It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Don’t ride their bus

busWe sing as we walk, these days. The tots are really enjoying our circle times. Little Noah in particular will raid the instrument bin and approach with a bell or a shaker or a tambourine. “We sing now?”

Our favourite is “The Wheels on the Bus” (though “My Father is a Garbageman”) runs a close second. Those who can’t sing do their best approximation of the actions, giving certain passers-by the distinct impression that they’ve just received the one-finger salute (or that exceedingly rude Italian forearm thing) from a beaming child in a pair of My Little Pony overalls.

Those who can sing give their best approximation of… singing. Nissa’s version contains only repeated recitations of her favourite lines. “UP an’ down! UP an’ down! UP an’ down!”

Emily and William can manage everything: words, melody (kindasorta), rhythm, and actions. Noah and Tyler offer intermittent words/’melody’ and enthusiastic gestures.

Sometimes, though, we run out of verses before we get where we’re going. Being toddlers, staunch defenders of TRADITION, they’re always willing — very willing! MORE than willing!! — to repeat a verse over and over and over and over… or indeed, in Nissa’s case, a single line…

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

But sometimes, even the most OCD traditional child wants to shake things up a bit. On the way home from the park yesterday, Tyler, surveying the river (the swans are still in it; wonder when they’ll be gathering them up for the winter?), starts a NEW, ORIGINAL verse.

“The water on the bus…” And then stops. WHAT does the water on the bus DO, anyway? Four-year-old William has an idea. “Goes sploosh, sploosh, sploosh!” (Or, in William-talk: “Goes wooof, wooof, wooof.”

Oh, THAT was fun!

From there it’s a scramble for new things on the bus. Trees grow, grow, grow. Swans swim, swim, swim. Clouds fly, fly, fly.

And then, because William is four, after all… The fart on the bus goes stink, stink, stink.

AAAAAAAAAAAA! Hysteria sets in. What ELSE can be on the bus? Snot? Pee? Barf?

Tyler is the man with the ideas again. “Diapers!” Ever-encouraging of the children’s creativity, I launch into the verse.

“The diapers on the bus go…”? And stop, with an enquiring look at the eager purveyors of ooze and stench.

“Stink, stink, stink!” Tyler giggles.

“No, not stink. The farts already did that.” William wants variety. One is beginning to feel some compassion for the potential riders on this horrendous bus.

They cogitate for a few steps.

“I know!” William is excited again, and bursts into tuneless song. “The diapers on the bus go, Poo, Poo, Poo!”

“Poo! Poo! Poo!” This is going to join Nissa’s small pantheon of Best Verses.

“Poo! Poo! Poo!” Noah’s shriek of laughter is accompanied by a mini-squat, his wee butt stuck out.


All over town…

October 21, 2009 - Posted by | eeewww, outings, potty tales | , , ,


  1. Is My Father’s a Garbage Man a version of the British My Old Man’s a Dustman?

    No idea. The words are: My father is a garbageman, a garbageman, a garbageman. My father is a garbageman… [holding nose] PEEEE-UUU!” There’s a verse for ‘my mother (a baker), my sister (hairdresser), my brother (a cowboy), and baby (a monster), or some days in this house, a monkey), each with accompanying exclamation and action.

    Is that the one you know?

    Comment by jwg | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. Darcy will be so sorry he missed that cultural experience – he would have loved that one!

    You could share it with him. (Along with a suggestion for “the poo on the bus” going “plop, plop, plop”, which, strangely, didn’t appeal to them as much as shouting “POO! POO! POO!”)

    Comment by Darcy's Mum | October 21, 2009 | Reply

    • I told him this story tonight, he got that fantastic radiant smile and a little chortle. As yes, fond memories.

      Comment by Cindy C - "Darcy'sMom" | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. we’ve done that many a car ride with “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Apparently, life is a actually a bowl of spaghetti!

    “Woah, Woah, Woah your boat
    dently down da seem!
    Mewaly, mawaly, mawaly, mawaly
    life is a bowl of spasketty
    …bowl of spasketty.”

    Comment by Cole | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. When Sophia was a baby and just found the song soothing, we ran out of verses and were reduced to things like “the Quakers on the bus all sit in silence” and “The Catholics on the bus first genuflect” and so forth. You sing what you know, I guess….

    Comment by Bridgett | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. awww! this was the song i sang to my dd when she was a baby! merely b/c she was soooo fussy and it was the longest song i could think of that would soothe her. eventually, we got to the point where we’d get in the car, i’d sing three verses and she’d be out!

    Comment by Dana | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  6. In a car we have seatbelts going click, to-gether, click to-gether, click to-gether. I’m afraid of going into the realm of the potty words….

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. We love poo and pee as well, especially in public. Today, my five-year old was practising writing “kakkepis” because he learned how to write a “k” yesterday. Yes, that means what you think. And I love it. It gets him to love writing.

    Comment by Mwa | October 21, 2009 | Reply

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