We recently drove 800 miles with our seven-year-old twins. We’re lucky; our kids are good travelers. Throw a DVD on repeat play, and they’ll stare at the screen without noticing our Loser Cruiser came inches from killing Bambi’s mom.
Every now and then, though, Guilty Mother Syndrome (GMS) hits me. I shut off the DVD player and become the mother I think I ought to be, that one who could turn a vacation to Hell into a fun afternoon.
“Let’s play The Humming Game!” I say.
“What’s that?” William asks. I’m one of those people who invents games (and rules) as necessary. We have yet to try this creation.
“I hum a kids’ song, then you guess it,” I explain. “I’ll start.”
I hum the first verse of Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Miraculously, William guesses it. Humming in tune is not my forte.
My husband goes next. Before he’s through the third bar, Vivian shouts, “Happy Birthday!”
Vivian’s turn. She hums something. At first I think it’s one of the songs from her piano workbook. Then I take a random guess. “Jingle Bells?”
“Nope,” she says proudly.
“Three Blind Mice?” William asks.
“No!” she says, now exasperated.
“Camptown Races?” her dad says.
“No!” she yells, blaming us. “It’s Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
“Oh,” I say. “William, your turn.”
I rub my neck, which is knotting up from the semi-permanent side twist I do when traveling, from looking at the kids in the back seat.
William starts humming. He’s in tune. At least I think he is.
We all sit there, perplexed.
William keeps humming.
“Do I know this?” I ask.
His grin interrupts his humming.
The humming resumes.
“What do you mean I don’t know this?” I ask.
“I made it up.”
“William!” Vivian says. “You can’t do that! It needs to be a real song.”
William hums a few more bars. Then he stops. “It is a real song,” he says, looking down. “It’s called, umm, My Sandal, My Sandal.”
My eyebrows defy gravity. I turn back around, knead my neck with my hand, and say, “Time to watch another DVD.”
Any tales of singing out there? Any weirdification in your lives lately?