Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bossa Mama

The Brazilian style of music "Bossa Nova" can literally be translated into English as "new trend". If you're not familiar with the loungy style made popular in the late 1950's, think "The Girl from Impanema", but a newer trend in the soft, smooth Bossa Nova music is to cover harder, rougher bands. My sister-in-law introduced me to this genre a while back and now I have albums like "Bossa N Roses" and "Bossa N Ramones" in my collection. I love music in the kitchen when I'm cooking and listening to a lounge-lizard version of "Welcome to the Jungle" or "Used to Love Her" just makes me smile.

The first day I had the music in my repertoire, my kids were at the kitchen table for all of five seconds before they identified the Bossa Nova styled lyrics as Guns N' Roses. And five seconds later they were singing along. Astonishing. The songs in Bossa Nova form are almost unrecognizable unless you really pay attention to the lyrics. That would mean that my kids not only heard the music, which through extensive testing I have proven their hearing is quite perfect, but they actually listened, a skill for them I had almost given up on.

If my kids could register the mellow Bossa Nova lyrics, is it possible my kids could listen to me without me yelling? Could I actually get a response from them by just speaking to them, instead of yelling? The yelling in my house has gotten a little out of control. I'm at a point where no one listens to me unless I'm raising my voice, and I often don't bother with a calm voice and skip right to yelling to save time. But maybe its not too late. Maybe I could start a new trend in our house. It would be so much nicer to start the day calmly asking my children to get their shoes and coats on for school. And I wouldn't be hoarse before 9am.

My new mom trend started this week. Monday morning I sweetly called to my 7 year old giving him a warning that we needed to leave for the school bus soon. I followed that up five minutes later with calm speaking voice instructions to get his shoes on. Both times my son acknowledged that he heard me, but he still didn't listen. With two minutes to spare before the bus would be rolling up, I found myself yelling and he finally came running to the door to put his shoes on and grab his bag and coat. As he was tearing down the driveway trying to put his coat on while holding his back-pack, I realized this new trend is not really going to work. In Brazil, "bossa" can also be defined as a natural ability; you can do something with "bossa". I clearly do not have the bossa to herd my children with a calm voice. I'm going to keep trying to reduce my volume, but the fact is, my voice is just background music for them.

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