“Dad, itsi bitsy bitsy…”
So my three year old son would often ask me for more than ten times when I’m at home to sing (again and again) the classic nursery rhyme Itsy Bitsy Spider. Sometimes I just can’t help but be bored singing it all over again while he is running around. I think he is just fooling me into the repetitive pattern just to tease daddy as his mom would usually do.
Ok, I faced the hard truth: dad’s a walking jukebox. Like a music box, I am at the mercy of my son’s turning “on” the button (the word “daddy please…”). And when he is already contented to hearing a portion of it, he would then leave me alone, the jukebox, just playing on the background while he goes somewhere else around the house.
Luckily, music and I were friends, so I didn’t struggle much learning it when I was still young. I guess this is my biggest moment after years of training – to shine to my fan, my son.
Aside from classic nursery rhymes, I also learned after much hesitation Barney’s songs (please, I don’t know the exact titles) – the wheels on the bus…, Barney is a dinosaur…, you are special…, and my son’s favorite, I love you.
I would always stop whining while singing I love you when he comes to hug, kiss me and to hold my hand while mimicking Barney and friends.
I also tried introducing to him some local music. There was this local song being constantly played aloud within our vicinity. The song’s title is “pusong bato” which means a stone-cold heart, a song dedicated to a heart breaker woman. After much exposure to my son, he began to pronounce the song’s title pusong bato. Needless to say, it became another collection for daddy jukebox to sing again and again to his heart’s content.
I’m not a sentimental guy who would settle for love songs. I want upbeat music, specifically alternative, OPM or original pinoy music, and my favorite, rock. One of my favorite local band Kamikazee released one of my most favorite track titled “halik” (the kiss). Whenever I am holding a guitar to sing it, my son would try to control daddy by his barrage of requests. At first he wanted to hear none of it, but after a lot of repetitions, he finally paid attention and would stop and sit beside me for a minute listening and looking at me.
During bedtime, he would still let me sing Barney songs, classics, “pusong bato” and others. It’s the only time, where he would just lie there listening to me singing his requested songs.
And then one day, imagine my surprise when out of nowhere he started singing I love you! He cannot pronounce It perfectly of course but it’s complete, even the sequence is correct!
Oh my! Such is a child’s ability to copy things that he constantly see or hear.
Not too long after that, he can memorize and sing “pusong bato” and his dad’s favorite song “halik” as well.
That’s when my wife told me to be mindful of everything we say and do in front of him. He’s learning. I just hope he can only learn what’s right.
So what if I’m a living jukebox? I have the most adorable fan in the world and that’s only what I care about.