This week marked a pretty monumental step in your childhood. Just a few days ago, you willingly loaded up all of your pacifiers into a plastic bag, and threw them into the garbage can in exchange for a ukulele.
This was no minor feat, let me assure you, your love for pacies runs deep! I had been urging you to kick the habit for quite some time (because I couldn’t understand you when you had one in your mouth), but I have to admit, when you decided to give them up, part of me wanted to say, “No, not yet! Too soon!” Your pacie is an indication that you’re still a little boy, and if you give it up, it means you’re growing up. I obviously know you’ll grow up, but the age old cliche has never been more true… You’re growing up too quickly!
The past few months have been chaotic as we’ve been looking to move and running around to open houses and swim lessons, and you’ve seemed to sense the changes. You’re taking it all in stride, minus the occasional melt down, so I was pretty shocked you decided to give up your pacie on your own. The first night was a little rough. You tried to change your mind about the agreement as you laid in your crib.
“Daddy, I want to trade my ukulele for a pacie. Is that okay?”
“We don’t have them buddy, we threw them in the trash.”
“But why did we put them in a plastic baggy?”
“So the garbage man can get them out and give them to other little girls and boys who need them.”
“But maybe he hasn’t come and gotten them yet?”
“I think he did, buddy. Besides, it’s too dark out now to look.”
“Let’s get a flash light and just go look for a quick second. Just a real quick second.”
I talked you out of looking, left your room, and was promptly called back in.
Every night, after your mom puts you to bed, you call me in to sing you a few songs. Typically there are two songs you want to hear, the “Sandcastle Song,” which I made up, and “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” by the Spaniels (you like to sing this song to Elliott when it’s time for her to go to bed).
The “Sandcastle Song,” like most of the songs I make up for you, is really just lyrics I made up and sing to another song’s melody, in this case, “Little Boxes,” by Malvina Reynolds.
Some nights you’ll request I sing you more songs, but you’re very specific about which songs I can actually sing. Many of the songs I know, or made up, have been listed by you as “Morning songs.” Morning songs cannot be sung at bedtime. I made the mistake of singing you some new songs I’d written for you, during the day, and because it was light out when you first heard them, they were immediately banned from being sung past sundown.
Night time songs, minus the two I already mentioned, are almost all Christmas songs… still… The other night you told me you really love Santa songs, so I sang “Up on the rooftop,” and when I got to the line, “Out jumps good old Santa Claus,” you interjected, sounded very concerned, “Daddy, Santa does not have claws!” I clarified.
A new one, is, you’ll request a song, and when I start to sing it, you’ll interrupt and ask me to make sure Mama hasn’t already sung it. I call down to your mom and get a status update on which songs she sang, while you lay in your crib cracking up.
“I asked Mama, she didn’t sing Frosty,” I say, before breaking into my jumbled up tale of the living snowman. But as soon as I start, you start giggling hysterically and say, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! Ask Mama is she already sang this song.” I’ve begun calling down and asking Mama, only to answer myself in a high-pitched “Mama voice.” “No,” I’ll answer myself, “I haven’t sang Frosty, you should totally sing it, Arlo loves that song.” You find this very amusing.
On your first pacie-free night, I sang you all of the songs I had in my evening-song juke box, and was trying to wind you down when you pleaded, “I really want a pacie, Daddy.”
“I’m sorry buddy, but we don’t have them anymore. I checked the garbage, and the garbage man already came and got them.” This was a lie, the pacies are still laying in the bottom of our trash can. Trash day is Tuesday, for future reference.
“I don’t like the garbage man,” you grumbled.
From here, you decided to go another route, “Elliott has extra pacies!” you called out, clearly so proud of yourself for coming up with a solution. “Can I have a baby pacie?”
“No buddy, I’m sorry, she’s using them all.”
“I’m use to having something in my mouth, so I don’t think I can sleep without it. So here’s the thing, I’m not going to sleep.”
I convinced you that you would make it through the night and wake up to a brand new ukulele to play me the song you’d written, “Monsters don’t have scary feet.” When you came up with this song, you were pounding on your drum, screaming, “Monsters don’t have scary feet, monsters don’t have scary feet…” Then you stopped, looked at me with the most serious look on your face, and said, “They really don’t have scary feet, Daddy.”
In the end, you decided going to bed and getting plenty of rest for your morning concert was a pretty good idea.
“I’m going to go to sleep, then wake up and get my ukulele and sing the “Monster song,” then sing “here we go, let’s go, Blazers,” and “Defense.”
So there you have it, your very first set list. I must say, you put on one hell-of-a show, I’m a huge fan!
I love you so much,