Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Favorite Baby Music

There is NO finer album of baby music! 

As any parent of a baby knows, music is magic. Not magical. It does not have the quality of magic, rather it IS a miraculous, powerful force that exerts positive control over infants. It has been for both my kids. When my daughter was still in China with her new daddy since it was he who brought her home to the U.S., before she was even used to English, he called me and said, “Get her in a Music Together or another baby music class ASAP! This kid NEEDS music!” Indeed, in those first days with her new dad, the radio was the only thing that calmed this poor, traumatized baby, relaxing her and making her feel at peace. Daddy's humming along to whatever tunes were coming across the airwaves helped her get used to his alien voice, soothing her and helping the baby understand that the person who was now caring for her was a friend, not foe. Similarly, I nursed my son for hours on end while we listened to Mozart, which was supposedly, "good” for his brain.

Indeed, when Junior was born, I remember panicking because I didn't know any lullabies! So I looked for CDs containing them, and programs that would help. As a result, both kids took YEARS of Music Together, that mommy-and-baby program which not only helped us bond, but gave me plenty of musical material to not only sooth each baby, but amuse them as well. For the longest time, we wouldn't even THINK of traveling without several Music Together CDs in the car. 

So why, with Junior turning 14 tomorrow is baby music on my mind? Because as I synced my Ipod Shuffle with my computer today, I noticed several tunes that I must have placed on the device months ago. They are, indeed, baby tunes that I simply CANNOT part with. Among them:

  • The entire Return To Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins – There is NO finer collection of tunes for small children! I still remember all of the words to “Rainbow Connection,” inserting my son's name wherever I could so that Junior would learn his name. It is one of my sweetest memories of being a new mother. Loggins gave me time-tested material that I still sing to my 5'4” child when I go into his room and watch him sleep. I suspect I'll be humming some of those songs in the future, when he calls me from college to tell me he has a cold. I hope he sings them to his children, my grandchildren.

  • Baby Einstein's Lullaby Classics – The Baby Einstein videos were amazing (I still have the Van Gogh VHS tape – I will not give it away). This instrumental album contains classical music that is simple, elegant, charming. It's great for listening in traffic, when you want to run people over. VERY calming!

  • “Move Your Body,” “Five Senses,” and “Three Wishes” from Jump & Jive With Hi-5 – Hi-5 was a kids' television show when Junior was little. I'm talking the original cast with Kimee, Karla, Curtis, Shaun, and Jenn – not the latter people. Their hummable, bouncy tunes made for a lot of mother/son dancing when my son was a toddler. The songs are still fun to listen to. 

  • “Hot Potato” by the Wiggles. I was never a Wiggles fan until we saw them in concert when Diva was 3.  Someone had given us tickets and the show was pretty ho-hum for me, as a parent, until Murray Cook (God bless him!) played a few licks of “Stairway To Heaven.” EVERY adult in Madison Square Garden came alive and, if they were like me, were grateful to the man for breaking us out of our juice box-induced comas and reminding us that an adult world still existed. 

Music is powerful. It effects us physically as well as mentally. As I journey through motherhood, as I face forward to the challenging teen years ahead, the baby music reminds me of a simpler time when I nursed my baby and held my new daughter, whispering, “Mommy's here. You are mine. I love you.” There's no law that says that now, just because the kids are older, I have to give up those baby tunes.

Oh, and Holly Denton, should you ever read this, you were THE BEST MUSIC TOGETHER TEACHER EVER!


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