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News from the Nest: Lullabies with a twist

I'm sure my Mom sang lullabies to me when I was little, however once I became a mom myself I really didn't feel like I knew many songs. Of course I know the popular "Rock a Bye Baby," but other than that I found myself struggling to come up with songs to sing my infants at bedtime. After trying to learn lullabies and realizing I didn't like them much and they were too short and too annoying to repeat, I turned to trusty Christmas Carols. Some of my favorites included "Jingle Bells," "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" and of course "Silent Night."

As my daughter has gotten older, almost three years old now, we still often sing songs before bed during our "wind down" time. One of her favorites is "Row Row Row Your Boat" which of course she probably learned at school and not from me.

The other night we were cuddling in our rocking chair and I asked her what songs she wanted to sing. She replied that she wanted to sing "Jingle Bells" first and then "Row Row." So together we started "Jingle Bells." I like to sing very quietly for two reasons, one because I don't have a very nice voice and don't want my husband to hear my screeching, and two because I'd rather listen to her. I didn't get far in "Jingle Bells" as the song quickly took a turn and she sang:

"Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin layed an egg. Batmobile lost its wheel and the Joker got away, Hey!"

My initial thought was how cute it was listening to my little almost-three year old sing the different version of the song. Yet I also realized our "wind down" song wasn't too relaxing but was just making her more awake and energetic. I hoped our next song would do the opposite.

On a normal night I can turn "Row Row" into a soothing lullaby. If you sing soft and slow enough, I believe you can turn anything into a lullaby. That is, if the adult is leading the song. My daughter's rendition went like this:

"Row row row your boat gently down the stream. If you see a crocodile don't forget to scream! Aaahhh!"

This was not going as planned! I had heard my son sing this version once but had no idea he had taught our daughter. And the scream at the end almost made me jump! By this point she was certainly wide awake and I'm fairly confident the neighbors were too!

I guess lullabies and Christmas Carols may be a thing of the past in our household, at least right before bedtime. We may have to resort back to instrumental-only classical music. After all, I'd be scarred for life if the kiddos came up with an "explicit" version of "Silent Night!"