I used to sing every day. I've never claimed to have a stellar voice, but from years of church going and teaching preschool, I had a collection of simple hymns and songs that I frequently used to comfort Emily when she was little. She hated to sleep in her crib alone at night and hated it even more to be strapped in her car seat for long trips. During those times, my singing would silence her crying.
When Elliot was born, I assumed that he would also be comforted by songs. Apparently not. As soon as he was speaking complete sentences, he looked at me with big blue eyes and said,
"Mom, don't sing. It bovvers me."
So I stopped singing, unless I was in the car by myself listening to Rob Thomas or Elton John.
Then, last night, while cuddled up in a blanket fort, I sang a silly song after reading a chapter of Elliot's new favorite book Lego, A Love Story. The book is written for adults, but since the content is rated G and Elliot can easily follow the storyline, I chose it as a read aloud over the denser language of J.M Barrie's Peter Pan. In the chapter we'd just finished, the inventor of LEGO had died the same year he was awarded a patent. Elliot was sad about that event and so to lighten the mood before sleep, I took a risk and sang something.
The song must have worked because his face lit up in a smile and he asked for another. After the first lines of that song, Ozzie came over and lay down by my side, licking my arm and sniffing my face. I asked him if he wanted me to keep singing and his response was to rest his head on my chest to feel the vibration of the song.
During the next silly song, I inserted Ozzie's name into one of the lines. He looked at my face and started licking me again. I guess everyone, even pets, love the sound of their own names. From then on, I sang nursery rhymes, inserting Ozzie's name into every song.
"The itsy bitsy Ozzie went up the water spout! Down came the rain and washed the Ozzie out! Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, so the itsy bitsy Ozzie went up the spout again!"
Elliot laughed and Ozzie thumped his tail and gave me kisses, scooting himself onto my chest like a baby wanting to be held. I guess it's better to have a crazy mom than one who is too sane to sing to a dog.
If anyone asks, the answer is yes. I have officially gone mad.