Monday, March 21, 2016

"Hush, Little Baby"

I have always had a routine with my babies of reading and singing to them at bedtime, whether it's a nap or at night. I don't do it every night, because bedtime is kind of a Daddy thing around here. (Usually because Mama is d.o.n.e. by then!)

Kaity was a voracious reader even as a baby. During her early toddlerhood, I would do the bedtime routine then give her a few board books. She'd read herself to sleep. Still does.

Joe loved reading, too, but not so much my singing. Once, when he was a small baby, I was singing a lullaby to him and he reached up to press his finger against my mouth. Through his pacifier, he said, "Shhh." Brutally honest, my boy.

Selah liked reading and singing, hated naps. In fact, by the time she was 18 months old, her older siblings had taught her how to climb out of her crib and I'm pretty sure she hasn't had a regular naptime since.

Now it's little Lauryn's turn. She has been my easiest baby to put down to sleep, but you have to go through every step of the routine. She prompts you at every step. "Binky." "Blankie." "Read a book." Then I go through the process of holding up books and she shakes her head until the right book appears. Nod, "Yes." Then she lays down. I read. "Again!" But once is enough. After being convinced of that, it's "Sing a song." I ask which song, though I already know: "Hush Baby. Fast!" And the faster I sing it, the more she giggles.

Now "Hush, Little Baby" is a traditional bedtime lullaby, but our house adds a twist. We sing Grandpa Rick's version, which starts out the same and goes wildly off the rails after the dog named Rover...

"If that dog named Rover runs away,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a Chevrolet.

If that Chevrolet won't run,
Mama's gonna buy you a BB gun.

If that BB gun won't shoot,
Mama's gonna buy you a bathing suit.

If that bathing suit won't fit,
Mama's gonna say, 'Doggone it, I quit.'"

I had long been an adult before I realized those weren't the real words to the song.

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