Abhi always liked some kind of sleep songs. When he was less than a year old, I sang him lullabies and nursery rhymes before he slept. He used to love them. It was part of our routine, every night. After we came back from India trip, he needed something new. I had some animal stickers pasted on the wall next to his crib. So, I made up a song naming those animals like ‘Brown monkey on a tree, Mummy hippo and Baby hippo’ etc. He loved that too. Animals always caught his attention. When P started putting Abhi to bed, she used the same song. Abhi heard that song for months now.
Last week, I was putting him to bed and I made up a new one. ‘Ocean Wonders’ is one of Abhi’s favorite books. His crib bedding is all sea animals too. To catch his attention and to keep him lying down in the crib, I started singing, ‘There is a star fish in the ocean – Eieio, Eieio – Star fish is beautiful. Eieio’. Abhi super loved it. It caught his attention. Then I included crab, turtle, fish, whale etc; All the sea animals he knows and loves from the book. Mission accomplished. He slept listening to the song.
Next day, I was singing him the same and he started improvising. He started giving me what names to sing next. I started with crab and then he gave me, fish, star fish, shark etc. I followed whatever he told me and sang that. A day later, he was crying during the day time and I sang the same with ‘Farmer in the Garden’. Next thing, Abhi looked around and asked, ‘Caesar?’ (toy dog). And then started our chain song.
“There is Caesar in the toy box. Caesar is beautiful.”
“There is Buthabey in the fish bowl. Buthabey is beautiful”
He actively looked around the room and kept giving me a list. Achu, Amma, Nanna, Blanket, Kaki, Browny, Hello kitty, Owl, book, walker, light everything. I felt awesome to see him actually think on his own like that and try come up with names to sing in the song. Each time I sang, I included where the object was correctly, so that he understood that too.
In no time, Achu also noticed this little game. She started giving me objects around to include in the song as well. Now, both of them sing like ‘Fammer is beautiful’ (Farmer) sometimes 🙂 . I especially love it when they sing, ‘Amma is beautiful’ 🙂 .
Of course, the song could no longer be used as a sleep song anymore. Because when I sing something, Abhi tries to stay awake to give me names. I wanted him to go to sleep with that song, and he was ending up staying awake long (Irony, Preeks? 😀 ).
The pattern of chain songs didn’t end there. Next thing we know, Abhi and Achu are including all objects they can think of in every sentence they use. Like singing happy birthday song. Among many other things, we sang Happy Birthday to blanket yesterday. True. They asked ‘good job’ from couch yesterday. 🙂
Yes the songs stimulated Abhi and Achu’s little brains, but there were some adverse effects as well. Like, I say something simple like, ‘Achu, Abhi is asleep. You also sleep’.
Achu asks me back, ‘Buthabey?’. I say, ‘Yes, Buthabey is sleeping too’
“Pillow?”. “Yes, Pillow is asleep too”
You see where this is going right? 🙂