Lesson from Grandma: Address earworm

Last time I visited Bubby, he and Megan shared with me a recent lesson he'd learned.

"What do you do when there's an emergency?" Megan asked my 3.75-year-old grandson.

"Call 911," he proudly responded, showing Gramma exactly what numbers to press on Mommy's cell phone.

I was indeed proud of Bubby. I was concerned, though, when I later asked him what he'd tell the 911 operators if they asked him where he lived and he didn't have an answer.

See, Megan and the family had just moved into a new house mere days before my visit. It was Bubby's third home since being born, and he recalls each as "Old House No. 1," "Old House No. 2," and "New House." While living in Old House Nos. 1 and 2, there was really no need for Bubby to be able to recite his address. With New House, though, he should—for lots of reasons, including the outside chance he may one day need to call 911.

Many folks think a call into the 911 system will automatically log a person's location, so technically there's no longer concerns that a child know how to tell responders his address. That's not necessarily true when it comes to cell phones, as it depends on the cell phone provider, the tower a call goes through and more. Leaving location tracking to a cell phone in an emergency can lead to disastrous results, in some cases. I don't want my grandson—or any of my loved ones—to be one of those cases.

So I set to teaching Bubby his address for New House. By song.

I made up a simple tune to go with the simple words of, "I live at XXXX <full street name>, XXXX <full street name>". Then I sang it to and eventually with Bubby off and on during the time I babysat the boys while Megan and Preston were away. Much to their dismay, I continued singing it now and again once Megan and Preston returned home, too. It became such an invasive earworm that Megan eventually groaned each time I started up.

I'm telling ya, though, I know the tune came in handy not only for Bubby, but for Megan, too. Having just moved to a new home, she didn't know the address off the top of her head. Thanks to my song, though, she had it down in no time.

It also came in handy for Preston. One day while Megan and the boys and I were having lunch at the kitchen table, Preston phoned from work. "What is our new address again?" he asked, needing the new info for something at work. Having heard him myself, I chuckled and started up the song. Megan shot me a don't-even-start-that-again look then easily recited the new address for her husband. Thanks to my little ditty, I'm sure.

When I returned home, I shared that ditty with my other daughters and with Jim. They'll surely need to know it for sending mail to our desert-dwelling family members. I'm pretty sure they'll be singing it next time they address a letter to Megan.

I certainly do. Each time I prepare a package or letter for Bubby or his family, I sing the unforgettable tune—sometimes in my head, sometimes out loud. Then I text Megan to say, "I just put a package in the mail...and guess what's now stuck in my head?" Her response? "Don't even...!"

I like to drive my family nuts by providing ever-so-annoying earworms. More so, though, I like helping my grandsons in concrete ways that make a difference, things that go beyond just having fun together. Teaching Bubby his address for New House covered all bases surprisingly well.

Of course, I don't want that lesson to be tested by Bubby needing to recite it for 911 operators in the event of a real emergency. No, groans from Mommy as Bubby sings out his address for her again and again will be more than enough proof that Gramma's lesson had its intended effect.

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

The last thing I learned or taught through song was _______________.