Sing a song of desperation…


A child who sings is a happy child. I get it.

A singing child is a happy sound. I get it.

But there comes a time when singing is neither necessary, nor appropriate nor, God help me, bearable any longer! There comes a time when the sound is no longer of happiness but of a droning, whining, screeching machine that quite obviously needs to be doused in oil or put out of its misery. And, ashamed as I am to admit it, that time comes at least eight times a day. In fact my day often starts with one of those times and the silence that embraces me at the end of the day when the singer has finally passed out is like heroin.

So I am begging for help here – how can I make my little girl stop singing? Not all together. I don’t mean I never want her to utter another sound. That would be just plain wrong. But how can I get her to stop narrating her entire existence in dubious attempts to reach angelic heights and harmonies? Seriously, it’s an ever-present narration of events both real and imagined… a Broadway musical contains more spoken words!

I have tried: “Darling, Mummy’s ears are tired. It’s time for some quiet now.”

But I’m met with: “That’s alright, I can sing them a lullaby!”


So I try: “I think it’s time for the birds to sing now. Let them have a turn.”

And the reply: “They are singing, Mummy. I’m singing with them.”

Game Set Match

I’ve gone down the path of: “Can I hear what your talking voice sounds like?”

She’s on to me: “But singing is so beautifuuuuuuuulllll.”

Not right nooooooowwwww it’s not!


So you get the general gist. I’m running out of ideas. She’s even figured out that if there is silence in the court and “the first one to talk is the monkey”, then she has a free pass to sing. I’m rapidly approaching strategies that are likely to kill every fibre of creative expression in her little 4-year-old being and I’d like some alternatives before I fall into “JUST SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP!!”. Or worse: my sarcasm and snide tongue might emerge and then no eye will stay dry.


Please help me tame this beast. Show me how I can teach it that a mouthful of spaghetti is not the time to break into an aria; that when the baby is asleep, yodelling will be met with distain; and that when it is time to get in the bloody car because we are already late, I will not join in with a rendition of your impromptu version of a meal-time prayer. Sometimes we all just need SILENCE!


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