Tag Archives: nursery rhymes

Uhm… what?

Moms, have you seen this one? If you’re like me, you’ve probably learnt to tune out whatever nonsense your kid insists on watching on YouTube. I usually just ensure she’s watching something kid-friendly and then block out the rest. But recently, the words of this rhyme filtered past my defences while the daughter was having her half-hour of YouTube time on the tablet (i.e. kid nirvana). Did I just hear what I thought I heard? Five strict mommies jumping on the bed? Uhm… what?

YouTube nursery rhymes are, of course, for most part, the absolute dregs. I’ve written on this in depth in the past, and won’t repeat myself. Suffice to say, the channels that advertise most aggressively, and therefore are most likely to be clicked by your YouTube video-surfing toddler, are the absolute worst. It’s like they set aside all their resources for the pimping and keep nothing at all for the actual content.

But, even by those low standards, this one is… uhm… strange. So you have five mommies jumping on the bed. There appears to be no cause to call them strict mommies — if anything, they seem to be all about letting their hair down and par-taying — but, apparently, strict they are. You have a grinning kid who calls the doc each time one of the mommies falls off the bed and bumps her head (you get the feeling she’s enjoying this role-reversal a little too much). At this point, you start to wonder… are these moms drunk and on a bender? ‘Cos lil monkeys falling off and bumping their heads… kinda understandable. Mommies, strict or otherwise, with such poor physical coordination? One too many bottles of wine would seem the most likely explanation for both the jumping and the falling (is that why they don’t seem strict too? Alcohol tends to do that). As an aside, who is this wonderfully available doc in these rhymes who picks up each time the mommy/kid calls with the exact same complaint? I must find me one of those.

But I digress.

Now, this is important — watch closely to see what happens after each mom has bumped her head. That’s right — she goes back to her regularly scheduled housework, like a good, chastened homemaker mommy. Her head hurts like a bitch (bump plus hangover… ouch), and she’s learnt her lesson. No more silly shenanigans for her! She’s going to stick to nice safe, ladylike activities like cooking and ironing and cleaning.

And that’s when it hits you. This video isn’t really strange at all. It might look like a silly, badly-animated nursery rhyme for kids, but it’s really a finger-wagging cautionary tale for mommies not to stray too far from the kitchen. No more mommies jumping on the bed! Except, presumably, with Daddy (oh c’mon, I know you were thinking that too). But only, of course, once she’s served him a nice hot dinner.

There. Aren’t all you good, strict mommies glad I brought this important video to your attention? (There are multiple versions for you to watch, in case you feel the message hasn’t hit home strongly enough with just the one). Now, please excuse me. I do believe there’s some housework I need to go finish.

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Filed under Humour, Motherhood, Uncategorized

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round and Round…

My two-year-old daughter is obsessed with ‘The Wheels on the Bus’. I don’t use the word ‘obsessed’ lightly. She wakes up in the morning singing the song, and puts herself to sleep at night singing it again. Even as I write this, it’s playing on continuous loop on the iPod dock so she’ll let me use my laptop and not demand that I play ‘wheeshondabash’ for her on Youtube instead.

Youtube, of course, is the ultimate enabler for a song-obsessed toddler. There are approximately 5000 versions (a conservative estimate) of this song on there, and my daughter listens to them all. Her favourite way to do that is on her grandma’s iPad, and she’ll hop-skip-jump from one version to the next until the iPad is taken away (accompanied by heartbreaking sobs and huge tears, naturally). She expertly navigates the endless list of videos, choosing, playing, pausing, repeating. She listens to a German version, a Korean version and a Spanish or Portuguese version, the Barney version and the Mother Goose Club version, and a version which randomly has vocals by Roger Daltrey of The Who (I can’t decide if that’s super cool or the ultimate sell out). Atrocious singing, miserable animation, ridiculous lyrics (“the gas on the bus goes glug glug glug”… I mean, seriously?) – none of that deters her, though it can drive the adults in the room to want to smash something, usually the laptop/iPad/iPod.

But technology isn’t a necessity. Sometimes all that’s needed is her battered little “Wheels on the bus” board book, which she carries with her as she goes round and round (no pun intended) the house singing. As a Tamil saying goes, if that book had a mouth, it would cry. It’s usually dragged around by one page, the rest dangling forlornly, the binding giving little by little every day. At other times, mom’s (dad’s, thatha’s, or paati’s) vocal chords are called into service, and we’re ordered to sing wheeshondabash for her (our reward is seeing her smile beatifically as she follows along doing all the requisite actions).

There was a time when she would daintily sing ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ and ‘Row row row your boat’ and ‘Baa baa black sheep’ upon request when we went visiting or when people dropped in. Now any such request is firmly rebuffed with a “No! Wheeshondabash!” and she’ll proceed to give a neverending rendition with all the stanzas from various versions cobbled together. So it isn’t just wipers going swish swish and horns going beep beep, but also, in no particular order:

–          Doors going open and shut

–          Lights going on and off

–          Money going ding, ding, ding

–          People going up and down / bumpity bumpity bump / ha-ha-ha

–          Babies going wah-wah-wah

–          Mummies going shush-shush-shush

–          Mummies going I-love-you

–          Monkeys going ooh-ooh-aah-aah

–          Drivers going move-on-back

–          And of course, gas going glug-glug-glug

When you consider how much repetition there already is in this dratted song, this is a long, long list. The visitors usually start out listening with wide ‘how-sweet’ smiles, and then as we progress along the list, the smiles start getting a bit fixed, and you can almost hear them thinking, ‘Ok, when is this going to finish so we can actually have a conversation again?’ (especially when she takes a deep breath and starts again from the top). Meanwhile, I keep trying other suggestions, including the equally addictive ‘I love you’ from Barney, but it’s all met with the firm, “No! Wheeshondabash!”. And really, there’s no answer to that.

But recently she’s taken it to a whole new level. Those of you who’ve read this post know that she’s already like ‘this’ with the umachis in the house. Now she’s taken to singing wheeshondabash for them, while hanging out before the pooja area. During the recent spate of festivals, her grandma and I tried singing bhajans, but found ourselves drowned out by the Bus Bhajanai. Any attempts to teach her more…er… appropriate slokhas and songs have utterly failed. When we took her to the temple the other day for Ganesh Chathurthi, she treated the amused audience there too to a loud and clear rendition. What Pilliyar thought of wheeshandabash we don’t know; but at least she chose a day when he was well appeased with kozhukottais.

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Filed under Family, Humour, Madras, Motherhood