The Birthday Song

Recently, we had our first real big breakthrough with Padawan’s language development.

Come about the 15-18 month age range many toddlers are using a combination verbal and non-verbal cues in their daily communication. Chances are at this point they know a solid handful to a couple of dozen individual words to supplement the typical point and cry type of stuff that parents have become accustomed to.

While, this has all been pretty predictable for our experiences, the other day Padawan began singing “Happy Birthday.” It might not sound like a lot in the grander scheme of things but it was notable for us for a bunch of reasons.

First, kids singing in general cute as anything. Seriously, a little kid could be sining NWA and in just the quaint innocence in which they carry themselves would make it cute. So, it’s especially true when it’s something like Happy Birthday.

Which Secondly, is so well timed to be the first song learned. Not only are there a bunch of family and friends who celebrate this time of year but both parent’s birthdays are coming up too! How perfect is it for your kid to sing to you for your day?

Thirdly, it’s a pretty big milestone to string words together into phrases and sentences, where the combination of words has a defined and understood meaning. It’s not uncommon for this to happen in the context of song. But, even the adoption of melodic structure itself is a milestone too. To this point the closest thing to “melody” was the randomly strung together sound effects that might occasionally be parroting a couple of notes Padawan might have just listened to. The use of Happy Birthday’s melody is a full musical phrase, along with the words being recited is really exciting.

Finally, Padawan cheers for themselves at the end. And, the more you cheer and sing along with them the more excited they get to perform and the more self-congratulations happen each time the song is complete. There’s simply no way to describe how great that level of enthusiasm is to witness.


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