I love watching little kids learn a new trick. Winking. Snapping. They’re often so very proud of a new skill mastered, and chances are, it’ll never be un-learned.
Ava Scarlett has been DESPERATE to learn how to whistle for some time now. And it’s both hilarious and heart-breaking to watch her try and try again. I could have handed her a kazoo or something, but I only have so much patience, and I really, really value my sanity.
Me: You have to purse your lips, like this *demonstrates* and you blow.
She: *purses lips and screams in a high pitch*
Me: Yeah, that’s not quite whistling. It takes practice, lovie… keep trying.
I hear her all over the house, trying in vain to get a tune to sail off her lips… I pat her head during a frustrated moment, and try to show her again. She hugs me and says, “It’s just that I want to whistle you home.”
She: I want to whistle you home.
Me: You… what?
She wants to… whistle me… where? With a knitted brow I search her face, trying to figure out what she’s talking about… and I want to understand her (I usually try to get to the bottom of things) but honestly, there’s been so much chatter with them home all summer like this, and I… really… sometimes I just have to say, “Yes darling,” and put people to bed.
But then! A breakthrough!!
She came to me the other day and said, “Mummy, listen…” And with the faintest wind off her kissy lips, she started with the opening notes of the song Home, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
I smacked myself on the forehead and grinned at her. I want to whistle you Home. (Sentence structure can still be tricky when you’re five.)
She loves this song. And I really should have put two and two together earlier, since lately these two kids are forever singing this song to each other when we wander around town together, or when we’re loping through the woods.
Home, let me come home
Home is wherever there is you
And just this morning, I can hear through practice that next on the whistling-docket is the intro to Young Folks, by Peter Bjorn and John. Heh. I should have shown her this video from the start.
Somebody please pass the maracas and the bongos, maaaaan… e’reybody get down.
Has your kid mastered anything new this summer?