I heard that the Red-Eyed Vireo sings more than 20,000 songs in a day. That's gotta be a true definition of a songbird. One of my daughters might just be another.
My middle daughter, now 5, loves to sing. She sings all day long, any time, any place, just as long as she's not consciously engaged with anything else. Sometimes, its the singing that she's consciously engaged with.
She sings in the bathtub, she sings in the car on the way to school, on the way from school, on the way to church - especially on the way to church, at the dinner, in bed. She sings in the swimming pool, at ballet class, while out shopping or on a play date. She sings during commercial breaks while watching TV, and at the airport as soon as she's welcomed her grandma off of a flight. Basically, its everywhere.
Mind you she mostly makes up her own songs, just as much as she sings a song she's learned. Sometimes she sings out of tune. A lot of the time, she's out of tune. She's got a deep Sade-like voice and but at the same time tries to hit Mariah Carey-like highs.
My older daughter, 7, isn't much of a singer. Matter of fact, she doesn't really sing that much at all. Although she'll occasionally hum a quiet tune to herself, she's more of the kind that engages her creative side through drawing. She, more than anyone else cannot stand her sister's singer, even though much to her credit, she tolerates it a lot. She never tells her sister to stop, instead quietly complaining to her mum or myself how her sister's constant singing is "soooooooooo so so so so tiring" - in her own words.
The other day in the car, she cracked into another song she was making up along the way. I was at a red-light and from a quick glance in the rear-view mirror I caught my older daughter roll her eyes and slump in her chair finally resting her chin in her hand in a resigned "oh boy, here we go again" manner.
My 5-year old proceeded to sing for what seemed like forever, while everyone else kept quiet and let her be. At the end of it all, there was a brief silence, as we didnt know if she was going to break out into another song again or we could start up conversation, but she was done. It was a little bit of an awkward moment, because I think she was expecting reaction from us.
Well, she got it. My 15 month old broke out in ecstatic applause, to which my middle daughter eventually responded "Thank you Amani. You are so nice"
It was the funniest thing, and the rest of us couldnt help but burst out in laughter.
We couldnt tell if he applause was because she was glad it was all over, or she was genuinely well entertained by her sister's singer, or she was simply being pleasant. Either way it brightened the mood of my 7 year old who was in a sullen state.
The laughter and good cheer would be broken up minutes later when she started to sing again.
No applause followed that time.
But like the cheerful spirit she is, it didnt make a difference to her, because she always continues to sing whether or not anybody is listening or you like it or not.