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All The World's A Stage . . .

Apparently my daughter’s read up on her Shakespeare, because she is certainly finding that there’s no audience too small, no stage too dubious, for her to bestow with her warblings.

Maddie is constantly singing these days. Sounds like fun, and is wonderful when you’re at home listening to music, but not so great in, say, the post office. The other day we walked to buy stamps before hitting the park and she spent the ENTIRE TIME – stroller walk there, wait time, and stroller walk to the park – singing. The same song. Over and over again. As everyone in line eyed me askance, I could only offer up a prayer of thanksgiving that she was singing, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” rather than one of her other favorites.

Because Maddie’s favorite music is the stuff we’ve made for her. She loves hearing her daddy sing, and so we taped several Sundays in church that she might listen to her daddy and the band. She now demands “church music” several times a day, and can sing along with the majority of both the worship songs and the mass music such as the Agnus Dei or Gloria. Which is cool; I’m glad she’s learning that rather than, say, the Barney songs. But it can be a little disconcerting to have your daughter belt out, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world” in the middle of the park.

Her other favorite genre is the “original music” category – songs she’s made up herself. She’ll simply pick a tune (often sounding suspiciously like the ABC Song) and make up words as she goes along, many times simply narrating what she’s doing. She’s the James Joyce of popular music. Or she’ll make up homage songs, picking something she’s really excited about and composing her own ode to joy. Bagels, yogurt, oatmeal, and Elmo are just a few of her greatest hits focuses. My personal favorites are the odes she composes, then finishes off with a portentous, “Amen.” Yes, indeed, sing Amen at the end of the “Elmo Sits” song.

Just about the only time she won’t sing is when the video camera is turned on. I’ve tried countless times to capture the moment, but every time she feels the camera turn towards her (and it’s clearly in her blood, she finds it so fast) Maddie stops singing and says, “See Maddie!” The rest of the time the camera’s on is spent with Maddie trying to see herself as she’s being recorded.

So for now you’ll have to take my word for it, and not get to see the video version. Simply sit back, and enjoy the imagined show. Trust me, while the show is great here, it can get a little repetitive, and it’s definitely not Audience Participation. Most times Mommy or Daddy tries to join in, Maddie shakes her head and says, “No no no, no Mommy (or Daddy) sing. No sing, please.” When she’s guaranteed silence, she’ll go back to her schtick.

All the world’s a stage, and everybody’s a critic.


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