March 30 - A Toy
Routine is my dear friend. I love keeping to a schedule and I've passed on this love of order to my daughter who is a planner and list maker.
There's a comfort in knowing what's coming next. That familiar predictability which most people like. She's no exception and I think I know why.
When she was a toddler Sophie vacated her cot early, in preparation for the arrival of her baby brother. She went into a big girl's bed many months before most little ones we knew, and she wasn't impressed.
Most nights she was too tired to protest for very long, but afternoon sleeps proved more difficult. So we hit on a plan to help her settle. We had a favourite Bible for toddlers and read one story from that, and a verse or two from a book of children's poems for good measure. But still, the sleeping routine in the new room upended her. Until we pulled out the secret weapon.
A wind up music box with one of those dancing ballerinas. If you wound the key all the way, the little doll would spin quite fast and the music kept up a lively pace. But as the music slowed, so did her dance and by the time it was over, our little girl was meant to be asleep. That was the plan, and we told her so.
I would wind the key and set the music box back on the shelf beside her books, and tell Sophie when the ballerina stopped her pirouettes, she too could sleep. But she was to watch the ballerina from her bed, right to the end.
Most times the trick worked. The music would fade and so would our little girl. On the days she was still alert she'd call us to wind it again. A true follower of rules like most firstborns, she wanted to make sure the routine flowed as we'd set it.
Like many babies, her words came out with an incredible mix of the real and imaginary. So saying music box didn't quite sound like the words we used, but I have loved her version more. I wish I could add a music file to this post and let you enjoy the sound of her 'golly golly.'
Yes, I know, golly golly is nothing like music box. Perhaps she was trying to repeat the sound of the music. I don't know, but it was just so cute we couldn't let it go and adopted it as the new name.
The haunting melody of the golly golly has kept me company while writing this post. More yesteryear than even I can endure, my room is filled with the bitter-sweet sting of nostalgia. Does music do that to you? I've been transported back to when my little one's world was made complete by Noah and his ark, a little Peter Rabbit mischief, and the fading sound of the golly golly.
I'll just play it one more time, before I put it back on her shelf.