Wednesday, March 14, 2012


From the time he came home from the hospital, we have had a consistent bedtime routine with the kid. It was jammies, 2 books, 2 songs, bed. Of course when he was little there was massage, diaper, and a feeding in there as well. When he was just a babe, I of course chose the books and songs. But, since he started to show a preference - which was really early on - he's been choosing.

His favorite songs are "Blackbirds" (Idk the "real" name of the song, but the first line goes "Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie...") and Lullaby (you know, the classic, "lullaby, and goodnight...". Actually most people don't really know the lyrics to that one, so here's a clip of the melody so you know what I'm talking about. Although, it really doesn't matter a darn bit whether you do or not. And, now that I'm looking at the lyrics, there are about 1000 different versions, but none are what I sing to him. So, since I've made a big deal about it and all, click over and listen to the freaking song already. Or don't. Whichever. Focus, Becky, focus. Okay).

Before baby E was born, I put the kid to bed nearly every night of his life. And he picked at least 1 of these two songs, every night, often both of them.  Since E's come along, I tend to be nursing him to bed as hubby puts the kid to bed. But, on the nights when I do get to put him to bed, it's still always 1 or both of these songs that the kid asks me to sing for him. That's a lot of Blackbird and Lullaby renditions. And those songs are kind of our "thing".

Now, baby E, as you may remember, didn't get this lovely bedtime routine til he was a bit older. Rest assured, he has it now - and has for at least half of his life at this point. But, because bedtime was often a fussy time for baby E early on (in hindsight, probably because we'd waited too long and he was overtired), it took some finagling to find a song or two he likes. (Remember, I told you the other day what we've ended up with.)

But sometimes, well frankly often, I get totally sick of that Bear song and try to throw something else in the mix. And, because I now rarely have the chance to put the kid to bed and sing "our" songs to him, sometimes I try to sneak them in with baby E because I kind of miss those songs. Not that he'll usually let me. But, if he's almost asleep, I can usually get through Lullaby.

Funny enough, I usually find myself feeling guilty about singing one of these two songs that are mine and the kid's to baby E. I feel in some way like I am betraying him. For me, music is often tied to strongly emotional memories. And these songs remind me of tender times with my big boy. So, to share such an intimate (in a way) experience with someone else seems, somehow, wrong.

So, I've stopped using those songs with baby E. Also, though, I don't do the Bear song with the kid. Because that feels just as uncomfortably like cheating. Such an odd emotional response. And yet, there it is.

Today's lesson: It's funny how something as simple as a song about blackbirds can become something more important in a relationship than just words and a melody. It becomes the sum of the experiences you have had. All the snuggles in bed, the back rubbing, the sweet kisses on the softly snoring head. Important. Oh so memorable. And the moments of parenthood you don't ever want to forget.

1 comment:

JE Melton said...

I love the blackbird song! Do you know the rest of it (about the king and the maid? I learned those parts when I was in high school for some reason). Also, I've now got the blackbird song that J sings to E stuck in my head! :)