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C'mon, Shake Your Body, Baby Do That Conga

Over the past year, our family has
discovered one of the best things for kids’ entertainment out
there – those musical greeting cards. They’re good for
killing time at the grocery store, distracting toddlers while Mommy
makes dinner, or dispersing tension on a long car ride. I always
keep one in the diaper bag for emergencies, as well as one on the
car door for the same reason.

The very first card we ever got was “Conga” by Miami
Sound Machine; Maddie picked it out for Cora’s first birthday
last summer and they were both immediately entranced. As we get new
cards (and these are the only kinds of cards Maddie and Cora want
to give any more!) we add them to the stack on Mommy’s
kitchen desk. Every once in a while the girls re-discover the cards
and spend an hour or so sifting through them, dancing wildly and
singing along. I imagine it’s as close as they can come to
playing DJ right now, and they love having control over the

Yesterday was such a day, and both girls
picked a specific card to fixate upon: Maddie chose “Hail to
the Chief” (Lord save me) and Cora selected “My
Girl”. Both were loathe to part with their treasures when the
time came for us to leave the house, so they were allowed to carry
the cards with them in the car. I had dueling greeting cards for
the entire drive, going on and off, on and off, on and off.

Because my girls don’t want to simply listen to the cards
– they want to memorize them. So they’ll open a card,
listen intently to a few bars, close it, open it again, and try to
sing along. Close the card again, open, listen to a few more bars,
close it, and on and on.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t happen over and
over and over; it’s like listening to the radio and having
the DJ rewind the tape on the song, never letting you get to the
chorus. It’s also not so interesting when it’s an
instrumental, like “Hail to the Chief”, which means
Maddie’s singing, “dum dum de dum dum, de dum de dum de
dum dum” over and over and over and over.

Listen – it could be worse. They could be fighting over their
Thomas trains or who gets to play with Potty Elmo. So I count my
blessings and keep those cards coming in.

Lord save me when the batteries run out.


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