Jellybean is poisoning my brain. She knows how easily things get stuck in there, and like those Little Green Men from “X-Files,” she just loves implanting things.
It’s the only explanation for why she would wake up at 6 a.m. singing “Eenie. Meenie. Minie. Moe. Catch a tiger by its toe. If it hollers let it go …”
Or why she’s been known to walk into the bathroom when I’m taking a shower, pull out my Queen-blaring iPod, lean against the sink and bellow, “There was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o. B-I-N-G-O. B-I-N-G-O. B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name-o.”
As soon as one obnoxious nursery rhyme drops out of my subconscious, she’ll shove something back in … usually show tunes or some horrible pop song or “Glee” cover tune. For three solid months the first thing that came into my brain — and thus the first words out of my mouth (funny how it works that way) — were “… where does the pollen go,” which is, to the uninitiated, “Reproduction,” a rather inappropriate song from “Grease 2.”
Don’t even get me started on the musical episode from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Jellybean and I — as well as the whole Buckner clan — listened to that CD so many times The Diva fostered an irrational fear of crucifixes.
And then there are the commercials and theme songs and songs from school, all of which are lodged in my cerebellum like a splinter. Not only was I driving myself, and everyone around me, slightly mad by singing snippets over and over again, but they were taking up valuable real estate. I personally blame Taylor Swift for the great cell phone/car keys mystery of late January. Turns out both were in my pocket, a fact I might have realized had I not been walking around going, “We-eeee are never, ever, ever getting back together.” That’s a hard song to sing when you’re angry.
But in recent weeks a new Jellybean-generated mantra has begun to haunt my waking life: “Ready. Set. Go.”
I don’t know if it’s the kids on the playground or the 22 seconds of “SportsCenter” I get to watch each morning before “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” but Jellybean’s grown a competitive streak as long as Michael Jordan’s dunk tongue. Whether it’s walking to the front door or the refrigerator, getting out of the bathtub or sitting on the couch, everything with Jellybean is a race.
And you gotta let the 5-year-old win … right? … right?
Only it turns out that she’s a sore winner, and she kinda cheats. Like the other night, we were walking the dog and she just takes off down the sidewalk. When I get there, she’s standing at the curve, hands on hips going, “Ha. Ha. I beat you. I beat you.”
I laugh it off, explaining that it’s only a race when BOTH people are racing. Then she shouts, “Ready. Set. GO!!!” and is off again, mocking me loudly from the finish line of her arbitrary choosing.
She’s just a child, I tell myself. But it’s getting harder and harder to let her win. I may jiggle more when I run, but I can surely outrun a 5-year-old … if only I knew when the race started. So I’ll bide my time, waiting in the wings for just the right moment to take off.
This time, I’ll be teaching Jellybean a new tune— “Daddy is the Champion,” with all apologies to Queen.