They just don’t know how lucky they are.

My brother used to get pissed off when my Mom and I sang in the car. He would get particularly angry if we harmonized. I think he hated it that I was in a madrigal group in college. He accused us all of “wearing too much make-up”. I don’t think he bought my explanation of how stage lighting washes you out.

Claudia reminds me of my brother a lot sometimes. She has been carry around this teddy bear that used to be his lately. She stole it from my Mom’s house.

Sometimes when I sing to the kids they say “Again! Again!” But sometimes Claudia says “No, Mommy”.

The other day we were working on the alphabet song when she pulled a “No Mommy”. This is what I told her. “Claudia. I am a classically trained singer. People PAY me to do this, and you are telling me no? How would you like it if I found you some tone deaf Mommy to teach you the A B C’s?” After that probably called her an ingrate or possibly a jerk. I’m pretty sensitive to vocal criticism, especially from someone who enjoys Elmo’s singing.

One of my best friends is a REAL professional singer. She gets paid to sing on a regular basis and she teaches voice too. Her mother is tone deaf. She cracks me up when she will try to sing songs her Mom taught her when she was little. There isn’t any melody involved. Somehow she learned how to love music anyway. My own mother sings quite well. I can remember telling her not to sing, but mostly it was when she was singing to wake me up and I am NOT a morning person.

You know, now that I’m thinking about it, Claudia is the same kid that is always trying to get me to draw fish or cats for her on her magnadoodle. I am a terrible artist even on paper, but on the magnadoodle I am the worst. I am also pretty sure she has a crush on Bob the Builder. Maybe I shouldn’t feel bad about her not liking my singing. She has terrible taste.

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  1. Its impossible to be a good artist o the magnadoodle…my brother is quite the artist, and even his works look like chicken scratch….

  2. that was a great piece! please share some more mike stories – very interesting! also zoe used to love my singing, but now that she’s 4 – she never wants me to sing, i never knew it was genetic!

  3. The Jelly (soon to be 4) constantly tells my wife, who has a beautiful singing voice, ‘no mommy’ when she tries to sing to/with the two of them.

    They don’t mind it when I sing… odd, isn’t it?

  4. What?! You don’t like Bob the Builder?! FOR SHAME!!

    I sing like a wounded animal. As far as I’m concerned you can sing all you please.

  5. Anonymous says:

    zoe and lucy often command “No Mama — DON’T SING.” with great emphaticalityness. i would take it personally, except i can’t sing my way out of a paper bag being held closed over my head.

    i can draw, however, but they don’t give a shit about that either. so i’m going to have to agree with the “crap for taste” theory.

    you should see what happens when they try to dress themselves (which is every day)…

  6. what? anonymous? that wasn’t what i checked. silly blogger. no, it’s me, laurie, the one with the bag over her head.

  7. oh. also. GREAT redesign. love the jane russell screamy lady.

  8. My kids want me to sing & draw – I can’t do either. Of course they usually want dad to sing also & that often hurts my ears!

    I just think they all go through the stage where everything has to be their way. Claudia may just be worse because she is so much like her mom.

  9. My son tells me, No Mommy, but not just for singing. I think he wants to see how far he can push giving Mommy direct orders.

    The girls, so far, LOVE it when I sing. (I am NOT classically trained, nor would anyone ever pay me to sing. Although I don’t think I’m tone deaf. I guess you’ll have to tell me when you hear me sing Happy Birthday next month, Sarah.)

    The Screamer now points to herself when we get to a part in any song that says “me” and she also tries to snap her fingers along with that Mister Rogers song about making a snappy new day. Snap. Snap.

    I LOVE that my kids love to sing. I don’t care if they’re ever any good at it … just hope they’re never afraid to belt anything out.

  10. I’m not sure I can sing. I think I have a limited range. For some reason I was able to sing from 4th thru 12th grade. But now? My kids also yell “NO SING MOMMY!” At first we used to sing and dance in the kitchen because it was a fun place to sing and dance. Now my kids tell me “GO TO THE KITCHEN! YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE KITCHEN TO SING AND/OR DANCE!” Okay, they don’t use the and/or, but you know what I mean.

  11. Sarah, your dad was the first person to tell me that I’m a no-good singer. Before that, I was somewhat deluded about my singing voice. The truth is, I have very little range but can’t carry an alto part without the support of 10 other altos singing around me to keep me from attempting the soprano notes (which I definitely cannot pull off). Anyway – it is nice to know that Robey doesn’t care. Nor does he care that I can’t dance, draw or paint. On the flip side, he’ll probably never care that I am a talented writer. He likes my craft supplies, though. Does that count for anything?

  12. I live on Long Island, but I don’t hang out in the Hamptons. However, a number of years back there was a little story in the New York Times. Seems that a man and his young daughter were seen walking along the street in Bridgehampton. Dad was singing absentmindedly, and the little girl was heard to implore him, “Daddy, PLEASE don’t sing!”

    The dad’s name? Billy Joel.

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