So, Clara and I have come up with a compromise. When Clara and I are alone, she is allowed to sing as many Christmas songs as she wants. She loves when it is all three of us together, but singing Christmas songs is one of the primary benefits of Mama and Clara alone time.
On the days that Clara and I ride to school together without my husband, she quickly remembers what this means for her. “Mama, since Papa is not here, can I sing Christmas songs?” she asks eagerly. Before I can reply in the affirmative, she is already practicing her repertoire, remembering with delight that she can hum Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” in addition to some of her more traditional holiday fare such as “We Wish you a Merry Christmas.”
Sometimes, she forgets what songs are classified as Christmas music. “Wait a minute,” she asked slowly and deliberately last week, “Is “God Bless America” a Christmas song? When I told her no, she triumphantly began to sing it loudly even with Papa in the next room, with a grin that indicated she had outwitted the system.