And that's why childrens' art is awesome

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

My daughter asked for paint and paper again this afternoon - as she often does.

Several paint strokes later, this is what materialized.

Me: Wow - it's wonderful. The colours are terrific. I love the turquoise, purple and green that you chose...

My daughter (interrupting my rambling): It's a "scaremanon".

Me: Oh, ok. It's what?

My daughter (matter of factly): A scaremanon mom.

Me (excitedly): Ooooo. What does it do?

My daughter (sighing): It's for people to use when the monsters are coming.

Me: Of course. I see now.

Then, my 3 year old sat down and patiently began elaborating. She pointed out the various part of the picture, y'know, to make things clearer for me.

My daughter: See mom, it has a handle. And there's food inside. Kind of like a picnic basket.

Then, she described the food in the basket, the people who would use the basket and how far away the monsters were.

And this, my friends,  is why you should always (ALWAYS) ask questions when your kids create pictures.

Every blob, splat and stroke tells a story. A big story. And sometimes, a blur of colour, is actually a care package for monster fighters. She may be on to something...

No, really.

There were ten in the bed - and then things got weird.

My 3-year-old daughter and I were traipsing through the online fields of YouTube when we discovered “Ten in the Bed” - a song, which shall forever be known as the second most persistent earworm I’ve ever encountered (the first being “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”). Damn you, Wham!.

Before I go on, I feel it necessary to post this open letter to George Michael.

Dear George,

I love you - really I do. But please, for the love of cake (or shoes, or crack, or whatever), don’t ever (EVER) start singing children’s songs. If you do, I will be forced to stick my head underwater where I hope the sounds of your wickedly catchy voice singing row, row, row your boat, will be barely audible – you know, over my cries for help.

Thanks in advance.

Signed, me.

It’s not that I dislike children’s music. On the contrary. There are many songs I love – like Over in the Meadow, Tonight You Belong to Me and Little Boxes. (Those are all kid-friendly, right?) It’s just that after three years of absorbing cheerful and/or disturbing rhymes (Three Blind Mice – I’m looking at you), my brain is teeming with far too many random messages. I’m way too concerned with spiders who continue to climb up the drainpipe. I can't stop clapping my hands when I'm happy and I wish I didn't wonder what you are, you twinkling little bastard.

Seriously, I need to let some of this crap out in order to make room for other things, like my new postal code, how to fill out my tax forms and how many calcium pills I can safely consume in one day.

But about “Ten in the Bed”...

The video we found features brown bears, a tropical bird and various woodland creatures (apparently, no one questions this shit) and the song (in case you’re lucky enough to never have heard it) goes a little something like this (insert pseudo reggae beat here):

“There were 10 in the bed and the little one said, roll over, roll over. 

So they all rolled over and one fell off.

There were 9 in the bed and the little one said…”

And so on until:

"There was 1 in the bed and the little one said – I’m lonely”

Um, little one, you just tossed all your friends on the floor. You aren’t lonely. You’re a prick.

Unfortunately, my girl LOVES this song and has been singing it daily since she heard it. And as much as I adore my child's voice, the words are making me jittery.

But today - TODAY was awesome because my delightfully creative and wonderful daughter changed the lyrics. Altering songs is nothing new for her - I’ve become accustomed to hearing Mary had a Little Dog, The Kitten in the Dell and The Wheels on the Boat go Round and Round.  Still, you can imagine my excitement when, from the other room, I heard the following...

"There were ten in the bed and the little one said, bend over, BEND OVER."

I know, right?!

This can only mean one thing. There is a God and he understands the plight of the stay at home mom. Thank you baby Jesus. Thank you. And, I’m sorry if I knocked that catchy Pat Benatar cover tune out of your head. We are young.

No, really.

(Do I really need to correct her?)