Singing the ABC’s calms my daughter down. I learned this hard way on a long-distance drive when she was throwing a magnificent fit in the backseat without a place to pull over in sight. I began to sing the ABC’s, the only song I could think of at the time, and she instantly quieted. As long as I kept on singing, we were at peace. Of course, a song has to end at some point and all hell breaks loose.
It’s not just on drives, however. She loves her ABC’s. She’ll scoot up in my lap, stick her finger in my face, and make her demands for “one mo” before we’ve even started.
Abby will gather herself into position, looking back at me as I begin the familiar round. “A-B-C-D…”, I sing slowly so that she can keep up and repeat along. She’ll miss most of the letters, but that’s of no consequence at this stage. “…Now I know my ABC’s. Thank you, Abby, for singing with me!”, I conclude as she cheers for herself.
I remember singing the ABC’s with Jedi, so many years ago, but it skipped with Buzz. Every kid is different, I have to keep reminding myself, and it just never kept his attention when he was Abby’s age. I didn’t realize I missed the simple joy of it, though, until I was able to pick it back up with Abby.
“One mo!”, she’ll demand again. And so we sing again. And usually again. Because she won’t take no for an answer, and for once I’m glad. A perfectly out-of-tune duet, my daughter and I. Thank you, Abby, for singing with me.