New Song in Town

Since they were babies, Pat and I have sung songs to Jack and Casey after their stories, right before bedtime.  From classic bedtime songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to patriotic songs like “God Bless America” to sporty songs like “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the “Eagles Fight Song”, we had a pretty decent repertoire.  I’ve sung almost every single children’s song I know plus a few that I learned along the way.  At one point, I was singing about six songs every night to Jack.  Then he started asking for new songs and I started making them up.  It’s not so easy to make up a new song every night.

About six months ago, I let the kids watch the Wiggles sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on my phone.  Every once in a while, if I had my phone upstairs I’d let them watch a few songs.  They liked it and I liked that I didn’t have to sing Twinkle Twinkle anymore.

With the Star Wars craze that currently has this house in its grips, the kids wanted me to sing a Star Wars song.  Humming the Darth Vader theme song wasn’t quite enough.  So I converted “This Old Man” to suit my needs.  The kids call it “This Old Man Star Wars.”

It goes a little like this…
“This old man, he played one, he played knick knack on my [insert the name of a Star Wars character here].  With a knick knack paddy whack….”

It no longer rhymes any more and it makes no sense, but the kids love shouting out different characters for me to use on each number.  (Leia is always 2.)

But even “This Old Man Star Wars” got old.  One night I pulled out the iPad, opened up YouTube and searched for Star Wars songs.  We found a few versions of Star Wars theme music with different Star Wars images.  But a few nights later, we found our new favorite song.  It’s sung a cappella, with Star Wars related lyrics, but to the tune of several other movie themes written by John Williams like Jurassic Park, Jaws and Indiana Jones.

(Now that I spent half an hour trying to find this exact version, I’m not sure how we stumbled across it in the first place.  It would help if the person who posted it had spelled “cappella” correctly.  There are a few other versions out there but this is our favorite.)

It is sung by an a cappella group named Moosebutter.  With a little more YouTube searching, we found a video that shows one guy who made it look like he sung all the parts.  The screen is split into four parts and he sings/lip syncs all four parts.

Jack loves it.  He has the words memorized.  I find myself humming random parts of it during the day.  Casey sings along too.  (Pat is still warming up to it.)  Jack even knows which version of the singer (he has different T-shirts on) is singing which part.

And so, bedtime songs have been modernized a little around here.  2011 – the year of bedtime songs on the iPad through YouTube.

Rotten Eggs and Broken Backs

Last February, I wrote (here) that Pat had started yelling “Last one up is a rotten egg!” to try to encourage Jack and Casey to get upstairs for bathtime.  It’s been over a year and it never. gets. old.  Especially to Jack. Almost every single time we go up and down the stairs at the same time he has to say it.  Most mornings now he says something like, “Mommy, Mommy, you need to hurry or you’ll be the rotten egg.”  Or sometimes he whispers to Casey in a conspiratorial voice to try to encourage her to get down the stairs faster than I do.  (Although most of the time I still carry her downstairs in the morning.  I guess it’s a ritual because I know she knows how to walk.)  I guess I can’t get over the fact that it is still a fun game despite the 3-4 times a day that we play it.

Another game that doesn’t get old started with my mother.  She taught Jack and Casey the little saying, “Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back.”  There are a lot of cracks in this world.  Jack and Casey notice every single one of them and inform me that they are either stepping on them or jumping over them.  I’m not sure how they decide whether it’s a good day for breaking my back or a generous day of sparing me the pain.  When they step on a crack I pretend to cry out in pain and that’s hilarious.  I suppose that only encourages the game, but it’s so much fun for them that I have to play along.

No one tells you about these hazards of parenting…smelling like a rotten egg and broken backs.  I’m glad there are no cracks on my steps.


Picking Out a Book (4 yr old Edition)

Almost two years ago, I wrote a post called Picking Out a Book about how Jack picks out books for story time.  He liked a book called 100 First Words that wasn’t really a story and was driving me a little crazy.  It’s hard to believe that was only 2 years ago.  He was only 2.  I know the math is pretty simple, but the difference in two years is amazing.

His taste in books has changed a bit.  This week when I asked him what books he wanted from the library he said, “Books about space and books about the ocean and all the things in the ocean.  And do you think you could find me one about that red spot on Jupiter?  I want to know more about that red spot.  It’s a big storm and I want to know more about it.”  No hesitation there.

When I brought the books home, he inspected them all to make sure that I got everything that he asked for.  These are all from the non-fiction section of the children’s library.  I also brought some Curious George books and a Dinosaur Train book but he said, “I don’t like Dinosaur Train anymore.  Casey can have it.  I don’t like Curious George either.”  I think he has since changed his mind about George though because tonight George got curious at a chocolate factory.

I don’t remember learning about the solar system and the planets until somewhere around 4th grade.  I made a paper mache sun and learned a lot about the sun at one point but I’ve forgotten it.  I’m now relearning it all with Jack.  Who’s 4.  Crazy.  I didn’t know (or recall) that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were gas planets.  And space seems more vast and unfathomable to me now than it did at age 9.