How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

The Infinite Loop of Kids

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Infinite Loop Songs

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.

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Facebook seems like it goes on forever. We’ll try to make it interesting for you.

Less Words
More Instructional Diagrams.
 

20 Comments

20 Responses to “The Infinite Loop of Kids”

  1. Gary says:

    The last line of this sums it up so well. My wife and I have been regularly checking each other when things are getting extra annoying… I mean cute by remembering that there will be a time when we will give anything to have our innocent 2 year old back.

    Time to go sing Dora and Blues Clues theme again! :)

  2. neal says:

    Oh yeah, the infinite loop. Anybody else have nightmares about that song from Lambchop’s Play-Along? “This is the song that never ends…”

    If only I could get my toddler to sing something cool, like Floyd’s “We don’t need no education…” or York’s “I’m a creep…” Irony would make repetition a whole lot more palatable.

    • Andy says:

      It would be ironic, but it would also ruin great music. TRUST ME. They have these CDs I’ve seen advertised on TV for “kids’ rock” versions of great songs that will make you want to pack play-doh in your ears. ARG!!!

  3. Dian says:

    lol, so true. yesterday I sang Old MacDonald at least 10 times in the car. When I tried to switch, it was followed with a screeching ‘Nooooooooooooo Mommy don’t sing that, start gain’.

    I have broken out singing the Mickey Mouse clubhouse theme song on numberous occasions; once I was at work.

  4. Kristin says:

    This is totally us with My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs. Only our kid doesn’t talk yet, he just gestures and keeps bringing you the book back. So it is the sound of my own voice driving me nuts ;)
    Maybe it would be cuter if he was reading it.

  5. Andrew says:

    My son who will be 3 in Feb really does not go with the song thing. Wait for it…However, it is everything thing else. Wat Dat?!x27 That way? Yes that way. That way? Again, Yes that way. Deep breathe. There is more, trust me. Let me just say I do believe that we have made it to the monkey see monkey do stage. The other day I said O Jesus while talking with my wife. Guess what came next…yup O Jesus’s for the next 15 minutes. He is really starting to become him own person and I love it. So…Wat next?

    • Christina says:

      This is my kid – just in case you missed it the first 50 times, let me tell you again, Mom – “I see storm clouds!”

      I’m an intravert so this whole non-stop talking thing and especially the stuff that requires a constant response gets extra wearing =p

    • Andy says:

      It’s alright if I laugh at your pain, right? Because I’ve got enough of it myself, I figure that gives me guilt-free laughing rights.

  6. Justin says:

    Two words: SIGHT WORDS! I am feeling (and living) everything in this article!

  7. Jess says:

    The worst is when the recording of the cuteness backfires though. It’s all well and good until your kid becomes fully aware of what the small box with the red blinking light in front of mommy or daddy’s face actually does. And that HE CAN WATCH HIMSELF AFTER HE DOES THE FUNNY THING THAT MAKES ALL THE GROWED UPS GIGGLE FOR THE 9,000,000TH TIME!

    Oh yeah and don’t even get me started on when the, “Wait, wait! I messeded up dat one. Lemme dooze it again, okay?” comes into the equation.

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Lucas hasn’t discover this one yet, and Cody and Max came before the onslaught of the tech phase of digital video recording devices in every single thing that ever was. Amazing.

  8. ShanMerrie says:

    Oh my gosh–I’m so glad to see someone else’s kid wigging out like a chipmunk on speed! My son does laps upon laps around the house on a daily basis; a necessity since we live in the rainy Pacific Northwest. I loved the sweet rendition of the song. Thanks for sharing!

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