Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Physical therapy

Both girls love songs that are accompanied by motion. For many of them, L cannot keep up but she will clap energetically, even if not exactly to the corresponding rhythm. For some, she can do all the parts. When we sing “If you’re happy and you know it,” L will, in turn, clap, stomp her feet, cover her eyes, and although she can’t yet say the word “hurray” she will thrust both hands straight in the air in the universal sign for “goal” and yell YAY!! When we sing-song “Little Quack” in the bathtub the big sister will yell Splish! Splash! Sploosh! Splosh! and the younger sister will correspondingly bat the water (and I will correspondingly duck under the third towel, not the one used for either of their bodies but the beach towel that I tent from my shoulders to my criss-cross-applesauced ankles just before I lift L into that bath).

We love:
Pattycake
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
This little piggy went to market
Where is thumbkin?
(and by the way, do you know you can sing the whole hand? I only remember this song as a one-digit ditty. But E brought home these melodic adventures of Pointer, Tall Guy, Ring Man and Pinky and suddenly we have an epic on our hands. Literally.) (And, watching small children contort their Ring Men into standing up solo is, all by itself, worth the cost of parenting.)
The itsy bitsy spider
The Hokey Pokey
The Chicken Dance
(This one is wordless, really, but trust me that there is huge entertainment factor in encouraging full-volume wordless humming to the beat of wing flapping and tailfeather wiggling.)
Five little ducks went out one day
I’m a little teapot
Five green speckled frogs


Do you have any recommendations for expanding our repertoire?

Last week E learned a new one in school that I was not familiar with: Peter works with one hammer all day long. Forgive me if I’m spoiling the ending for you, but after that first hammer Peter works with two hammers, then three, then four, then five, before he realizes that he is very tired now, tired now, tired now and goes to sleep all night long. You must have guessed that the first two hammers are your fists, which you bob up and down like oil rigs to the syncopation of the lyrics. The third and fourth hammers are your feet, and that wears-him-out fifth hammer, it’s your head.

Which is all well and good, but every day now E asks to play Peter in the car. I break the rules and alternate the dropping of the first and second hammers, even though they are supposed to be synchronized, so that I can, y’know, incrementally hold the steering wheel and keep us safe. The third hammer’s no problem and I’ll confess here that for the sake of family harmony I flat-out lie to E, yes, of course, my fourth hammer is going, the foot on the gas pedal, it’s hammering right along. The fifth hammer, though: let me just state that it is very difficult to maintain a steady speed on the road when my younger daughter is squealing to the beat and my elder daughter is admonishing me to keep my head going. And even though I incline my head only the slightest bit when we’re not at red lights, I know to the drivers in the adjacent lanes who can’t hear the soundtrack of my life reverberating in three part harmony, I must look like an offensive imitation of a palsied, alcoholic woodpecker.
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