Three Songs

I’ve taken up another blogging course through The Daily Post called Writing 101. The aim is to get yourself writing (if not necessarily posting) everyday. Today is day three. My task today is to write about the three most important songs in my life.

This is hard. If you know me in person, you know I’m from an incredibly musical family. Like my-dad-just-made-his-own-acoustic-guitar-in-Italy musical. To choose three songs and decide they are the most important is like choosing the three best coffees I’ve ever had.

See? Impossible.

To narrow things down a little, I’m going to choose the three most important songs to me as a parent. This also helps me to keep with the theme of the blog. I hear each of these songs at least once a day.

The Owl and the Pussycat

I memorised this song when Alpha was little and would sing it to him as a lullaby every night. And every morning. And probably twice in the afternoon. It’s quite versatile – you can slow it right down to allow for a soothing sleepifying effect, or you can speed it up and add a bit of a bounce to it to try and entertain a screaming, teething monster baby.

He loved it. I loved it. We still sing it. I’m loving it even more now that he’s learning the words. So far, he’s mastered

“…so they took it away and were married next day by the turkey who lives on a hill.”

I think that’s the takeaway lesson from the song, don’t you?

Not sure how I’ll go once he asks me to start explaining the lyrics. Bong trees and runcible spoons and interspecies weddings – what could possibly go wrong?

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

This is important to me for two reasons.
1. It’s the first song I remember Alpha singing himself.
2. Sung ad nauseum, it will calm my cranky, tired Zulu.

It also makes me laugh right now when I sing it after hearing Alpha sing a new version:

“Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like some garlic in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are.”

He’s obviously worked out how I cook.

Recently he decided to put on a concert for me. He grabbed his toy piano (‘pinano’ for those playing at home) and put his sunglasses on upside down. He performed with such great gusto that he actually it virtually demanded audience participation (I was Chief Diamond Maker). I have been told stories of the concerts my sister and I used to subject our relatives to – clearly it’s genetic.

My final song choice was clear from the moment I started writing this post.

Peppa Pig Theme Song

Sure, it’s not the most complicated song. It has two words that are repeated three times and an introductory free-stylin’ monologue.

But I can tell you now without a shadow of doubt, this is the most important song to me as a parent.


It heralds the start of a magical five minute window of mesmerisation. Alpha will sit (or stand) transfixed by The Pig until the end of the credits. I have five minutes to do whatever I need/can.

It turns out you can get a lot done in five minutes.

I can boil the kettle, fill and start the washing machine and then make myself a cup of tea. I never get to drink it, but that’s beside the point.

I can chop an onion, two carrots, and some celery for dinner. If I didn’t want my fingers to remain intact I could probably do more.

I can vacuum the living room (around the kids) without Alpha stealing the vacuum from me.

I can shower and dress myself.

I can go to the bathroom without supervision.

Yup. It’s sad, but this is one of the most important pieces of music ever written for me as a parent.

What are the favourites in your house?


Winter is here

Winter is here and has brought the cold and flu season with it.

Oh, hurrah! cry all the parents everywhere with one voice – though the slightly crazed look in every eye leads you to think this may not be true enthusiasm. Parents know the truth – none escape winter unscathed.

It’s the second day of winter, and 75% of the family is unwell. 50% are on antibiotics. You’re impressed I’m doing stats, right? It’s easy with a family of four.

So many people tell me it must be easier being a mum because I’m a nurse. I wouldn’t have a clue if it is or not because I wasn’t a mum before I was a nurse. What I will tell you is how my mind works when my boys are sick. Nurse-me and Mum-me often discuss how to proceed.

Nurse-me: Okay, both down for the night. Great.
Mum-me: What was that? A cough?
N: Sounds okay.
M: No it doesn’t. Better go check.
N: Sound asleep. He’s fine.
M: Is he? He’s breathing, right?
N: …right. He’s breathing.
M: Normally?
N: Yes. Normally.
M: Okay. What about the other one?
N: He’s fine. Go back to bed.
M: Okay. You’re sure they’re not cyanosed? They looked a little blue to me.
N: That’d be the nightlight. Sleep.

M: Can’t sleep. Better check the kids again.
N: They’re fine.
M: You’re wrong.
N: Fine, go check them. Just leave me out of it.
M: He sounds congested. Do you think he’s congested? I think he is.
N: He’s not congested.
M: He clearly is. I’m getting the steamer out. Where is it?
N: In the cupboard. You only put it away yesterday – it’d been out for two months.
M: I told you I shouldn’t put it away or they’d get sick. You made this happen.

M: The toddler is awake again. Is he hot?
N: No.
M: You can’t tell from there. I’m getting the thermometer.
N: Does he have a fever?
M: …no.
N: Right. Back to bed.
M: What about the baby?
N: Fine, check him. I’m not settling him if you wake him though.
M: HA – I was right. He’s burning up!
N: What’s his temperature?
M: 37.7.
N: Quick, hit the emergency bell!
M: Shut it. Do I give him some medication?
N: No.
M: But he has a temperature.
N: He’s asleep.
M: But he might be uncomfortable.
N: Are you kidding me? He barely flinched when you checked his temperature.
M: You’re right. Is he unconscious?
N: No, he’s asleep. Rack off and take your drugs with you.
M: I just need to check he’s rousable first.
N: Great, you’ve woken him.
M: Might as well give him some medication why he’s awake.
N: I’m not going to win this, am I?
M: Nope.

…and on it goes. I second-guess every decision and hope I’m not stuffing up my kids’ health because I think I know what I’m doing. It usually results in very little sleep on my part.
Please tell me I’m not the only one having days (or nights) like this!

Perfection Pending