than all the stars in the sky, more than you will ever truly know.

 

This is Halloween

Nellie’s first Halloween wasn’t very interesting. She was 9 months old, I meant to put her in something cute that showed off how adorable and “baby” she was but it turns out I’m kind of a procrastinator and that never happened. We did have a super cute Halloween-themed photo shoot with her though, which kind of made up for the lack of 1st Halloween costume.

Last year, we decided Nellie told us she wanted to be Spider-Man. It was adorable, except sometimes the costume made her cry.

We’ve been asking Nellie for a few weeks what she wanted to be for Halloween. Her usual response was, “NUFFIN. I DON’T WANT TO BE ANYFING FOR HA-WEEN.”

WAY TO GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT, KIDDO.

This past weekend, we finally decided to just take her to the Halloween store and tell her to pick something out. Normally she says she doesn’t want to do things, but really she does, she just doesn’t know it yet. She ends up having a great time and liking whatever we’re doing even though she’s whining and insisting she just wants to stay home and eat popcorn while watching The Land Before Time Pt. Ninety.

So we took her to the store and led her to the toddler costumes. She perused several options, the first of which was a Rapunzel costume that cost approximately $50.00 and was made of like, a plastic bag spray-painted purple and pink. She then proceeded to spaz out completely and pluck every princess-related item from the hooks on the wall. She grabbed a Princess Aurora tiara and stuck it on her head backwards. Then a helpful clerk (and by helpful I mean “doesn’t have children and doesn’t understand the concept of ‘DON’T WANT TO PAY TEN DOLLARS PER ACCESSORY WE ALREADY PAY MORE IN DAYCARE THAN WE PAY IN RENT'”. Okay that’s not fair. The girl was really nice. And she had blue hair and amazing shoes and I pretty much envied her skin and fashion. Did I mention I’ve been drinking while writing this post?) informed us that they also had wands. So Nellie grabbed an Aurora tiara and wand, then pointed at a Rapunzel wig, and then an Ariel costume. So we had decided that she would be like, a Fraken-Disney-Princess which is various Disney items patched together to make a brand new princess.

We managed to pull her away from the princesses to browse other costumes. Along the way she decided she wanted to be:

  • A purple cat
  • A cat with a fuzzy jumpsuit that looked like it belonged in 1973
  • A “Baterina” – which is a ballerina and a bat, I guess, which makes NO SENSE because bats are nocturnal warm-blooded mammals, and ballerinas are Natalie Portman.
  • Buddy from the Dinosaur Train
  • Iron Man
  • A fire fighter

We finally convinced her to settle on a cute purple butterfly:

Fox not included.

Pretty cute, I wanted her to be an adorable stripey cat but she wanted nothing to do with the ears and tail so whatever. She’s been wearing this costume all weekend and now her wings are all bent and crooked like a fairy that went on a weekend-long bender.

Happy Halloween!

The Midnight Crapper

 

So there are a lot of things people warned me about when I was about to become a mom. Some of those things were:

  • How hard breastfeeding is.
  • How you will learn to function on 2 hours of sleep.
  • How you will always worry.
  • To be prepare for your infant to poop/pee/barf on you.
  • How you will never, ever sleep again. Ever.

We’ve made it through my child’s infancy and the first year of toddlerhood. Now that we are well into toddlerhood and Nellie is about to hit her preschooler phase, we’ve been faced with the hardest challenge yet, and that’s potty training. There are some things people (kind of ) warned me about potty training:

  • It will be frustrating.
  • It will be hard.
  • It will make you want to pull your hair out.
  • Your child won’t do it until they are ready.

But do you know what no one told me? Not a single fucking person?

That my child would shit on the floor. Repeatedly. 

For the past week or so my daughter has waited until bedtime, liberated herself of her Pull-Up, and shit on the floor of her bedroom. The first time, she just cried for us. We opened the door to her standing and pointing, yelling, “LOOK, MAMA. LOOK WHAT HAPPEN”.  It was all over her hands, smeared into the carpet, and on the walls. We frantically worked as a team to get everything cleaned up; me taking the shit-covered child and Josh dealing with the clean-up of her bedroom. While standing in the bathroom as I ran the bathtub, she got excited that she got to take a bath and began clapping her hands together while I frantically tried to get her to stop without barfing.

Look what happen in-fucking-deed.

After about a week of that, she began to (kind of) put 2+2 together and realized that her poop goes in the toilet. So instead of squalling for us and pointing at her feces, she decided she would – literally – take matters into her own hands. And by matters, I mean HER SHIT.  She’d scoop it up in her little hands, quietly open the door to her bedroom and sneak out into the hallway to bestow her gift unto the porcelain gods. Then she would come back into the living room and announce, “I put my poop in the potty! …..It on my hands…”

Sunday night’s debacle was particularly trying. It had gone on for over a week, and I’ve walked a thin line between wanting to clearly convey to her that what she’s doing isn’t acceptable without shaming her. I have kept a very neutral tone and face, and have said things like:

  • I’m disappointed that you took your Pull-Up off instead of coming to us and telling us you pooped.
  • I wish you had sat on the potty and pooped.
  • Please do NOT take your Pull-Up off again. Come tell us if you poop.

