Ian Learns a New Phrase

Ian has started telling me the same thing every day.

“Don’t sing anymore”.

I know I have complained about this before, but this really hurts my feelings. I know it shouldn’t. I mean he is two years old. He is just trying to assert himself. But he never wants me to sing to him anymore.

I remember my friend Ahlem telling me that her little boy would put his hand over her mouth when she sang to him. She said that she was a terrible singer but she thought that the sound of his own mother’s voice should still be soothing to him. I thought that this was a hilarious story. I also thought that my children would love it when I sang to them.

I was mistaken.

I thought that singing was one thing that I learned in college that I could actually use in my new career as a parent. I remember when The Squad was only a couple of months old and they were both screaming their heads off because I couldn’t pick them both at the same time (this was before they could hold their own heads up) and I started singing them a lullaby that I learned my sophomore year and they both got quiet. HA! I thought – and my parents thought a degree in music would be worthless.

I was telling my Mom about this (not her thinking my degree was worthless, but about Ian not letting me sing) yesterday and she said “Oh my God. He’s Mike.” And then it all came flooding back. I could hear my brother moaning “No Mommy. Don’t sing. Don’t sing.” I never understood this. My mother has a beautiful voice. I always liked it when she sang to us. (Unless it was really early in the morning.) I don’t know if there was anything my brother seemed to hate more than when my Mom and I would harmonize to songs on the radio.

I still don’t get it. I don’t know why Ian doesn’t like it and I don’t know why Mike doesn’t like it when I sing. I was shocked when my brother asked me to sing at his wedding. Maybe by the time Ian is old enough to get married he will change his mind about this too. Or maybe Britt forced my brother to ask me to sing at the ceremony. Either way, it seems to be genetic.

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  1. I’m proud of you for handling it so calmly. If my son (if I had a son) did that, I’d be a disaster. Calming a baby by singing and rocking is what we were raised with too. I don’t think I’d know what else to do for him! You have just ‘created’ another “worst fear” for me. Thank you! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! Sigh………

  2. My 2 year old won’t let me sing either. Even when she was little if I sang or her sister sang she’s scream NO at the top of her lungs.. the irony is that she sings to herself when she’s playing… kids are weird.



  3. It very possibly could be a phase. My youngest did that for a while, too (I think around age 2, actually), and now the phase is gone, like it was never even an issue.

    I can imagine that it’s really hard for you since you have a degree in music and obviously a good singing voice. I didn’t have that added pressure!

  4. Well, mine puts her fingers in her ears…

  5. My kids did this too. We went for years of singing in the car, singing in the house, singing on a walk down the street to “NO SING,MOMMY! NO SING!” It was shocking. Devestating. However, what we did was establish a place in the house where singing and dancing could occur without anyone trying to police the singer/dancer. Our kitchen is the singing and dancing capital of our household. I refuse to be limited in my off key and dyslexic performances of our family favorites (okay, my own favorites as I really couldn’t try to belt out the Barney Theme song or do the Chicken Dance, even if paid an obscene amount of money!) So my kids now know I will sing and dance to my hearts content in the kitchen. Sometimes they join in and it becomes a fun family moment, other times I begin to hum and they are both jump to their feet to push me out of the living room and into the kitchen so I will be in the “right place”. File it under “works for us” and feel free to try it too.

  6. Louis now tells me I kiss too much and that it’s “annoying”.

    I tell him I’m his mom and WILL KISS AS MUCH AS I WANT DAMMIT! Only without the dammit part.

    Annoying, indeed.

  7. Tacy did a major 180 in the past year – now she ASKS me to sing. Doesn’t matter if I sing along with the radio or a cappella to “Twinkle Twinkle”.

    Here’s hoping Ian makes a similar turnaround in the next year or so. He’s lucky to have a mommy who can sing WELL!

  8. Do you read Julia? Her son once told her to “be silent, Mommy. Silent like an ‘E’.” That smarts! I hope Ian realizes what he’s missing soon!

  9. My kids love to sing but sometimes kevetch if I start up

    they only want me to sing when THEY decide it’s ok. In fact, on said occasions they will order me to sing and exactly WHAT i should sing

  10. This reminds me of when Jack told Aaron his punk rock was too loud. Or something like that. All I know is it was like a knife in Daddy’s heart.

    Jack will now rock out. So I’m going with phase.

  11. My mom and I would be in the car when I was a wee lass. She’d start singing. I’d start screaming and crying REAL TEARS. The minute she stopped, I stopped. She’d start again and so would I. It hurt her feelings too.

    Only years and years later when we talked about it I told her she sounded like she was yelling at me and that’s why I was crying.

    Just a thought. Maybe that’s why.

  12. As a kid who used to HATE it when people sang (I could tolerate it most of the time, but to the radio? eeeeeegh), I can tell you that one reason is overstimulation. I felt easily overstimulated when I was little, and I remember just wanting everyone to SHUT. UP. so I could think straight. (This was even worse when the radio was already going–singing on top of it was insult to injury, because either it just added to the noise or spoiled my concentration on a song I liked hearing.)

    Considering that I never shut up now, it’s kind of funny.

    At any rate, I thought I would offer an explanation that is not in any way an insult to your singing voice. I think some kids’ little brains can only handle so much input at a time, so singing and other stimulation can stress them out.

  13. My 6 yr old daughter tells me not to walk around in my underwear. Is that in the same ballpark?

    (P.S. Thanks for saying such nice things about me over on Mommybloggers. Ya’ll almost made me cry)

  14. I can sympathise. My husband shushes me a lot. But then he’ll wander the house, singing to himself, changing the lyrics so that every song is about farts.

    I guess we’re actually an equal-opportunity shushing household.

  15. If Addy asked me not to sing anymore I would be hurt too. Sometimes she says No when I sing, but lately she says No constantly.

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