SING A SONG
One trick I have found for surviving some of the more mundane or unpleasant tasks of Dadlands, is to modify songs. I pick a song I am fond of and adjust the lyrics to suit the situation, they become a very modified version of a kid’s song. This will do nothing for the children, especially if your singing voice is as torturous as mine, but it will make the task at hand more bearable.
Here are a few examples:
When changing a poopy diaper try this, sung to the tune of “Everybody Plays the Fool” from the Main Ingredient:
- “Everybody goes poop, sometimes, there’s no exception to the rule. It may be flatulence, it’s definitely cruel, but everybody goes poop. Listen Baby…”
When feeding my child some form of inedible gruel, I will hum the Michael Jackson/Weird Al hit:
- “Eat it, just eat it, don’t know what it is, wouldn’t want to try it, just eat it…”
When you are washing hair, try this classic from South Pacific:
- “I’m gonna wash that dirt right out of my hair, I’m gonna wash that dirt right out of my hair and send it down the drain…”
And rounding out the bathtub medley try this one from The Rolling Stones
- “Scrub me up, dododo dododo scrub me up, won’t you scrub me up. Ohhh you can wipe me down, wipe me down like you never wiped. Ahhh you make a dirty kid cleeeaaan, you make a dirty kid cleeeaaan, your hands are filthy, your feet are greasy, I’ll clean your grime like you’ve never, never seen…”
Whenever you notice the warning signs that your child is heading for a complete emotional explosion, you know the signs (lightning, pestilence, flood, volcanic eruption) I choose the Boz Scaggs number:
- “Danger there’s a meltdown dead ahead, and I said maybe you’re in way above your head, I’ve been burned…”
If the diaper wrap you are using gets dirty (details omitted for decency standards) you can sing the Queen tune:
- “Another wrap bites the dust, and another one’s gone and another one’s gone, yeah another wrap bites the dust…”
WHEN YOU’RE DOWN…
And for purely sentimental reasons I love to sing Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” to my boys. No lyric tampering required; the message conveyed in that song is the way I would like them always to perceive dear ol’ Dad.
Quick related story: As I mentioned I am to singing what Keanu Reeves is to acting, but my wife has a beautiful voice and would often sing to our sons right before bed. One night she was out so after I read the boys a book, completed our prayers and tucked them in bed, I launched into “You’ve Got A Friend.”
With all the heartfelt, tone deaf emotion I could muster (“When you’re down,”) I began the song in a gentle quiet whisper (“some love and care.”) The song seemed to resonate from somewhere within the confines of my soul (“and think of me and soon,”) soaring, filling the room. And for once in my life I wasn’t flat and achingly off key! It was as if the gentle timbres of James Taylor had taken residence in my vocal cords. My confidence built (“you just call out my name”) and I was filled with…“Dad! Dad! You’re hurting our ears!”
Snapped out of my Grammy winning performance I stared in disbelief. “But I was singing you to sleep,” I replied innocently.
“Who can sleep with all that noise!”
“But every night I hear your mommy…”
“Daddy, Mommy doesn’t give us owey ears when she sings.”
Coincidentally, they were both shipped off to boarding preschool the following Monday.