Johnny has always been a super easy kid. Very adaptable. When we switched from co-sleeping to putting him in his own room in a crib, he fussed for maybe 3 days. Then took to his own crib like a champ. When we weaned him off of a night time bottle, he acted like it was no big deal. I tried rocking him to help him sleep (and because I really wanted to cuddle) – but he would just point at his crib & grunt. Obviously telling me he was ready for bed.
And now we seem to be going through a different phase. The last few weeks he would start to cry & get wound up as I put him in his crib. So I tried rocking him again. And we’ve developed this nighttime routine of me rocking him for 10 or 15 minutes and singing to him. Mama loves it just as much as Johnny.
I started out singing regular old nursery rhymes. But have you ever really listened to the lyrics?
Hush Little Baby – hello, materialism?? Mama’s gonna buy you what ever you want to make you shut up? Not sure that is sending the right message. Not to mention, I can’t remember the words past the first four or five lines, and I wind up winging it. And then something comes out like “Mama’s gonna buy you a shotgun. If that shotgun don’t shoot. Mama’s gonna buy you some ginger root.” Again, not the best message when I just let words randomly fly.
And then Rock a Bye Baby… what kid needs images of a cradle falling when the wind blows?? (Especially since we are having 45 MPH winds tonight!) Who wrote this stuff?
So, I decided to try songs that my daddy used to sing to me & my sister every night, while playing his guitar.
(I think Johnny looks like me in this pic… however it is pretty much impossible to get a picture of him sleeping!)
The lyrics to these songs feel so much more right.
Wild World by Cat Stevens
“Oh baby, baby it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby it’s a wild world
I’ll always remember you like a child, girl” (or boy) =)
Leader of the Band by Dan Fogelberg
“I thank you for the music
and your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
when it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don’t think I
Said ‘I love you near enough’”
Jelly Man Kelly by James Taylor
“Here’s a song about Jelly Man Kelly
He loves jelly the most
Ah, but most of all
Jelly Man Kelly loves jelly on toast!”
See! Much more fitting.
My favorite part of our new little ritual, is that my huge little boy, will fall asleep in my arms. Just like he did when he was a baby. And I get to study his perfect, little face while he is completely content being loved on by his mama. I relish each of these moments – trying to absorb the memory into every part of me. Because I know one day he will be “too big” to want to be held by his mama.