Big X, Little Dot


Big X,

Little dot,

Question mark,

Marks the spot,

Cool breeze,

Tight squeeze,

Now you got the chills!

This, my informant told me, is a rhyme her mother would say when rubbing her back as a child. With the line “Big x” her mother would make an x shape on her back. With “little dot” she would make a little dot…each of the motions correlate with each line of the rhyme, until at the end, my informant would get the chills- or goosebumps- all over.

My informant remembers this feeling very soothing and relaxing, after the chills, she would sink into a nice sleep. My informant  is not sure where the rhyme came from, but her grandmother would do it as well.

I believe it is just a device to get children to calm down and relax, ready for a nap or bed. The rhyme itself doesn’t seem to make any sense, just a combination of random phrases, accompanied by motions, that then cause the chills, a tensing, then complete loosening of the body.