Lea's bedtime routine is always the same: use the potty, brush teeth, climb into bed, read a book, turn on the noisemaker (I keep it on "white noise") and turn out the light. Then the real work begins. I am either required to 1) make up a story "about candy" or 2) scratch her back or 3) sing songs. On a really tough night, I have to do all three. Tonight, though, was just singing. I have what I imagine is a pretty basic parenting repertoire of songs: Hush Little Baby, You Are My Sunshine, on-the-spot concocted lyrics for Brahms' lullaby (this is remarkably easy to do; try it), etc.
So I cycled through those and was just starting again with Hush Little Baby when she informed me that I'd already sung it. Not wanting to disappoint her with re-runs I—oh, yes I did—sang every word of Leaving on a Jet Plane which, thanks to my third grade teacher who loved to whip out her guitar and teach us really corny songs, I have been able to do on command (though not at karaoke; you all know how i feel about that) for most of my life.
My daughter was in awe. In fact, her face looked just like it looks in this picture. Which isn't exactly awe, is it? It's more like are you serious? Regardless, she wanted more.
I couldn't think of anything. The two older ones used to love Killing Me Softly, but Lea finds it a touch morbid. Or morose. Or morobid. But just as I was about to give up and beg her to go to sleep, please oh please just please go to sleep because I don't want to miss a minute of Six Feet Under, the following words came melodically flowing from betwixt my lightly glossed lips:
If I could, I'd like to be a great big movie star
overnight sensation; I'd drive a big expensive car
I would buy you anything your little heart desires
these things I do 'cuz I'm ___________.
(First comment-ator to fill in the blank wins a QuickTime movie of me singing the song dressed just like the Stylistics in this photo.) **
Big hit, that one. "Did you just write that one, Mama?"
"Yes, boo, of course."
"Can you write another one? Right now?"
"Sure. You ready?"
"Step right up, hurry hurry, before the show begins, my friends
Stand in line, get your tickets, I hope you will attend
It'll only cost you fifty cents to see what life has done to those like you and me..."
Well, let me just tell you right now, people: never, ever, ever sing Sideshow to your child at bedtime unless you're fully prepared to answer fifteen minutes' worth of questions about heartbreak, unrequited love, and general romantic misery. See the girl who has lost the only love she's ever had/she hurts so bad, so bad, so bad. What is wrong with me?! See the man who's been crying for a million years/so many tears, so many tears. Idiot.
She will wake at two o'clock in the morning, sobbing. And it'll be all. my. fault.
**I'm such a liar.