Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Whistler's Mother

We whistle all the time. Pretty much everywhere we go. We whistle at guitar lessons. We whistle in the car. We whistle at sports practice. At church.  At restaurants. At the grocery. In the shower.  Anywhere we can and do go, we whistle.

And by “we whistle” I really mean the 9yo. The 11yo apparently has my lack of giftedness in that area; both of us make sounds like we have mouths full of dry saltines. I can barely even make a note…and there are definitively no songs coming out of these lips.

My husband can whistle pretty well (he comes from a long line of whistlers…ok not really, it just struck me as funny to say) and he does so quite a bit. He claims that he doesn’t whistle much, but those around us can vouch that he does, in fact. It’s not to the extent of the 9yo but no one else I know whistles that much.

Now when I say the 9yo can whistle, I mean tunes, not just a note here or there. Whole songs. Recognizable songs. And sometimes, if we’re lucky, he throws in some original works. He can even perfectly emulate the whistle on my phone when I receive a text. My husband claims that it’s because I get texts all day long, which is not true, by the way.

I have to admit, I am a bit jealous of the 9yo's whistling prowess. I would LOVE to be able to use an ear-piercing, din-splitting whistle every once in a while. Instead I have to resort to a wimpy hand-clap method (ie “Clap once if you can hear me…clap twice if you can hear me”…and so on; it does the job but it’s not nearly as fierce or impressive as a good whistle).

Mostly, though, I appreciate his gift. I use it to discern his mood first thing in the morning. If I hear a whistle emanating from his room before I go to wake him, I know we’re destined for a great day. Ok, maybe not a great DAY, but at least a favorable morning.

I can isolate his precise location in any store; it’s like my own personal honing device.
I’m even considering renting him out to weddings and upscale catered events.
Sometimes in public, strangers will stop and listen to him, somewhat in awe that this little half-pint can whistle with such voracity. (See, I’m telling you – he’s been riding the gravy train for too long; I need to get this boy some gigs! Start pulling his weight around the house!)
But others, whom it seems to bother, will raise an eyebrow and ask me “Did we just learn to whistle?” as though this were a novelty soon to wear off. “Nope, he's been doing it for years. So yes, I am ‘Whistler’s Mother.’” 

As an aside, I am well aware that joke doesn’t play well to most audiences but I stick with it, mostly for the occasional person who gets it. And it makes me giggle.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure it goes over well with the homeschooled crowd :) And don't be knocking the clap once thing. It works! I say that as someone who can't whistle any louder or more varied than a duck.