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Singing and dancing Broadway babies

August 20th, 2003 · No Comments

My routine in the mornings this summer has been to read the newspaper while nursing Elisabeth in her bedroom. The older sisters, already dressed, play a bit until the baby and I are finished.

The other morning, I had just finished reading an article in the Seattle Times NW Life section, describing how a Seattle man had auditioned for American Idol (I’ve never seen the TV show but I confess I was curious….)

Putting down the paper, I saw Michaela before me, wearing a pink polyester skirt from their dress-up collection, standing on her green stool and singing into a toy soup can she held in her hand.

I laughed and laughed with joy. We all laughed together.

Both girls this summer are delighting in dance and music. They have become particular fans of the Wee Sing collection. We just checked out the Games, Games, Games one from the library. When Grandma and a friend stopped by recently, the two sisters did an improvised fingerplay and dance to a few of the songs, with delicate hand motions describing the Butterfly. The other night each one read to Daddy songs from memory in the books.

Now, since the girls don’t have a TV or watch DVDs, where would they find such inspiration to sing and dance with costume and microphone? In June, Abigail and Michaela enjoyed watching Auntie Marit, my half-sister, sing and dance with Island Sound. This local girls choir performed a selection of songs including some from Broadway musicals such as All That Jazz and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat . For weeks afterwards the girls would play with each other: do you want to see my show? Then they’d declare that “the show is starting” and begin dancing around the room playing instruments or singing with soup cans.

Abigail especially enjoys dancing. She jumps up and down in the aisle of the grocery store, rocking to the rhythmn and bouncing about the vegetables. She’ll start jiving while we’re walking through the Gap. Anytime, any place, any music will do. If a car drives by while we’re outside, on a summer day with open windows and music blaring, Abigail will begin hip-hopping on the sidewalk.

While I’m preparing dinner in the kitchen, the girls will ask for a CD so they can dance and sing. Like their mother, this spring both Abigail and Michaela have become fans of Lifehouse (long story) : Please turn on Lifehouse! In addition to Lifehouse, Abigail dances to Nathan Scoggins , our friend Chris’ African beat, and “Uncle John’s music”: Spiral . At her recent birthday party what she wanted to do was to spend time playing Spiral’s CD and dancing with John, her uncle, my brother and the band’s bassist. She’s getting spoiled at an early age: it’s not often that you can have both the bassist and the vocalist (Daniella, my brother’s girlfriend) of one of your favorite bands at your birthday party!

Both girls can sing. Abigail will compose songs while looking at herself in the bathroom mirror or playing in the mornings: spontaneous ballads about her feelings and life. Michaela likes to sing Wee Sing songs. Her favorite book and song this summer are from The Little Engine That Could . Wee Sing has a song about the little engine, and Michaela will sing it for you – along with many others!

Despite being a baby, Elisabeth can also get into the act. She is beginning to sing loud happy songs. She laughs and she claps. She sits herself in front of the speakers and listens. And she can boogie to a beat with her baby feet.

And I admit I join them myself from time to time – spinning with Abigail on the hardwood floor while waiting for rice to cook, singing up a silly rhyme song while brushing Michaela’s teeth, making up motions to accompany a story.
After all, what is life without singing and dancing?

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