Thursday, March 30, 2006

bedtime song

Every night, Fatty and I put our kids to bed in the same way. It is a fairly elaborate ritual involving two books being read aloud, two made-up stories being told, and then a song being sung to each child in their bed. We have friends who laugh at our folly, and think we are nuts for committing to this complex bedtime pattern. My friend KP tells me sternly that she has a strict 'one book, then bed' policy. But I like our carryings-on. It is a time when I focus completely on my kids - snuggle with them, chat with them, and sing to them softly.

When I was a little girl, my mother sang to me every night. My favourite song would change over time. At one stage, Mum would sing 'Yellow Bird' to me each night. There was one part of the song where she didn't know the words, so she would sing,"da-da, da-da-dum, da-da, da-da-dum.... you're more lucky than me!". Now, I sometimes sing this same song to Laura. For ages I sang the 'da-da, da-da-dum', too. Now I have googled the song, and know all the words. Funny, though...it doesn't sound as comforting without the da-da's.

When Fatty sings the bedtime songs, he often sings the first 2 verses of a song called 'Two Little Boys'. It is a sweet, sweet song, that brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. To hear my children singing these words in their their lisping, clear little voices...it is one of the most beautiful sounds I've heard:

Two Little Boys by Edward Madden (first two verses)

Two little boys
Had two little toys,
Each had a wooden horse;
Gaily they played
Each summer's day -
Warriors both of course.
One little chap
Then had a mishap,
Broke off his horse's head;
Cried for his toy,
Then cried for joy
As his young playmate said:

"Did you think I would leave you crying
When there's room on my horse for two?
Climb up here, Jack, we'll soon be flying;
I can go just as fast with two.
When we grow up we'll both be soldiers,
And our horses will not be toys,
And I wonder if we'll remember
When we were two little boys."

17 comments:

TUFFENUF said...

Like I said before, you learned this behavior from your mother. How lovely that you take this time with your children. If more parents were like you, the world would be a more peaceful place. I often think how lucky I am that I had such loving parents. I still remember my dad reading poetry to me every night when I was a child. So many children are neglected emotionally by their parents. We are so lucky to feel such love, and so we pass it on!

jellyhead said...

Thanks, Tuff - I try to be a good mum! As you say, we who have had loving parents are very blessed.

doubleknot said...

Your blog brough a tear to my eye. We were not all blessed with such loving parents - and don't let anyone tell you to parent differently - at my age my mother and I have at last formed a loving relationship so it is never too late in life to love our parents before they are gone. My father told me how much he loved me and appricated how I looked after my younger sisters just before he died. We missed all those years.

Motherkitty said...

My children's fondest memories, as I have been told numerous times, were all the songs I sang and passed on which my mother sang to my sister and I when we were young. I now sing those same songs to my grandchildren. It's a tradition that's likely to be passed on to my great-grandchildren. I have found all the words to all the songs my mother sang (there are many) and they are saved for the grandchildren. When I speak to them on the phone, and ask if they are my pony girl (Pony boy, pony boy, won't you be my pony boy, etc., etc.), they giggle and laugh, and expect me to sing the song to them on the phone (which I do, silly me). It's the sweetest feeling in the world to know you are loved by these innocents.

Your nighttime ritual -- what can I say, but keep it up. This will be their fondest memory of their parents, how you loved them enough to forget your cares and tiredness and spend all that time with them each night when they need you the most.

You and Fatty are special parents.

T. said...

What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing Jelly.

Flossy said...

I adore that song - it's so sad.
I love to hear of bedtime rituals - it gives our children special memories :)

DayByDay4-2Day said...

Awe! That is preciuos!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Jelly...this post just makes me want to cry with joy. You & Fatty are just such good attentive parents...we all should have been so lucky.

I say don't pay attention to what anyone says about your nightly ritual and just go ahead and take all the time you want with your children. Laura & Ben will ALWAYS fondly remember how you sweetly tucked them into bed each night with such tender loving care...And they will also pass the songs on to their children someday with the stories of how you and Fatty lovinly tucked them in each night.

Tomorrow is my Mother's birthday and I wish I just had one memory of her to hold onto.

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mackeydoodle said...

My parents never sang to me:(
I am not much of a singer myself but I am the bedtime story reader:) And we must not forget the 20 hugs & kisses plus I always warm up the "Magic Bags" for my kids to snuggle up with at bedtime. Spoiled lil' turds:)

Suzanne said...

I think it sounds like a wonderful ritual! Sometimes the best talks my son and I have are when I tuck him in for the night. I wouldn't change a thing If I were you!!

I would really love for you to come by my blog and read my recent post on my son. Perhaps you have some insight I haven't thought of yet.

cmhl said...

what a beautiful song!!!

I can't find your email anywhere on here (maybe I am looking in the wrong place!)--- send me an email & I'll give you the update..

jellyhead said...

cmhl, I can't find YOUR e-mail thingy to click on! Is it there and I am being dumb, or is it not on your new template? Help!

I actually don't have an 'e-mail me' section...I'm so paranoid about my privacy.

cmhl said...

ha! I checked back---

cmhlgirl at gmail dot com

I"m with you, I don't have mine on my site either!

manababies said...

*sigh* This is so sweet. Reminds me of the first time I overheard my oldest and my husband singing lullabies together over the baby monitor. His grown-up voice coupled with her teeny toddler voice (also with a lisp) was the sweetest duet.

Kerri said...

This is such a 'feel good' post Jelly :) You write such heartwarming little snippets. It's always a joy to read them. I can feel the love that you and the fabulous, fanatical (about birds), frightful-haired Fatty (more alluring alliteration...I love it :) have for your children.
Thank the Lord for all the parents who have a bedtime ritual with their kids. Reading and singing...two of life's necessities.
You two keep up the good work!

Kali said...

What a wonderful ritual you have created for your little ones...they grow up so fast, and soon enough this will be a memory for you all...and such a special and lovely memory that they will cherish for a lifetime.
BTW ~ that song that Fatty sings used to be such a big favourite of mine, but I had long, long forgot it, thanks so much for rekindling a memory of mine!