Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Little Less Conversation

I power up the car.* The radio comes on full blast. It's NPR, and someone is talking about America in a British accent.

Rob has been driving my car. I reach down to adjust the seat. As I slide forward, a little voice calls from the back seat:

"I can't wike dis talk!"**

"Yeah, I 'can't like' it either," I tell him. I press "disc," switching over to a mix CD. Westley listens quietly for a few bars before asking, "What's dis song called, Mom-mee?"

It's been about six months since Westley took a real interest in drumming and piano, and his love of music continues to develop. He wants to know the name of every song, and who sings it. Occasionally, he tells me, "I can't wike dat." But usually, he's more than happy to drum, strum, or bang (and occasionally dance) along.

It's killing me that I can't afford to absolutely surround him by music: thousands of records, music class every day, concerts, real instruments. I have visions of a dedicated "music room" dancing in my head. I fantasize about replacing the mostly useless cabinet in the playroom with a piano and moving the Brio into the living room to make room for drums. I wonder if Westley will want my old clarinet when he's in third grade. (I wonder if my clarinet survived the move.)

I've been getting more creative (and less self-conscious) about singing to him, and not just at nighttime. But he definitely prefers the sound that comes with some training--or at least some production value. Recently, I've noticed Westley treating music-heavy shows ("Yo Gabba Gabba," "Sesame Street," "The Muppet Show") as the soundtrack to his playing. He tells me he wants to "watch" something when what he really wants to do is listen to it.

This morning, tired of choosing between my own a capella performances and Rowlf the Dog, I hauled out the CD player. Because I'm old school like that. Westley ate his oatmeal to the sound of Fleetwood Mac, and, between bites, told me the names of all instruments he could hear.

* This is how I know I'm living in the future. I don't have a jet-pack or a meal-in-a-pill, but my car does have a Power button.
** Westley says "can't" for "don't." It's both my favorite and least favorite of his toddlerisms. I find it simultaneously annoying and endearing when he tells me he "can't wike" a song or a food or my directive that he go get his shoes.