Life’s a Happy Song

Yesterday evening, after a prolonged session of interacting calmly with our son (we were not arguing with him, although he was definitely arguing with us!), wherein we calmly stated and restated the family rules, and calmly reminded him of the natural consequences to not following the rules, the boy ultimately decided to comply and walked away to take a shower. Yep, that whole deal was over a shower. Anyway, after he left the room, Jeff remarked, “If that kid had a theme song, it would be ‘Head Games’ by Foreigner.”

Even as we chuckled over the astute pairing of this song with the personality of this boy, for whom the whole world is one endless opportunity for negotiation, the gears of my brain began to spin. What songs best describe the other members of the family? If we each had a theme song which captured our essential self, what would it be?

Some seemed pretty obvious. Mine, for instance, would be “Zombie” by The Cranberries. The title alone is pretty much me in a nutshell. Combine that with the way Dolores O’Riordan moans and wails her way through the song and you essentially can hear my inner dialogue as I calmly interact with children who are not always calmly interacting with me. I totally loved that song in college. Little did I then know that I would one day BECOME an actual zombie, who inwardly sounds like wailing Ms. O’Riordan.

When I thought of another boy in our family, the only song lyric which came to mind was from an ’80’s hair band. Darned if I know the name of the song or the band, but the lyric says it all: “I want to rock and roll all night, and party every day!” That is currently how this young camper is attempting to do things around here. We don’t find him very charming between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 AM, when he repeatedly tries to convince us that life is a party and sleep is for nerds.

Jack’s potential theme song seems most obvious. It’s got to be “Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car” by the Wiggles (the original Wiggles, mind you, not after they brought in the new dude who seems to me like he belongs on Broadway and not in a goofy group of Aussies who dance and overact much to the delight of kids everywhere). This song works for Jack because he loves things that go “Chugga Chugga” and because his toot toots are kind of a big deal around here.

Baby’s song is easy. It’s “Pony Boy,” which is a delightful little ditty taught to us years ago by my sister, who learned it at a mom and tot music class. My little pony boy just loves to “giddy-up giddy-up giddy-up WHOA!” on my lap all the time. When you are four months old and just as sweet as can be, this is all you really need for a good time.

For Jeff, I will assign the theme song of “Better Man” by Pearl Jam. Unlike the girl in the song (“she lies and says she’s in love with him …”), I really am in love, and you really can’t find a better man than the one I’ve got. He’s calm and steadfast and has a delectably dry sense of humor, as well as a gift for saying something kind at just the right moment. He’s also got a knack for fixing things and is known in some circles as the one who can be counted on the fix the audiovisual/computer/electronic difficulties when they arise. You just can’t find a better man when it comes to handling the clowns who live in this house. Isn’t that right, Mr. Vedder? I couldn’t have sung it better myself.

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