The collection, which includes classics like ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ is for kids who don’t live in a one-mom-one-dad household
A pair of gay dads have created an album of nursery rhymes specifically for kids of LGBTI parents.
Why did they think that there was a need to re-work traditional nursery rhymes? In short, because many rhymes exclude dads or make references to moms only.
After singing nursery rhymes to their own two children, they began to wonder whether other parents – gay dads and single fathers – might appreciate a collection of songs that mention dads.
They’ve also produced a couple of songs aimed at children who have two moms.
In a statement, Manuel and Bud Santos said, ‘At first we were going to do home-made versions just for our kids, but our friends and family thought it was such a good idea that we decided to produce it professionally.
‘We really hope to help contribute to the development of little boys and girls, and that they learn that there are all different types of families, ones like theirs – or different from theirs – everywhere!’
‘Many of these songs provoke a bit of anxiety.’
Bud is from New Jersey and Manuel is from Spain, where the pair now live. Son Álvaro was born in 2013, a year after the men married, followed two years later by daughter Carmen. Both children were created with the aid of a surrogate.
‘Since the day Àlvaro was born in 2013, we have sung hundreds of nursery rhymes and children’s songs, many of them on a daily basis.
‘Really fun and catchy songs like 5 Little Monkeys that the kids love and that get them singing and dancing and interacting with the song. But for us, many of these songs provoke a bit of anxiety because every time we sing them it makes us think, “Ugh, this doesn’t represent our family at all.”
‘So, little by little, we have either started to mumble over the unrepresentative words and pronouns, or changed words, or in some cases just avoid singing them.
‘Until one day, not too long ago, in the middle of one of these songs, Manuel said, “This is so annoying. Why don’t we just record the songs ourselves, the way we want them to be?”’
‘There are many children don’t have a mother’
‘Mothers are amazing, but there are many children don’t have a mother. So we believe that in the early years it is better for them to hear these well known nursery rhymes adapted to their model family, because we know from experience that with that one small change means so much for them.
‘For example, in all the different versions online of the song 5 Little Monkeys there is not one where it is the father who calls the doctor, when the little monkeys fall to the ground, it is always the mother.’
‘In the case of children who have two mommies, there is a wider variety of songs where a female figure is the protagonist. But there are still songs that only represent traditional mother/father families. So we have created mommy/mama versions of a few songs as well, like Finger Family and Rain, Rain, Go Away.’
Another classic given a modern spin is ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.
‘All the songs have little changes but very important ones for our families,’ Manuel told GSN. ‘There are many different versions of The Wheels on the Bus with funny sections. One of them is about a mother whose baby is crying on the bus and she says, “Shh, shh, shh.”
‘Well, now for first time we have a Papa taking care of his baby on the bus. As I told you, it is a little change but means a lot for our children, who love that song.’
The songs are now available via iTunes, with more information at twogaypapas.com.
The Santos are hoping to raise funds to produce animated videos for each song, featuring LGBTI families.