Just a Ukulele, Please

Sometimes a small, silly suggestion makes perfect sense down the road.  Here is a tale of goofy present with fun results.

For Christmas 2010, I didn’t want anything.  Nada.  Zip, zero, nothing.  Many asked.  Everyone got the same answer.  Nothing.  It was one of those years.

Lots o' Legos.

Once I had children, the holidays changed.  It was all about what I could find for them, what Santa would bring, what batteries I needed to buy to make sure their toys lit up, played music and had motion.  As my boys have gotten a little older, holiday shopping turned into finding the perfect Lego sets and Nintendo DS games.  Christmas wasn’t about me anymore, and that was perfectly OK with me.

Unfortunately, my personal philosophy about the holidays didn’t stop everyone from asking what I wanted for Christmas.  Some members in my family were not to the point where they understood how one could not even care less about what they are getting for the highly over-commercialized holiday.  The Captain, my husband, was frustrated because usually every year I give him an idea of something that I would like him to buy for me – i.e. a print-out with the exact item, store, size and price.  I kept telling him that I needed nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.  He wouldn’t let up.  So, after being exhausted from being asked, I told him, “Just a ukulele, please.”

He thought I was kidding.  Maybe because a ukulele is an uncommon thing for someone like me who has absolutely no musical talent whatsoever.  For some reason, at his staff holiday party, it became the story of the night.  His principal walked me around the room to retell the story about what I wanted for Christmas.  I tried to explain to her it wasn’t really much of a funny story at all, I just told my husband to get me a ukulele.  She thought this was hilarious.

On Christmas morning, after the boys tore into their gifts, The Captain surprised me with a big box.  I opened it, and voila, there was a real, genuine, no-bones-about-it ukulele.  I was surprisingly ecstatic with the gift.  I couldn’t believe he actually got me a uke.  Hilarious – yes!  A proud ukulele owner am I!

Since then, I have written a few songs for the ukulele.  Most are in reference to what my little dudes are up to.  Mind you, I have no idea how to play the thing, besides strumming randomly, so the songs don’t really count.  But, it turns out, that creating a silly song on the uke is very motivating (and somewhat embarrassing) for two boys.  Phoebe from Friends knew it all along!  Here are a few of the titles to further explain my point:

Sleepover, Yeah, I Better Sleep

Don’t Eat Your Boogers ‘Cause It’s Gross

The Homework Blues

Put the Seat Down or Mommy May Drown

Nine-Year-Old Crankie Pants

Little Brothers Sure Make Me Fart

Don’t Tell Daddy

Not Gonna Buy It

and last, but not least,

Livin’ on Chicken Nuggets and Chips.

A few weeks ago, I ran into my husband’s principal.  She introduced me to her friend as “the one who asked for a ukulele last year for Christmas and writes silly songs for it.”  I chuckled and asked her why she even thought of the ukulele.  She replied, “I think it is so funny, cool and unique.”  Mmmm.   Maybe next year I will ask for an oboe.

The Uke of 2010. A Holiday Hitmaster.

26 thoughts on “Just a Ukulele, Please

  1. Oh, how I love reading material from mothers of boys. Judging by your song titles, your life is similar to mine, as are the word choices used by your sons. Always makes for colorful meal times, doesn’t it?!

  2. I am genuinely impressed. We have a ukulele – it makes a nice center piece on top of the piano I have to force on the girls…..I await your first CD! ( I would’ ve bought Phoebe’s as well, the show missed out on extra cash there!)

  3. Funny how that worked out. Another blogger decided to take up the ukulele and even took some lessons. Added a lot more to her enjoyment. Have you considered a surprise to knock their socks off? I haven’t played one, but maybe it’s not as hard as you might think. Just food for thought.

    Nice post.

    • I was contemplating lessons, but the motivation during the school year is just not there for me. My brother is an excellent musician, but lives two hours away from me. I may try and take some lessons this summer! 🙂

  4. I have yet to hear one of your songs. I’m thinking we could collaborate on an album about the workplace…I can think of some of the titles now… The gargoyle in the hall won’t let me pee; Toot your own horn, Thurston, and She’s on time so it must be snowin’ in hell, and finally Staff Meeting Blues
    I can bring my guitar if you like.

  5. You may always be known to your kids’ friends as the cool mom with the ukelele. Of course, as they get older, you can embarrass the hell out of them. Use it to your advantage.

  6. When I think of the Ukuleles (not often) I think of Tiny Tim singing “Tip Toe Through The Tulips.” (You’re probably too young for that memory.)
    I love your song list, it cracked me up, especially, “Livin’ on Chicken Nuggets and Chips.” haha!

  7. Finally getting caught up on my reading, so I thought I’d surf on over to see what you were writing. You gave me a huge grin. In my wildest imagination, I would never even *think* of a ukelele! That’s awesome! But here’s a tip: An oboe might not be obscure enough for you to get the same reaction next time. Go for the bassoon! That’ll get ’em going! 🙂

    Nice post…thanks for the grin!

  8. Love it! Love the uke, love the blog post… I love that this comes well after Christmas, but brings back the magic. 😉 Thanks for the Good Apple Award. Not sure I can play tag too (that is a LOT of questions!), but love the nod and good lovin’. 😉

  9. I just caught up on reading this one. So funny! Love it! And by the way, my husband recently bought a uke, claiming it was more portable than his guitar. He brought it on vacation with us and learned how to play “No Woman, No Cry,” wonder what that’s about? Love the song titles, by the way.

  10. Ok….I want to hear some of the songs. Incidentally, you have a nice voice, you just chose other things to focus on like clothes, boys and reading in class

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