When your ass starts twitching, it’s usually due to the ignored impulse of your body telling you that it wants to run away (screaming optional). Fixed smiles and mechanical bobs of the head are often our last resort in being encouraging parents. Let me explain.
Kid repetition > Parent patience
A joke told fifty times in a row, a silly game played over and over and over, a YouTube video that got half its million views from your kid; all examples of a kid’s ability to tolerate and delight in repetition. In early vocabulary, one of the most-prized and well-worn words has to be the word “AGAIN!”
Let’s take a look at singing and the progressive effect parents experience over time. We’ll use the A-B-C song for our hypothetical. (Because that’s what I’m experiencing these days.)
The A-B-C Song
Parents are so proud the first go through. Even if L-M-N-O-P was more like “elemenopee.” (It always is, isn’t it?) There are always some lyrical malfunctions—a little skipping or some repeats—but the kid arrived at “xyz, now I know my A-B-Cs.” Blam!
For the next few rounds you’ve probably rustled up your spouse or partner in baby crime, or you’ve got a phone connecting them to the event or recording it for later.
After about the twentieth round, they’re getting better but it’s getting worse. There’s a lot less free-form experimental musical solos in the Q-R-S area, but your claps aren’t as loud as they were and the corners of your smile are beginning to wobble.
By the hundredth time they’ve got that sucker nailed. They can practically play it backward on an electric guitar. By this time you’re probably also nailed, sick to death of it. You may come to dread hearing it so far as to hide anything with large letters that may trigger the song. To your horror, it may start playing in your head randomly, or you find yourself humming it absentmindedly.
Okay. Maybe it’s not that bad. Or maybe it’s worse. You get the idea, though.
♫ Old MacDonald had a farm, Ee i ee i ohhhhld MacDonald… [loop] ♫
Some loops are like a broken record or a CD that had a night of passion with a belt-sander.
♫ Twinkle twinkle little star, twinkle twinkle little star… [loop] ♫
♫ Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells… [loop forever] ♫
How could I not post a little video of the lad A-B-Cing and then wigging out?
There are lots and lots of other examples, of course, and it doesn’t have to be a song. Everything can get old when it is approaching infinity. Most things, anyways. Thank goodness kids are so flippin’ cute, right?
The ironic part is how much you’ll miss infinity and how hard you’ll search for a rewind button when it stops.
Facebook seems like it goes on forever. We’ll try to make it interesting for you.
More Instructional Diagrams.