When you first bring home your newborn baby, you’ll be amazed at their bright eyes, their tiny little features, and the way they feel nestled in your arms. Then, you’ll want to soothe them when they get upset, so you’ll sing a little song. Babies like the sound of singing, even if you aren’t a good singer, so sing as much as you can, they’ll love it.
But, along the way, you’ll start to get tired, and more tired, and more tired. Soon, your precious angel is awake again, and you feel like you haven’t slept more than 2 hours in months (maybe you haven’t). And so, with your brain not functioning at full speed, you will fall back on certain songs. Because you are singing theese songs with comforting the baby in mind, you will probably also be holding them tightly, maybe rocking or swaying, and looking down into their little eyes. This is all great. In fact, it is very desirable, because it helps bond your baby to you more quickly. But, there is a catch.
You see, your baby will come to identify with these songs, and knowing nothing about what songs are deemed “soothing” by the outside world, he or she will identify those songs as soothing. Which is just great if you’ve been singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or Hush-a-bye.
But, for those of us who maybe fell back on songs we knew because we sang them in elementary school choir, you may find yourself in an unusual position. For my little girl, nothing is more soothing than Rockin’ Robin, and Old MacDonald. Now, there is nothing wrong with this per se, but it is very odd to swoop into your toddler’s room when they have a nightmare and hold them close and whisper comforting words into their ear, and then in the final act of comfort burst into…you guessed it…Rockin’ Robin.
These little quirks are one of the joys of parenthood, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but let me give you a little advice. Sing one, just one, sweet, calm, lullabye type song to your baby. Then, when it feels better to sing a little soft lullaybe at 3:00AM with the tears still drying on her cheek, you’ll have that option. And, when that happens, grin a small little grin at the thought of me singing Old MacDonald and trying to make it “sweeter” by picking sweeter animals.
Is a bunny sweeter than a butterfly?