'Cream on My Face'
Joshua is deep - D-E-E-P - into the terrible twos now. Lauren and I are met with resistance over every little thing we ask or tell him. If it’s something he wants to do, there’s no issue. He agrees to it angelically. When it’s something he doesn’t want to do? Well, you know how it goes.
I’ve come up with a distraction technique to try and overcome his resistance to do things he doesn’t want to do. Usually, simple and mundane stuff like brushing his teeth. Or, letting us apply his suncream on our first family holiday last summer.
I say I’ve ‘come up’ with this aforementioned distraction technique to get him to do things. I haven’t. It’s been around for years. I use the medium of song: a proper parent freestyle, sung to the melody of a tune a toddler is familiar with.
And it’s worked well thus far with pretty much everything we’ve tried. Brushing his teeth? Does the trick. Changing his nappy (which he isn’t keen on)? Works a treat. Of course, with the attention span of a gnat and wriggling attributes of a snake like most toddlers, he gets bored of our freestyle songs pretty quickly.
So we’ve had to up our game. Now, I reckon I’m fit for the Nappy Changing Championships. The fastest nappy-changer in the South West. And my wife, Lauren, can has crafted a frantic-but-elegant tooth-brushing technique that we really need to patent.
Yet, while spitting some lyrics to toddler tunes has served us well in distracting Joshua 99% of the time - there are exceptions.
We certainly found this out in Lanzarote last year.
It was hot. Beefing. Even though it was October, it rarely dropped below 30 degrees. So as any parents would, we’d head for some sunbeds in the shade and go about smothering Joshua in suncream before he got into the pool.
Well, with a lot of difficulty anyway.
Now, his arms and legs weren’t so tricky. He was pretty chilled about having those lathered-up. Who wouldn’t be? A nice little massage before a swim? Yes, please! But, his face? Oh, wow. No. Not at all.
So, this is where my distraction technique came in handy on the first day of our holiday. Distract him through the medium of song, albeit with one of Dad’s crap songs with made-up lyrics, sung to the tune of a popular nursery rhyme.
‘Cream on My Face’
Just to recap, this is the first day of our holiday and we’ve successfully smothered Joshua’s legs, arms and body in suncream. He’s now reached fully-fledged rigidity, followed by a bit of squirming, wriggling, whinging and kicking. The face is our next and final frontier.
What’s needed her is a song.
Joshua is obsessed with farmers, tractors and animals at this point. Still is, more than six months later. Instead of ‘Old MacDonald’, I decided to use the tune of ‘The Farmer’s in His Den’.
I started singing. Purely freestyling. Quite loudly, because his tantrum is becoming louder.
“CREAM ON MY FACE, CREAM ON MY FACE…”, I began. “EE- I- AD-I-O, CREAM ON MY FACE!”.
It worked, ladies and gentlemen! It actually worked. We successfully diffused a full-scale tantrum and managed to apply Joshua’s suncream. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
For the next six or seven days of our 11-day holiday, I used the same song every day when it was time to apply more suncream. Lauren even joined in too for a little duet.
I’m Not a Lyricist...
Of course, it wasn’t until the sixth or seventh day of our holiday that Lauren and I came to the sudden and horrific realisation that we’d been singing the lyrics ‘Cream on My Face’ very loudly in a very close vicinity to fellow Brit sun worshippers.
We ditched the song on the eighth day and just embraced the tantrum.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this blog. The moral of the story is: sense-check your freestyle song lyrics, somewhat, before you sing them to your toddler in the presence of many other people.
And, apologies to those of you who landed here after typing ‘cream on my face’ into Google and didn’t find what you were looking for. It’s not that type of blog. Soz.