Saturday, October 26, 2013


 By Lady C.

We introduced Toddlesworth to a wide range of music from his earliest days, and he loves so much of it. He dances, headbangs, claps his hands and stomps his feet to the various beats he comes across. Sometimes he will be particular, and not be in the mood for a certain song or style.  There is one type, however, that he never grows tired of or wants us to stop: a live performance by either of us.

And I mean singing anything. Both of us break into song at the drop of a hat, silly little things, and we've done so since we were first together, possibly before.  Obviously these songs are spontaneous and terrible, but Toddlesworth is incredibly encouraging! I will sing him a silly song explaining the differences in dinosaurs, and he will ask for a second verse!

We have put him to sleep with music nearly every night since his birth. Lord C. has always been more into singing him metal anthems, whereas I go the more traditional route of lullabies or toddler suitable songs. 

Since Toddlesworth is so into rhyme and meter, it was easy to turn his nightly books into another lullaby, especially when I'd read them dozens of times and had them memorized. One book in particular became our go-to lullaby; Sylvia Long's version of Hush Little Baby.  In this version of the song, instead of buying your baby tons of things like horses and dogs and songbirds and diamonds, you are showing them bits of nature and partaking in the natural world with them. (Hush Little Baby, don't say a word, Mama's going to show you a hummingbird, if that humming bird should fly, Mama's going to show you the evening sky. As the nighttime shadows fall, Mama's going to  hear the crickets call. etc.)

There is just one problem: I am tone deaf in general, but I am especially comically bad at singing this particular song. For some reason I always have trouble getting the tune right, and it is easily overwritten by anything I've heard recently, including other songs I've sung to him that night. ABC's? The little one said roll over? Itsy bitsy spider? Yep, it has been all of these, as well as, according to C, some things that sound much more sinister. ("One, Two, Freddy's coming for you" is what he said it brought to mind.)

I suppose in my day I've liked artists who were subjectively (and possibly objectively) terrible on purpose. If my audience is receptive and even requests an encore, who am I to judge? I'll keep singing whatever songs he wants, as many times as he wants, and I'll make up verses and iterations, and I'll continue to engender my child's love of music.

I'll just hope he ends up with more musical talent than I have.

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