This morning before I’d even sat down to eat my bowl of oatmeal Bella was out exploring in the backyard. It was warm enough that she was wearing no coat, just a short polka dot skirt and her big rainboots, skinny legs in between making her look so very thin and gangly and coltish. She stomped in the puddles, filled a broken dump truck’s plastic bin full of snowmelt and flung it, spraying herself in the process.She climbed on the swing, the fact that it was surrounded by a huge puddle stopping her not at all. She swung, trailing her boots in the water.
After she came in, flinging mud about the dining room as she kicked off the boots, she pointed out to us the way the sun reflecting off the huge puddle made rippling patterns on the back fence. She Notices things.
After yesterday’s expedition she told me the huge puddle in the back corner is called Fragment Pond. Because of the fragments of snow floating in it. The stream running through the yard along the trails she’d made in the snow was called Ice Water River.
Her game she plays as she wanders around is about a little girl who lives on a farm taking care of the animals, leading them to drink. The she becomes a fisher and her sister takes her place. One time she was gathering the wheat in the field which they had forgotten to harvest. Taking it to the Miller Barn. Also gathering fresh herbs.
One time one of the cows was going to run into the water and she had to run after it with her stick. One time the pig ran from its drinking pool to the bigger pool for the other animals.
Then today after math, having to write a line of 2s, a line of 3s and a line of 7s, Bella told me that she felt like a little flower that hadn’t had rain for a long, long time. Practicing handwriting is really, really hard. But it does usually make her want to draw. Today, though, I put on music and they danced in the kitchen.
I thought I’d write out my playlist of music for the kids to dance to since it seemed like people might be interested in it.
Sing Sing Sing Benny Goodman
Le Bozo Two Step Beausoleil
J’ai Ete Au Zydeco Beausoleil
Hot Chili Mama Beausoleil
Zydeco Gris-Gris Beausoleil
Arc De Triomph Two Step Beausoleil
Zydeco Boogaloo Buckwheat Zydeco
Give him Cornbread Beau Jocque
Ca C’est Bon L’Angelus
Le Swing Cajun L’Angelus
The Wedding Jig Altan
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) The Proclaimers
Rattlin’ Roarin Willie from the album Fire in the Kitchen
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da The Beatles
Changing Your Demeanour The Chieftans
The Rocky Road to Dublin The Chieftans
Basarabye from an album called In the Fiddle’s House
Repeal of the Licensing Laws The Pogues
The Irish Rover The Pogues
Madrin Rua The Pogues
Waxie’s Dargle The Pogues
Poor Paddy The Pogues
Dingle Regatta The Pogues
Greenland Whale Fisheries The Pogues
Wise Man’s Reel The Billy Hilly Band
It’s pretty eclectic and not all the songs are as popular as others with the kids. Their favorites are Sing, Sing, Sing, Changing your Demeanour and Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da.
Here’s the thing. I don’t like “kids music” so I don’t play it. My kids listen to real music and like it. The other day on Facebook a friend was asking for recommendations for a friend who wanted to load music on an iPod for her 13 year-old son. It really puzzled me because it betrays a very different way of thinking about music than mine. If I were loading music on an iPod for my kids, I’d just put on the music I already know they like. I don’t think music for kids is different than that for adults except for some songs I exclude because of language (like almost everything by The Pogues that isn’t on this list). While I know I have another six years before Bella is that boy’s age and things do change when they hit those tween and teen years, still I can’t imagine being completely clueless as to their musical tastes. For me music is something we share as a family. I love seeing my kids enjoying my favorite songs and finding favorites of their own.
Other music we’ve been enjoying recently are two albums of music based on the music Pa plays in the Little House series: Arkansas Traveler: Music from Little House on the Prairie and Happy Land: Musical Tributes To Laura Ingalls Wilder. (There’s a third album I haven’t bought yet, Pa’s Fiddle: Charles Ingalls – American Fiddler.) Bella just loves the music and sometimes has an amazing memory for where the songs appeared in the books. When the song, I Am the Gypsy King, came on she told me Pa played it in Little House on the Prairie when they had finished building the house and Mr Edwards was on his way home. Amazing recall she has.
She told me yesterday she’s just in love with Little House and wants to surround herself with it. She loves to pull the books off the shelf and page through them looking at the pictures. Currently we’re reading The Long Winter and we started reading Farmer Boy concurrently when she realized that some of the book was told from Almanzo’s perspective. Previously she hadn’t been interested in reading it and she still doesn’t want to take a break from Mary and Laura so we’re reading a chapter from one and then a chapter from the other. She is definitely loving Farmer Boy.
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