One of my chief concerns as a new mom was whether I was doing enough to properly stimulate and aid little Lucy’s development. How do you “play” with a newborn? Well, all the literature and websites and nurses and doctors said basically the same thing: all you need to do is cuddle, talk to and sing to your baby. Hold up. I’m supposed to sing? Cuddling and talking, I’ve got down. Singing? Not so much. In fact, I’m pretty sure that singing to the baby will actually be detrimental to her upbringing and impair any future musical ability she may possess.
But everything says it doesn’t matter if I can’t carry a tune – singing is good for her anyway. I find that questionable, given the pained look that overcame Elisabeth the first time I crooned a tune. But I figured I should keep trying, just in case the literature and websites and nurses and doctors happen to be right.
Problem: I cannot remember any lullabies. None. Children songs and nursery rhymes have been crowded out by Lady Gaga lyrics and mindless movie quotes; I can still rap the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song, but I can’t recall the words to Rock-A-Bye Baby. Mom Fail. Although come to think of it, perhaps it’s a good thing I can’t remember Rock-A-Bye Baby, as I believe it is about a child getting blown out of a tree in his cradle and likely plummeting to his death. How exactly is that an appropriate children’s song?
Over the holidays I turned to Christmas carols. Well, 2 carols: Silent Night and Away in the Manger. Those were the only two I could think of. (I think Pregnancy Brain has transformed into New Mom Brain.) I’d rock Elisabeth, humming and singing these carols, leading me to wonder as I stared adoringly at my baby: did baby Jesus also have baby acne? Such profound questions seriously distracted me from my musical priorities, so I had to shelve the Christmas carols.
I reckoned that any music would be beneficial for her growth and development, whether sung by me or Adele. Adele happens to be a favorite of the Pandora “Lullaby” station, so Elisabeth has heard a lot of Adele. And she’s not complaining! However, the “Lullaby” station leaves something to be desired. Since when were Taio Cruz and Rhianna songs considered lullabies? Whatever happened to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?
Frustrated by the dearth of actual lullabies on Pandora, I turned to the iTunes store. A search of “lullabies” turned up the most interesting albums. Did you know that there is an entire album of lullaby renditions of Journey? I found another album that included lullaby renditions of Guns N’ Roses, Lady Gaga and Metallica, to name a few. Forget Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! However creepy the instrumental version of Enter Sandman may be, I was inspired!
The next time I found myself needing to comfort Elisabeth with song, I turned to what I know best: Bon Jovi.
Baby’s reaction? She cried.
But I’m pretty sure they were tears of joy.