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Round and round.

Back in the day, the song went like this:

The wheels of the bus go round and round

round and round, round and round

The wheels of the bus go round and round

All through the town.

I must have sung it a gazillion times — while changing diapers, wrestling my son into his car seat, and those god-awful middle of the night crying fits. It was our song, my son’s and mine — a guaranteed hit, no matter the occasion. We knew all 10 verses (including a couple we’d added), complete with hand gestures to boot. Then my daughter came along, and she hated the song. She would wail loudly every time I began, so after a while, we stuck to other classics like “Slippery fish” or “Five green and speckled frogs.” 

I’d forgotten this song until recently. My nephew is 18 months old, which is prime “wheels on the bus” territory. And color me surprised when I learned that the lyrics have changed.

The wheels of the bus go round and round

round and round, round and round

The wheels of the bus go round and round

round and round.

The doors of the bus go open and shut

Open and shut, open and shut

The doors of the bus go open and shut

open and shut.

(The town be damned, let’s just keep obsessing about the wheels and the doors, why don’t we?)

As I near my 39th birthday at a fast clip, I have come to expect some predictability in life. Some consistency. And wanton changing of song lyrics — with no concern for mothers who know to sing it only the one way — is not just dismissive, but downright disrespectful. What am I supposed to do now? Sing “all throu—,” get flustered, and switch to “round and round

“mid-song? Do you think my nephew will ever respect me when he sees me fail at a children’s rhyme? Because let’s be honest, it’s all downhill from here. 

Others don’t seem to share my concern, though. I mentioned this to my strapping 10-year-old son, and he shot me a strange look before diving back into his books. 

“It was our song! They butchered our song!” I wanted to scream. But I didn’t. It took every ounce of strength, but I pulled my sweater close, stood up, and walked away with my dignity intact.

In other news, I am high as a kite on Benadryl. Just in case you were about to call the doctor on me after reading this post. I won’t remember any of this by tomorrow morning. I will wake up, drink my coffee and begin my day. The kids will eat breakfast, the dog will go for a walk, and I’ll potter around the house like a Stepford wife, fixing this and smoothing that. 

And somewhere far away, the wheels on the bus will go round and round. Round and round. Round and round. In circles, until the end of time.

I feel a sneeze coming on. Someone have a Benadryl?

 

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