Toddler Bonding through Song

Norton and I have had a variety of toddler bonding experiences.  Sometimes it’s over finger paints.  Other times it’s over Legos or pumpkin Rice Krispy treats.  One thing that our toddler bonding experiences seldom involve is song.

I’m guessing that Norton has a terribly sensitive sense of pitch or something.  When I sing or do anything vaguely sing-songy, he screeches at me.  I gave up on singing my children to sleep ages ago.  I still don’t have a lot of success with anything resembling singing, but there’s this one little thing that I managed to do once, and now Norton loves it.

I tried to get Norton to eat some gold fish for a snack, and he just wasn’t having it.  Instead of eating the little crackers, he was knocking them around the table.  I knew that nagging wasn’t going to improve toddler behavior, nor was getting frustrated, so I tried something different.

I picked up the little gold fish and made a swimming motion with it.  As that little fishy cracker waved through the air, I sang, “Swim, swim, fishy, fishy, swim, swim, fishy, fishy, into Norton’s mouth!”  And then I popped the little cracker into his mouth and he happily ate his cracker.

He didn’t erupt into a shrill fit of toddler screaming.  He laughed.  He didn’t get mad at me.

Then he did something else wholly unexpected: he picked up a single little gold fish cracker and began waving it through the air as I did.  I sang the little song again, and when I sang “into Norton’s mouth!” he ate the fish and giggled.

He still gets angry with me if I sing anything else, or if I even move along to the music a tiny bit when he’s watching The Best of Elmo, volume 2.  I’m still not a perfect soprano, and he knows it.  But there’s this one little thing that I can sing to him that makes him happy.

I’ll take it.

Have you come up with any silly little ditties to garner cooperation from your toddler?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Those goldfish are magical!

  2. Cael and I sing “Jingle Bells, Cael’s butt smells” often but if I try to sing anything from the radio (other than “Sexy and I Know It”) I receive the same reaction. He usually covers his ears and tells me to be quiet…

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge