My iCloud account is near its limit, do I want to 'upgrade'? 'Upgrade' means pay money, so I decided to delete some stuff. I got rid of an album of nursery rhymes.
Nursery rhymes. They're weird right?
So Humpty Dumpty is all about some English King and Ring a Ring 'o Roses is about the Black Death.
Or something like that.
What small children like about them beats me, except maybe they pick up that their parents are happy singing songs they know right through to the end. Seriously, there is an important bonding goes on, not just with the ancient ones, but also the modern ones such as "The Wheels On The Bus".
We had a foster girl stay with us once, she was with us about a year. She came with her baby, her second. The first had been removed into care and adopted. The question was whether she had matured enough to keep her second baby.
I remember one day sitting at the kitchen table with her, teaching her how to spoon feed a baby, doing aeroplanes with the spoon. You know; "Here comes the aeroplane...looking for the tunnel..." All that. It didn't work much, it never does, but it's a national tradition we all do the aeroplane thing with the spoonful of pureed ham and creamed corn.
The baby ate enough to get drowsy so I said;
"Let's sing her a nursery rhyme."
The girl looked at me blankly. So I kicked off:
"Mary, Mary quite contrary...."
I waited half a second for the girl to join in but she didn't so I ploughed on:
"How does your garden grow?"
I left it for a couple of days then found the right moment to ask the girl;
"What's your favourite nursery rhyme?"
Long story short, it wasn't that she didn't have a favourite, the problem was she didn't know any. She'd never been sung any.
Neglect shows itself in lots of ways, a child who was never sung a nursery rhyme is going to have to work hard to be a good parent, and sure enough this girl looked like she didn't know enough to be a mum.
I downloaded an album of nursery rhymes and put them on a speaker in the kitchen, but she never really took to them, she had moved on to Ice Tea or somebody, she wasn't interested in Baa Baa Black Sheep.
I'll never forget the poor little foster child who was never sung a nursery rhyme.
On a positive note; and one I can't keep inside, pin them back:
Before I deleted the album of nursery rhymes I dipped in. And got stuck humming "If You're Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands..."
Later, the same day our youngest and newest foster child gets home from school. This is a child who hasn't had a great start in life to put it mildly, and now finds himself in a strangers house with people he's never met looking after him.
So. I'm downstairs in the kitchen, he's run up to his room. I suddenly hear him clap his hands.
Then I realised. I'd inadvertently sung (out loud): "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.."
And he clapped.
He blooming clapped!!!
I was aching to ask him; "Are you happy?" but I didn't, that would be needy.
I got to the third line; "If you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands."
Don't care. I got enough from the first clap.
You want some of this kind of enough? Try fostering.