Monday, November 30, 2009

Where is ______________ ( fill in the blank); Singing Comfort in the Night

Every night I soak up the opportunity to hold and snuggle my little boy. I put him to bed with a warm bottle,  a rocking chair, his blankie, and singing. I always end with the same song. This post is about the last song.

I sing the final song to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin?", but I make up my own lyrics. I remember singing this song to Waffles when he was a little boy. I'd sing "Where is ____" and fill in the blank with the names of his cousins, friends, and grandparents. I'd make up lyrics and Waffles always loved the routine of his special bedtime song.

Like big brother like little brother - Blueberry snuggles into me, sighs, and I can feel his contented spirit when I sing. He just loves this "Where Is?" song. I have often thought this song anchors my littlest boy in his world, just like it anchored my biggest boy in his world. And yet, for him the anchor necessarily different. Blueberry lives in a house with big kids who come and go in ways I imagine must sometimes perplex Blueberry. So I sing. I sing order, routine, and security into his night and on into his day.

The reality is that Twinkletoes and Songbird are at college. They come home sometimes. They come home for holiday breaks. But, they essentially live away from home. And Waffles only lives with us part time. Every two weeks Waffles leaves and doesn't return until two weeks later. We might see him during the time he's with his dad, and we make good efforts to see him, and him us, but this is hit and miss. Our cat is even a 'shared' pet. I try to make sense of Blueberry's revolving house door with song.

Here are examples of my silly, made up, amateur, goofy lyrics. (To the tune of Thumbkin - more or less)

"Where is Songbird? Where is songbird? She's in college, she's doing homework. Songbird is in college, she is reading books and working hard, we miss her."

"Where is Herbie? Where is Herbie? He's sleeping now, on the floor. Herbie is a good dog, he ran and played today, now he's tired, he's asleep." 

"Where is Grandma? Where is Grandma? She's at home, on the island. Grandma is reading her book, it is a dark night, she's going to bed soon, just like you."

I go on and on...anchoring, making familiar, finding ways to tell a little boy it's ok to go to sleep, just like everyone he loves and everyone who loves him. I mention the boys with whom he stays when I work, the friend we walk with every Thursday, our playgroup friends, my sister and brother and their kids.

It's our routine, and WE LOVE IT!


Anonymous said...


Liz said...

So sweet...

I'm from a big family, I was 17 when my youngest brother was born and I left for college when he was just a year old (yes, we both have the same parents!). For a long time I only came home once or twice a year, and it wasn't until years later that I realized this did affect him...good for you to doing what you can to help Blueberry feel anchored!

Mindy and Baldwin said...

Love it! Here's a version of our song (to the tune of 'row row row your boat'):

sew sew sew the seeds in the garden soil. Merrily Merrily Merrily life is not for toil!

There are many verses!

I'll try your song during today's nap! :)

Brenda's Arizona said...

Every one deserves their name in a song - and it is wonderful your Blueberry knows the people in his songs! Great idea and thanks for sharing it.

Jean said...

That is so sweet. I sing this one to my kids last every night (To the tune of Jesus Loves the little Children)

Mommy loves the little Aklilus...
All the Aklilus in the house (there's only one!)
Red, brown, yellow, black or white,
He is precious in her sight
Mommy loves the little Aklilus in the house (there's only one!)

Themia said...

beautiful post Meghan

Stacy said...

I love this ...