So every night we sit in our rocking chairs with the Hope Babes and sing songs and chat. It is my favourite special time of the day. The kids seem to love it to, especially Pudding who will actually shout “rocking rocking” if we even look like we might not be heading in the direction of the rocking chairs.
We don’t read stories at bedtime because when we have tried it the kids end up totally over stimulated and none of us get a good night’s sleep. Instead we read after dinner or earlier in the day and have our chat in the evenings. We normally have a bit of a chat review of the day or weekend and talk about what is coming up, if there are plans for the coming days. Some nights it is just Chris and I chatting ‘at’ the kids, if they are very tired, but other nights they will chat along and tell us stories too or repeat what we are saying (little mimics).
We sing or chant nursery rhymes and they repeat some of the words in the nursery rhymes or even sing them themselves (well not all the words, but very close). But we have found that they want variety. At first “Twinkle Twinkle” was a real hit, what with the hand movements, they loved it. And “Eensy Weensy Spider” was also a hit. Then out of the blue one day we were not allowed to sing Eensy at all. Sausage would shout “NO” and even cry if we persisted. Then Twinkle fell out of favour. And slowly what was once a favourite passes out of favour and we have to find new nursery rhymes. Luckily I have some awesome books so we are doing okay on that front.
Not so on the songs front. First off the kids started losing it if we sang the lullabies we have been singing since they were tiny (The Barney “I Love you” and “Hush Little Baby”). It seemed the association of those songs was just too strong with sleep and once they started resisting going to sleep and realising that being put in bed followed those songs, Pudding was having none of it and so sadly we hardly ever get away with singing those anymore. Although Chris seems to still get away with “Hush Little Baby” in their room once we have put them down, but not me. So we have had to try to find new songs, because they do insist on the singing. And so we try to find new songs to sing. For a while there “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was a firm favourite and I have been begged to sing it on repeat for them. In fact on the nights when I put them down and stay for a sing, they will try to con me into singing it four or five or more times. Then out of the blue Pudding took against it. Poor Sausage wants the song, while Pudding shouts “else”(roughly translates to “something else”, but she hasn’t figured out what it is she wants).
I think the resistance to old favourites has multiple causes, one of which the sleep association, but I also think they are trying to get new inputs so they can learn new things (or am I just being a pushy Mommy wants that to be the case?)
It is getting challenging to find songs to sing that I know the lyrics to. I am currently pulling on the songs from ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Sound of Music’, so if anyone has any inspiration on this front it would be most welcome.