Thank you, Raffi
Foir those who don’t know, Raffi is a children’s entertainer who sings folksy songs – both traditional and original. He’s got one of those voices that is easy to sing along with, and most of his songs are well within the range of an untrained male. Keep this in mind as we go forward.
Currently, one of our biggest recurring battles with C is over eating. He likes to choose mealtimes to assert his independence and establish that he doesn’t have to do what we say.
The other night at dinner, he was particularly ornery. He kept pushing away from the table, shouting "No Dinner!" and "Want to get down!"
It was so bad that I took him to his room to calm him down. While we were there, I took him to the bathroom also – it’s right next to his room and I figured it certainly couldn’t hurt.
As we were washing hands afterwards, I told him that sometimes when we are upset it is actually because we are hungry and we just don’t know it. He looked at me suspiciously, and I nodded to reassure him. "Yep, we just need some food in our bellies."
That’s when inspiration hit and I started to sing a refrain from a Raffi song that we’ve listened to a few thousand times:
"All I really need is a song in my heart.
Food in my belly,
And love in my family…"
C looked at me with a slow smile, so I repeated the refrain, doing my best Raffi imitation and pointing at his belly for emphasis. By the third refrain, he was singing a long a little bit, and I could see that the light bulb had turned on.
As we finished the third refrain, I asked him "Do you have a song in your heart?"
"And you know you have love in your family. Which means all you really need is food in…"
I carried him back to the table, with both of us singing. He sat down and started slurping up everything in front of him. Feeling "in the zone", I tried to show off for his mom and asked him if he had a song in his heart.
Slurp, munch, "Nope", munch, slurp, belch.
Ah well. I shouldn’t push my luck.
It was a great victory, and one that I’m planning on repeating. I’m now carefully listening to all the songs C likes. Who knows what other refrains are available for me to use?