Intellectual Property for Beginners

William is going through a toy car phase, which from my own experience will last eleven years. He tracks down his “tiny cars” as soon as he wakes up, clutches them to his chest all day, and resists attempts to prise them out of his hands with cries of “MINE car!”, so we have to wait until he’s asleep. Getting him to sleep is a challenge again, though, because now after lights-out the wall next to his bed becomes an impromptu racetrack for the next hour.

Fortunately, reciting his favourite nursery rhymes again and again helps to distract him from the cars. I ask him which ones he wants and then sing them from memory. Three little kittens lost their mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning goes the weasel. Hush little baby don’t say a word yes sir yes sir three bags full of all the king’s men. (I didn’t know them from memory before, but have now read them aloud at least 300 times.)

In the lead-up to Easter he wanted “Hot Cross Buns” over and over, one a penny two a penny hot cross buns. He seemed to be asking for it every night. “Hot buns! Hot buns!” But last night I started reciting it and he cut me short after the first line. “MINE hot buns!”

I imagined him running after a cloud of rhymes fluttering about like butterflies, grabbing one and clutching it to his chest.

23 April 2009 · Journal