Sunday, March 6, 2011

Singing Rules

Dear Alyce, Concerning the Rules for Singing:

I love to hear you sing. Love it. I love it when you sing while you eat, bathe, play, skip, build, paint, and cook. I also love it when you sing in the car. I have no preference when it comes to the song choice, though that might change as you grow and develop musical tastes that I will surely find undesirable. That will be ok, we’ll get through that stage, perhaps brought together by a mutual love of Barbra Streisand, as was the agreement I had with my own mother. No matter how much we might disagree, we always have Yentl.

Today I enjoyed your silly rendition of The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, the ABCs, and My Favourite Colour. I also appreciated the songs you made up about chocolate, princesses who love chocolate, and spiders who love chocolate. Really, I love them all. Seriously, Alyce, you have a free pass to sing all the time. It makes your Mama happy.


We need to establish some ground rules when it comes to duets. You see, I also love to sing. As a child I could spend the whole afternoon belting out songs in my room, and even when I learned that my room wasn’t soundproof and that everyone else could hear me, I still sang. Singing has always made me feel joyful in a way that I think you already understand, even at the age of three.

My point is this: you are not the only one permitted to sing. Yes, you sing beautifully, and yes, you make up some fantastic songs about chocolate, but this does not make you Queen of Singing. There, I said it. It seems that whenever I start singing along with you, innocently experiencing a moment of joy, you immediately, in no uncertain terms, order me to stop. While I expected that you would forbid me to sing around you as a teenager, I was unprepared for your strong opinions about my singing voice at this early age. And I’d love you to clear something up for me: are offended by my singing voice or have I simply violated the “no one else gets to sing but me” rule? I think it’s the latter, and I’m unhappy with this arrangement.

It is my suggestion that we meet in the next few days, having had some time to consider the facts, and establish some new rules. I am happy to compromise, but I an unwilling to keep quiet in your presence, because, frankly, you are always in my presence. So let’s schedule a meeting over hot chocolate, my treat.

Yours sincerely,

The woman who grew you in my belly and then pushed you out after more than one day of labour. Without painkillers. Also known as Mama. xxx


  1. Danielle, my daughter does this too! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. As soon as I chime in, she stops and says, "No, mommy."
    P.S. Love your blog!

  2. Naomi, thanks so much! I'm glad you like it. And not that it makes me happy to hear that you, too, are being silenced by your daughter, I'm glad I'm for the company.

  3. I love this. Resisting the temptation to write my own kids a memo... which would, lets be honest, probably morph into a whole Procedural Manual. :-)

  4. Mammy P, I had to hold myself back. I have in mind a few other things that need to be brought to her attention. So far, I haven't heard back from her.