Bumpaw Life Lessons From Music, Dinosaurs And Parking Lots

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22370 – 832:

Here’s the haps:

There is much to be learned by observing toddlers and young children. There is still more to be learned from the moments you aren’t observant.

I haven’t really told you their names unless it’s slipped or come out somewhere else but this first song is how the toddler and I start the day. Any time he comes to visit we hear this song at least once:

One day the five-year-old came home singing this song with his mom. I immediately fell in love with it because it has a couple of really good lessons for kids of any age, “Did Pete Cry?” “Goodness, no!” “…No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song.”

Outside there was a lot of running around and throwing and spiky dinosaurs. The five-year-old turned himself into a spiky dinosaur completely on his own with only the help of Grandma’s clothespins:

We have a bucket of little cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, that size and many others that we have collected since Ben was little. Not any sort of fancy, curated collection, just a couple of hundred cars in a bucket. You cannot avert your eyes from a toddler for a split second. The toddler decided to get a good look at what was in there and we heard a crash of pieces of metal on the floor. He then proceeded to push the whole bunch under the couch and park them there. At one point he had his whole head and half his body under the frilly skirt at the bottom of the sofa but we were laughing too hard to get a picture of that. But here’s what we got of our personal valet service.

There’s well over a hundred little cars parked under there.
It was a hard scene to capture.
The carnage (pun intended) included an overturned police car.
Hmmm…What sort of vehicle is that?

I am a fan of Sandra Boynton. You can almost know that anything with her name on it is going to be a winner. It’s original and often funny, sometimes thoughtful and touching. One of the things she does is collections of original songs and puts the lyrics and music into illustrated book form and asks famous singers to sing. There are so many enjoyable tunes, like B. B. King singing the One Shoe Blues or Davy Jones singing I Want To Be Your Personal Penguin, which song daughter wants to be played at her wedding. I was familiar with her kids’ books and some of her Shoebox Greetings stuff but discovered these other collections by serendipity. I own several now.

This song, done by the intriguing duo of Kate Winslet and Weird Al Yankovic is called, I Need a Nap (which we did):


  1. We also have a bucket of cars and are familiar with the urge to line them up in various way but the clothespin dinosaur is a new one to me. Very creative. Kids don’t really need expensive toys!

  2. I might just turn myself into a spikey dinosaur this afternoon. I’m wondering how I got this far in life without hearing that Winslet/Yankovich duet.

  3. This is a great post. I think the 5-year-old is pretty creative and downright smart to turn himself into a dinosaur with clothes pegs. I loved the shoe song and nap song.

  4. Great word “serendipity” LOL. Such a hectic and happy day with children. They are so much fun. Enjoy it before they become sulky teenagers–not intend to offend you.

  5. I cut my children-caring teeth on my awesome nephew, whom I got to spend time with at various ages. He was really easy to spend time with! Then of course my niece.

    Hootie & the Blowfish is in the Dog Train one! (I’m a huge, huge Hootie fan. Got this one way before I had any official need to have it.)

  6. Those old songs are so much better for little kids than most anything else done in the last 40 years. I still remember the words to A Bicycle Built For Two.

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