While inside my head, it’s really more like:

  • MOTHER. FUCKER. AGAIN? REALLY?!
  • IF YOU KEEP CRAPPING ON YOUR FLOOR, YOUR ROOM IS GOING TO SMELL LIKE A ZOO.
  • STOP TOUCHING THINGS. I’M GOING TO VOMIT HERE IT COMES – NOPE, SWALLOWED IT.
  • OH GOD IT’S UNDER YOUR FINGERNAILS DON’T. TOUCH. ME.
  • I’M GOING TO STAPLE THAT PULL-UP TO YOUR ASS.

Her little incidents have only happened at bedtime, so I’ve dubbed her the Midnight Crapper. Josh calls her the Shit Giver. We’re both hoping that this is just a phase and that SOON, she will learn that yes, her poop goes in the potty. Just not the way she has done it.

Poop In the Potty: UR DOING IT WRONG.

Parents: What the eff am I supposed to do to remedy this? Wait it out? Should I be more firm? WHY DOES MY CHILD NOT CARE THAT SHE HAS CRAP ON HER EVERYTHING?

 

Avengers Assemble

Josh is planning on taking Nellie to see The Avengers on Memorial Day. On Saturday, they got to talking about it. And I got it on camera. Enjoy.

A Few of Her Favorite Things

I haven’t posted much about Nellie lately (except for her coke habit) so I figured I’d share a little bit of what she is into at the age of 2 years and 2 months. Here are a few things she enjoys.

Nellie enjoys sliding at her favorite playground on her butt…….

And also on her belly.

 

She enjoys visiting the aquarium in her lion hat…

 

Locking her best friend inside shark cages…

 

Being Captain America.

 

Nellie also enjoys watching her favorite movies Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Charlotte’s Web, The Little Mermaid, Coraline, and many others. It seems that our little one has inherited our passion for movies. She’s independent. Her favorite phrase right now is “I do it”. She can count to ten, identify most colors (a bit inconsistently, and some colors are easier for her to point out than others), identify several numbers, and can sing several songs from start to finish. She loves strawberries, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and that’s about it. She’s a girl on the go. She loves to ask “What’s that?!”

Basically, she’s awesome.


 

Soos OFF.

Nellie’s standby daycare shoes are a pair of black and white ones we got at Wal-Mart. The other morning while leaving for school we managed to lose one of them somewhere. I still have no idea where the frigging thing went. It was there, and then it wasn’t. We ended up having to pair her black-and-orange Halloween outfit with a pair of brown shoes with pink and purple flowers on them. Fashionable. But whatever, she’s not Suri Cruise. She could wear a purple shirt, orange pants, and mismatched shoes and she’d still be adorable and amazing. TAKE THAT FASHION BABIES.

Anyway. The next day we still couldn’t find the black and white shoes, so I coordinated her an outfit that would look a little less clashy with her brown flowery shoes. We put them on, got her strapped in the car and off we went on our morning routine. We dropped daddy off at work and headed to daycare. On the drive there, I heard the telltale sound of Velcro being pulled apart.

Rrrrrrrrrrip. Thump.

Off come the shoes.

When I got out of the car to get Nellie out of her seat, it was rainy. My pants are too long, so I kept stepping on the hems and getting them wet. I opened the door to find my child sitting in her seat, grinning at me.

Shoeless. Of course she was. “You silly girl!” I declared. “You took your shoes off!”

”SOOS. OFF! SOOS OFF MAMA,” she agreed. I quickly found one shoe, and then started looking for the other. I couldn’t find it on one side, so I plodded to the other side of the car, stepping all over my pants and getting drizzled on. I dug around the seat, looked on the floor, jammed my hand under the carseat and still came up empty.
”Mama. Mama! Up. Up. Mama.”
”Yes, Nellie, I know you want up but I have to find your shoes first. You took them off and mama can’t find one.”
”Off. Soos OFF, MAMA.”

I went around to the back and opened the hatch to see if somehow she’d managed to fling the shoe into the back. No dice. I saw the lone black and white shoe, sitting forlornly without its mate.

“MaMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.” Nellie started to whine.

I was still getting drizzled on and the cuffs of my pants were becoming increasingly soaked, so I started getting flustered and frustrated. I repeated my search all around the car; left side, right side, back. Diaper bag, purse, under Nellie’s carseat. The damn shoe was nowhere to be found. By this time Nellie was in full-on Whine Mode and I was about to lose my mind. I pulled out my phone and called my husband, deducing that the shoe had to have fallen out when he opened the door to kiss her. He checked the parking lot for me and came up empty.

