Everyone has different ways to soothe a baby, and chief among mine is singing. I rarely sing children's songs, in part because I don't remember most of them. Instead, I sing whatever tune pops through my head, and given my interest in music over the years, that can be almost anything. Indeed, one of the more frightening aspects of my free-association singing is that some of the time it's music that I don't particularly like. All the same, I rarely keep the lyrics from the original intact, instead automatically coming up with my own lyrics and rhymes. I do this partly because I'm silly, and partly because I have poor recall when it comes to lyrics.
Exhibit A: Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkel has become Emelia when I sing, usually at times when she's crying or won't go to sleep. "Emelia, you're breaking my heart, You're shaking my confidence baby. Oh Emelia, I'm down on my knees, I'm begging you please, go to sleep (or please stop crying). Woe woe woe."
Exhibit B: In the wake of Emelia's tendency to suck on her hands, I've taken "If I Had a Hammer" and turned it into the following:
- If I was feeling hungry,
I'd grab some green peppers,
I'd grab some onions,
Add them to two hands.
I'd take a big bun,
And some pro-vo-lone,
Add mustard and then I'd put it all together,
A great big sandwich of two hands.
But here's the thing: I sing to her constantly -- good tunes, bad rhymes, nonsense -- it doesn't matter, but I keep on singing. Now that I'm going to be at home alone with her, I worry that I'll forget how to speak without singing, sort of a very bad version of the Buffy musical (that's right -- singing until one spontaneously combusts is considered the less bad option). As frightening a prospect that it might be, at least Emelia generally enjoys my singing (for now). Whether I'm able to stop before she gets sick of it is another question entirely.