Ever since Monkey's hearing came back, he is all about having me sing to him. It is clearly a novelty thing, because I can barely carry a tune in a bucket. I was in band and not choir for a reason. They say "love is blind," but if my children's love of listening to my feeble attempts at lullabies and children's tunes is any indication, love is also rather hard of hearing.
I've started to realize that I have certain songs that I associate with each of my babies. I guess even as infants, little ones can have their "favorites." And I've found that there are one or two songs that I just don't feel "right" singing to anyone but that particular baby.
It started with my Immobile Munchkin. Being stuck in a body cast made entertainment a little difficult, but we quickly found that her ULTIMATE favorite thing was to straddle my leg and pretend that she was riding a horse while I sang the "Bonanza" theme song over and over and over (I know... I know... Not exactly your traditional children's song, but it worked for us ;-). Any time I would stop, she'd bounce her head again like she was galloping so I'd start over. Two and a half years later, and I still can't do the "Bonanza horse" without thinking of Munchkin and how much fun she had doing that.
My absolute favorite time of day with the Booger Bear was at bedtime. I would rock him and cuddle him and hum lullabies until he fell asleep. I loved how he would request certain songs in a sleepy little sing/song voice with his head still on my shoulder... "Wee-Pooh" (Winnie the Pooh), "Pie-Pie" (Itsy Bitsy Spider), "Quack" (Little White Duck), "I Yuh-Yooou" (the I Love You Barney song), and about 90% of the time... "Up-pa." I couldn't figure out what that one was until I realized... "Up above the world so high..." That's what he called "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!" There was something magical about humming "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" too. Every time I did that one, I could feel his entire body relax. And one of my favorite sounds in the world was his little voice humming after mine if I stopped before he fell asleep. To this day, I haven't really been able to sing "Twinkle Twinkle" to any of my other babies. That song is special, just for me and my Booger Bear. When he came to stay with me when Heaven was in the hospital having his baby sister, I sang it again (when he wasn't whining that "IT NOT BEDTIIIMMMMEEE!!!" that is... ;-)
Actually, now that I think about it, I think part of the reason why I can't sing "Twinkle Twinkle" to any other baby is thanks to the one and only Little Miss. Shortly after Little Miss came to live with me, I thought I would try to establish a nighttime routine similar to the one that Booger and I had developed. The first night I tried, I started to sing "Twinkle Twinkle" and that little toot actually put her hand over my mouth (Thanks a lot, kid! No blow to the ego there!) and pointed to her bed! She didn't utter a sound when I put her down. That is, until I had made my way downstairs and overheard her singing to herself over the baby monitor! I realize that my voice might not bring visions of harps and little birdies singing, but I do think I can manage to get out a children's tune, for crying out loud! I have to admit though, having been "shushed" by an 11-month-old while singing a song to them does tend to put a damper on one wanting to attempt that particular tune again.
I later discovered that Little Miss prefered the faster, livelier tunes. In fact, one of the only things that little girl would verbalize was "Quack, Quack, Quack!!!" (Her way of requesting her favorite song "Little White Duck.") She'd get the cutest smile and always waited with baited breath for me to get to the end of the song so she could say "Quack, quack, quack" with me. :-)
Monkey seems to love "Little White Duck" just as much as Little Miss. He loves it so much that I ended up having to make up additional verses of "Little Green Frog" and "Little Gold Fish" just to make it last longer. :-) But the song that I most associate with my little Chunky Monkey is "Brahm's Lullaby." I have a feeling this will be another one of those "I can't sing it to anyone else" songs. Even when Monkey couldn't hear, there seemed to be something soothing to him when I would sing it. He would rest his head on my chest, and you could feel him completely relax. Now, it is my "go to" song any time Monkey is having a hard day or not feeling good. No other song has the hypnotizing effect that that one has for him.
Lullaby, and good night...
In the sky stars are bright...
That's usually all it takes, and my little Monkey immediately stops whining and goes completely limp. It's almost as though my breath oozes some sort of hypnotizing vapor that lulls him into a near-comatose state. :-)
I'm definitely going to have to find some more slower lullabies as I have more and more babies come into my life. The lullabies tend to be the "just for so-and-so" songs that are "retired" when that little one leaves. So if you happen to know of any good ones that won't tremendously challenge my not-so-talented vocal chords, I'm open to all suggestions! Just keep in mind that I'm hoping to soothe these little ones... Not scar them for life. ;-)