I know that it won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone in possession of a toddler that the word ‘why’ is somewhat overused in this house of late. It’s a recent addition to our repertoire and continues unabated from sunrise to sunset.
The basics I can manage, why do I have to eat this, why is it bedtime, why can’t I climb the furniture, why do flowers grow, why does daddy have to go to work, why do I need a bath, why can’t I take your ipad as my show and tell… and so on and so forth. But then every once in a while….
On the school run, Moana soundtrack blaring
‘Mummy why can’t Mojo sing with us?’
Boom. That one stung.
It’s not that I’ve not been prepared for her to ask questions, quite the opposite. We regularly talk about Mojo’s legs not being same as hers and Mojo’s special food tube and even Mojo’s signing but it was the specificity of her question that moved me. It had just occurred to her that Mojo doesn’t sing and she didn’t know why.
I suppose it got to me because of all the things that Mojo loves, music is the one she loves most. If Mojo could sing, I imagine she would, just as her sister does, sing all day long.
I cleared my very dry throat and explained that just like Mojo doesn’t use her talking voice in the same way as you and I, she also doesn’t use her singing voice in the same way. Mojo sings in her own way.
A few days later we were all together in the car, starting out on our Easter holiday down to Devon and listening to the Mamma Mia soundtrack (don’t judge me I’ve worked hard to wean them off twinkle twinkle and this is where we ended up!) when ‘Thank you for the music’ came on. Mojo suddenly became very animated, wriggled shouting and waving her arms. Then as the chorus started she signed, she signed every bloody word of the chorus. I couldn’t understand how she could know it, it’s not one I’ve taught her and then I remembered. A few weeks ago her teacher told me that Mojo had joined a Makaton Choir at school, they rehearse every week and she loves it. Now I don’t know for sure but if I think I have a pretty good idea which song they are working on. It’s completely perfect.
Look, I said to her sister, look, this is how Mojo sings. By the end of the holiday all of us were singing and signing Thank you for the music, including my non-Makaton using sister and her children.
Then we all sang together, and Mojo sang with us.