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Quick Thinking with Long-Term Results

I mentioned yesterday (and probably earlier also) that I really do love the toddler/pre-schooler age. I find it so rewarding and exciting. And I deal with the tantrums surprisingly well. I know my daughter really well by now, and I know that she doesn't tantrum to get what she wants (for a great conversation about this, check out a recent Ask Moxie post, with a fantastic answer from Sharon, Mommy Mentor, and great discussion from the commenter). Heck, half the time she has no idea what she wants. We get a lot of "I wan milk!" and a second later "No milk!" for pretty much everything. I know she is mostly frustrated about something and overwhelmed with emotions that she doesn't know how to deal with.

We are working on helping her develop skills to deal with her emotions, tools to use instead of whining and having melt downs. But sometimes, it's just about appeasing the beast so we can move on to whatever needs to be done. Especially at bedtime, which seems to be especially difficult for my child.

The Pumpkin often has trouble settling down and getting comfortable, and I often offered to sing her a song. It usually seems to help her calm down and focus on something besides the fact that she can't get her body comfortable or her mind to stop going at a fast speed. The problem is often finding a song that's acceptable.

caramama: How 'bout Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?
Pumpkin: No tinkle tinkle lillel star!
caramama: How 'bout ABCs?
Pumpkin: No ABCs!

And so on until I can find one acceptable, which often goes like this:
caramama: How 'bout Mary Had a Little Lamb?
Pumpkin: No lillel lamb!
(pause while I'm thinking of another song to offer...)
Pumpkin: How bout lillel lamb?
caramama: Okay! That's a great idea!

But one night a couple months ago, it didn't go so smoothly. I offered a song she wanted, but it wasn't the song she wanted.
caramama: How 'bout Leaving on a Jet Plane (she used to especially love it when I sang the John Denver song)?
Pumpkin: No jet plane!
caramama: How 'bout Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?
Pumpkin: No tinkle tinkle lillel star! (pause) How bout jet plane?
caramama: Sure! I'll sing Jet Plane.
caramama singing: All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go--
Pumpkin: No No No!!! How bout jet plane?
caramama: Sweetheart, that is the jet plane song.
Pumpkin: No No! Jet plane!!!

This back and forth went on for a little while. Logic and reason does not work on a toddler, or at least this toddler. Finally, in a quick-thinking moment of genius, I just made up a song with the words jet plane in it. I'm going to write it down now, so I never forget it. Too bad I can't also record the tune here--I'll have to get it on video or audio sometime.

caramama's Jet Plane Song, dedicated to the fussy Pumpkin:
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
flying so very high.
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
way up in the blue sky.
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
flying through the clouds into the sun.
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
carrying the people, everyone!

Not my best work, but not bad considering the circumstances.

Anyway, in the ensuing months, during her fussy bedtimes, I still offer to sing. She often requests Jet Plane or I suggest it, since it is often the only song that she wants to hear at night. And she wants to hear it again and again and again. I've been considering making up more verses so I can have more variety during the constant repeatings, but that would require more creativeness and memory than I have after 30-60 minutes of tossing, turning, tantrums and tiredness (both mine and hers).

I have a feeling I'm going to need to use a lot of quick thinking in the years to come, much of which I'll have to remember because it will be requested again and again and it will be the ONLY THING that will work. Thank goodness for blogging and the ability to write it all down!


Anonymous said…
I love making up words for songs. I'll play a quick little riff on the guitar and just sing out loud whatever they are doing at the time (jumping, spinning, happy because brother is picking his nose). Best part... they really don't require things to rhyme. :D

- Justin
electriclady said…
I had to laugh at your description of the tantrums. The other night we had a "I want to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed! I want to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed!" "No honey, you have to sleep in your bed." "NO! I don't want to sleep in my bed! I want to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed! I want to sleep in my bed!"
MommyEm said…
A long time ago, my hubby was putting Dorothy to bed while I got a much needed break from the house. When she began to wail, he came up with a song to the tune of "Oh, Donna" that we still sing today. It goes:

I know a girl, and Mommy is her name.
Since she went shopping, I've never been the same.
Oh, I love my mommy.
Where can she be?

When I'm with Mommy it's fun all the time.
Now that she's at Shoprite, all I can do is cry (Dorothy fakes a cry at this point)
Oh, I love my mommy.
When will she come home to me?

My hubby never thought that this quickly put together song would still be sun almost a year later. But we all love it now!

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