Monday, January 30, 2012

Car Karaoke with Mommy and the Little Song Birds

Whenever the Levine family piles into my green Ford Escape hybrid to travel near or far, I always feel a little bit like a deejay. It's not because the girls are particularly interested in the running mix I have on my iPod but haven't used in roughly two years or want to hear my burned CD collection played in perfect rotation. They want me to sing. Loud and long.

Typically, they're most interested in singing "Old McDonald Had a Farm."

"Mommy, sing it!" exclaims Avery from the backseat on the way home from daycare. "Mommy, sing Old McDonald!" I respond, "Oh, I want to hear you sing it." Lexie chimes in, "Nooooo! Mommy sing it!"

At that point, am I going to do? Disappoint my biggest (and only) music fans? Not a chance.

"Ok, which animal is on the farm?" I ask. "Cow!" yells Avery. "Zebra!" shouts Lexie. I pick the cow, because it has an obvious and easy to imitate sound unlike our striped friend, the zebra. I sing most of the words in a slightly off key voice while attempting to cross three lanes of rush hour traffic on I-40 in Raleigh. The twins fill in the pauses.

I lead them: "With a...." "MOO! MOO!" they sing in unison. I jump back in: "here and a..." "MOO! MOO!" they sing again. My turn: "There. Here a..." "MOO!" You get the picture.

This goes on and on and on and on until we run out of normal sounding farm-ish type animals. I gladly embrace the lions, monkeys and dolphins, which I know don't likely live on Old Mickey D's farm, but at least they have good sounds that are easily repeatable. By Mommy. Who's driving.

When we run out of those, the girls always gravitate towards the animals that they see in our many books at home. The ones that don't really make any noise at all. Let me share an example.

"What other animals live on the farm?" I inquire. "Ladybugs!" shouts Lexie from her side of the backseat. "Uh, ladybugs?" I ask. "Yeah!" she yells emphatically. At this point, I've done enough singing to really rile up the girls. I can't shut down the singing now. So, I start the verse, drop in ladybug request and when it comes to the point when they say the sound, everyone is silent.

Crickets. (At least, that would've been a sound.)

I can't think of anything, so I suggest "crawl." "With a crawl, crawl here and a crawl, crawl there..." Not brilliant in the least. But, it's the best my brain could conjure while driving 70 mph past the I-440/I-40 split.

And, now, it's stuck. My kids think the sound a ladybug really makes is "crawl, crawl." Oh well. At least, it's not an explitive or something worse, right?

Thank heavens, interest in Old McDonald's farm generally wanes within about 5 miles of our home, and I can transition into the other twin favorite: "Alice the Camel."

"Mommy, sing camel," pleads Lexie. Avery follows with, "Mommy, FIVE humps. Camel have FIVE humps!"

Counting humps I can do. No problem. Even though I'm a journalism major, and I don't do math. But, if you ask me to imitate the sound a camel makes when it's on the farm, we're going to have issues. At least until I can park in the garage.

Check out this video of the girls singing in the bath tub and totally dissing my Old McDonald song:

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