GREAT.

There was a Wal-Mart nearby, so I climbed back in the car and drove over there to pick up a new pair of shoes. I toted Nellie through Wal-Mart until we found a decent-looking and non-gaudy pair of shoes (which, at Wal-Mart, is no easy feat. TRUST ME.). As soon as Nellie saw the black and pink shoes, she started wiggling excitedly on my hip.

”MAMA! MAMA! SOOS! SOOS! ON. SOOS.”

“Yes, Nellie, we’ll put these shoes on when you get into the car.”

A few minutes later we were back to the car, strapping Nellie into the carseat.

”SOOS MAMA! SOOS! ON. SOOS ON.”

I hastily ripped off the labels and tags and slipped them onto Nellie’s feet.
”Pretty! Pretty shoes!” I said to her. “Do you like your new shoes?”
”YAH! YAH MAMA!” Nellie said happily.

It was then that I started to wonder if “losing” the black and white shoes and the brown shoes all in the course of two days wasn’t really an accident, but a well thought-out ploy by my daughter to get me to buy her a brand new pair of sparkly pink and black shoes. Hmm.

I climbed back into the car, eyeing the clock and sighing that we were already almost 45 minutes behind our normal routine. I pulled out of the Wal-Mart parking lot and onto the road.

”Soos, Mama. Soos.” Nellie said.
”Shoes, baby,” I agreed. I turned up the radio a little bit to sing along to the music playing from it, but not before I heard from the backseat…..

Rrrrrrrrrrrrip. Thump.

“Soos off, Mama.”

*facepalm*

 

 

 

 

Repeat After Me

Nellie never ceases to amaze me with her vocabulary. I’ve tried to count how many words she knows but get lost somewhere around 50. Some of her most recent favorite things to say include:

  • My-Mahhh! (Spider-Man)
  • Kulk! (Hulk)
  • Seeeoooww (Thor)
  • Lo-lee (Loki)
    Seeing a pattern yet?
  • Ma MA!!
  • Bye ‘coo! (Bye school!)
  • Ni-nigh (night-night)
  • Shoow? Shoow? (paired with the sign for “more”, this is her word for more)

Today, she also learned that when I say, “Who wants to go to Gran’s?” she enthusiastically responds, “Ah do! Ah do!” This also works for:

  • Who wants a million dollars? (ah do!)
  • Who wants some cheese? (ah do!)
  • Who wants to sniff daddy’s feet? (ah do!)
  • Who wants a booger pie? (ah do!)

Toddlers are fun. You can make them say gross stuff and they don’t even realize it. It’s pretty much the best ever. We’re having a lot of fun with her growing vocabulary and miraculously, she still hasn’t repeated her first swear word.

What kinds of fun things does your toddler say that cracks you up/makes you smile/makes you gasp and want to change your name and join the Witness Protection Program?

 

Big Girl Bed

Earlier this evening, on a whim, we decided to convert Nellie’s crib into a toddler bed. It was my husband’s idea, and I was skeptical and hesitant. For one, it was a big step and two, SHE’S STILL MY BABY DAMNIT. BABIES SLEEP IN CRIBS. CRIBS FOREVER.

After some gentle encouragement, I finally agreed to give it a shot. It was surprisingly easy for him to convert it, and before we knew it Nellie had her very own Big Girl Bed. As soon as we gave her the go-ahead, she excitedly scrambled up into the bed by herself, grinning from ear to ear and declaring, “NIGHT NIGHT! NIIIIIGHT NIGHT!” She spent the rest of the evening playing on the bed: climbing on, crawling off, putting various stuffed animals and baby dolls “night night”. We felt confident and happy that she was so thrilled with her new “night night”.

When it came time to put her to sleep, we did our normal routine. We gave her dinner, a bath, and some snuggles. We handed her Fox, her paci, and her “nigh-nigh” (her blanket) and put her down in her bed. She snuggled in with her butt up in the air like she does, and we tip-toed out of the room.

About fifteen minutes later, we heard a thump and a wail. She had rolled out of bed and onto the floor. Daddy retrieved her, gave her some love and put her back down. Over the course of the next hour or so, we went in there no less than five times to gently remind her that it was bedtime and place her back in bed. Once I found her playing with her activity table. She played with the baby monitor. She took her sippy cup of water and knocked on the door with it.

But she never cried. The various scratching and activity we heard earlier that signaled to us that she was out of bed ceased, and as I type this there are no peeps coming from the monitor. So far, Operation: Big Girl Bed is a success.

 

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

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.
“QRSTUV..”
“oo veee….”
“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.