"Being a good dad starts with presence not presents"
I'm standing at the cooker, potatoes boiling over, Tilley tugging on my trousers 'uppie, uppie' and Lucy melting down over not being able to get her princess dress on. I slide the potatoes to the side, pick up Tilley and tug on a princess dress as Lucy's head pops through the top and she happily wiggles her arms into the holes. I grab my trusty mini speaker from its place on top of the fridge and scroll through my playlist. The music flows out of the speaker and the girls dance around and play while I go back to burning the potatoes.
We all have our 'panic buttons'. Things we use to defuse situations that are spiraling down. For some people it's TV, others it's reading or coloring. For me, when the sh*t's about to hit the fan (or already has) I turn to my playlists.
I love listening to music and I think this is why its my go to. Its no uncommon if you call at our house on the weekend or evening to find music playing and the girls and I dancing around the living room. I have playlists for everything! Dance party, Car rides, Kids movies and of course my secret weapon, going to sleep. Each one has song that I know will get the girls in the right mood with a little help. I put dance part yon and dance to a couple of songs, then go back to making dinner while the girls continue to dance. When the girl are getting restless in the car I put on kids movie songs and we all have a sing along. When I see they are starting to get tried I throw on going to sleep and they start to power down and relax. Now Lucy recognizes the melody and tone of the song on our sleep playlist so well, new song will come on the radio and she will call form the back of the car "daddy this is a sleepy song'.
For me having music playing while i'm cooking or coloring or doing pretty much anything is pretty normal and now its becoming the same for my girls. It cuts down on TV time, gets the girls to interact with each other more and I wouldn't give up our random dance parties for anything. I mean it's not a science and it doesn't work every time but I have been using music like this since Lucy was born and given the success I've had with it, I cant see me stopping any time soon.