It all started when Ari came home from school humming a deadly tune.
"There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name-o! B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O! And Bingo was his name-o!"
There are no words to describe how much I hate this song. Of all the thousands of songs Ari could sing, and that he could learn in a Chinese school, it had to be that one. Why not "Oh Susanna!" or "Old McDonald" or "The Farmer in the Dell"? I'm not necessarily fond of those songs, but at least I can ignore them. Bingo, on the other hand, has a penetrating tune that snuggles itself deep into the long-term memory part of my brain. This is the only song that has the ability to stay in my head for a week at a time and has been since I was about 13 years old. It plays over and over. I find myself tapping my feet to it, making up high piccolo lines, involuntarily tapping my teeth to the new drumbeat I have added to it (leading to headaches), writing alternative harmony lines for mandolins etc. All of this is entirely involuntary, and half of the irritation is that I keep on suddenly realizing what I am doing and trying to stop. Night time may or may not offer a brief reprieve.
I can imagine what a bad parent I must seem like when Ari goes to school and tells his teachers that his mom "hates that song" and has forbidden him to sing it around her. But this is truly a matter of maintaining sanity. I have told him that he is welcome to sing any other song he wants. The interesting thing is that telling him this brings out his debating skills, in which I feel like I am at a disadvantage. He doesn't understand how I can hate a song that he loves, and thinks it is a bad reason to not sing a song. I suppose he has heard us tell him enough times that "Because" is not a good answer.
It seems that his school seems to love teaching him repetitive children's songs. For example, Ari recently learned "The Wheels on the Bus" and has logically decided that the best time to sing this song is when we are riding the bus. The first time was a tired Sunday afternoon on the way home from church. I don't know if every family is like this, but our family is inevitably tired and cranky on the way home from church. Ari started to sing the song. James and I exchanged tired expressions, but by mutual silent agreement, decided not to shush him. So verse 2 came and then verse 3 ("the babies on the bus go wah wah wah"). James and I found ourselves starting to open our mouths to ask him to be a little quieter, but then verse 4 started. "The parents on the bus go shush, shush, shush!". It seemed a little too appropriate. When whole song had gone through one time, we felt justified in telling him that once was probably enough.
Positive Update #1
Ari's teacher and her husband are coming over for supper tomorrow evening. If you will recall, there was a whole blog entry in October about the somewhat confusing circumstances we found ourselves in with her. We are making Thai food for them. I think it will be a lot of fun.
Positive Update #2
I have discovered that by far the best place to be on the crowded bus is crammed against the door on the bottom step. There is less shoving, because people know you are at the end of the line. Also if you turn toward the glass you can breath without having some woman's fur hood going between your lips (today's experience). The door is also guaranteed to open every stop which brings fresh air sweeping into the bus. Everyone getting on the bus instantly tries to plunge into the depths of people so that means they don't try to usurp your spot. And finally, you get a full length view of the streets as the bus drives (which is kind of fun), and everyone in traffic gets a full length view of the foreigner squished against the glass. Its a win-win situation! I have also tried praying on the bus, which takes my mind off of my momentary discomfort. This combination has made me a much happier bus rider.
Positive Update #3
Both boys have completely weaned themselves of their dependence on diapers (and that includes night time). We didn't push it, it just happened. We still put one on Jude at night, just in case, but morning after morning it is 100% dry. Sweet freedom!