O: NOOOOOOOOOOO! I don't want that song. I want a daisy song.
J: I don't know a daisy song.
O: Just make one up!
The first time I tried to sing to tiny newborn O, I realized that I didn't know any lullabies all the way through. There was a lot of, "Lullaby...da da da...da da da da da da da." So I YouTubed everything from Brahms to The Muppets. As a frustrated shower singer, it was very satisfying because I developed my own set of songs and had a captive audience.
And then O learned to talk. Suddenly I began meeting with crushing rejections. My singing made her ears hurt. She didn't want to hear the songs I had been singing to her for months, especially the Bleshings Song.
Now that she is almost four, she prefers improv. She picks the theme and I make a song up, lyrics and melody on the spot. I'm not sure if she genuinely enjoys the songs, or just enjoys listening to me fumble my way through these bedtime ditties.
The songs will not be recorded for posterity. I believe they are largely forgotten even before her head hits the pillow and the sounds of gentle snoring begin, but I do hope that the memories of this bedtime improv routine will live on and bring a smile to our faces in years to come.
P is not quite so discerning yet. I can still dust off some of those YouTubed standards for her, but once she gets wise, Kate and I might have to have a serious talk about creating a new captive audience member for my hit parade.