A few weeks ago my daughter saw a turtle toy being used by some other kid in kindergarten. She asked us to buy her one too and so just before Christmas, we bought one. This is the kind of turtle toy that you can turn its lights on and then it projects stars on ceiling and can also play different songs/tunes. I guess it is primary function would be to get kid asleep at night.

The next day my wife called me at work and asked if I could get home earlier. Our daughter had been playing this one particular song for almost two hours and had been crying and calling for me. So I got home as soon as possible and she gave me a big hug and we played a lot together, yet she was still sad and would not let the turtle away from her. Finally, I managed to hide turtle and after some time she was normal.

The next day was a weekend, so I stayed at home. When she got up, she started to play this song again and began to be sad again. She refused to play or do anything and would hug me or my wife all the time and occasionally begin to cry. I tried to get turtle away or to at least change song, but she refused. She demanded this particular song and wouldn't let the turtle away from her. Once again, she looked very sad and behaved strange.

In the end, we hide the turtle and I removed the batteries later. Now when there is no way for the turtle to play this song, she acts like a happy, normal kid.

I can't figure what was that all about!

Why would one particular song make her behave or feel that way? Have any of you had similar experience?

  • I have something similar. I can't read "Goodnight Moon". It makes me think of a scene in "Our Town" And I can't imagine our little baby going through something like that. I've noticed that a few of the toys and cribs that play music does sound a little sad. Jason
    – rw02kr43
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:35
  • 1
    Music evokes memories and, especially, emotions associated with those memories. This is actually documented phenomenon. Could be a bad thing associated with that, or, given that she wants to keep the turtle, maybe a good memory of someone or something, but it reminds her that she misses or yearns for it. Will be hard to tell until she can communicate better. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2776393 Commented May 25, 2017 at 21:16
  • Have you asked at the kindergarten where she first saw the toy? Maybe something bad happened there when it was playing. Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


Is there some sort of strife in your household that your daughter is seeing, or maybe even something as small as a bad thing happening to someone she knows? It could be that your child is incredibly empathetic and is empathizing with them. Children tend to be sensitive to emotional stress, and can often sense when something is wrong.

Try talking to your daughter (in the way any parent talks to a 2 year old) and see why it makes her sad. She may not be able to express exactly how she feels about something, and sadness is the closest she gets. Try and see if there's something going on that she hasn't really experienced before, and check whether it's actual sadness, or just a close approximation.

Of course, there is the fact it may just be a sad sounding song, and she's sensitive to the feeling behind the music. Either way, unless there's something obviously worrying about it (you and your wife are having trouble, one of the kindergarten kids was injured or sick, etc.), don't read too much into it. Sadness is just how she's expressing a feeling, and there's no way to know which feeling in this case.


I had a student teacher who when we sang Happy Birthday burst into tears. She just could not contain her emotion, and it was not even her birthday, but one of our student's.

I think some people are just more emotional than others. Those flash mob things can make me soggy.

I think perhaps removing the toy is a good idea, but this is not my own experience. Others may know better.

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