For My Lullaby Tonight, Please Sing…Nothing!

3 May

When my now-11-year-old son was an infant, I was certain that singing to him at bedtime would calm him down, stop him from screaming, and lull him to sleep. (After all, that’s what lullabies are for, right?) Boy, was I wrong. I quickly learned that making music with my baby was a magical experience — as long as he wasn’t trying to go to sleep. During waking hours, I made up songs about poopy; I sang the old Burl Ives favorites I remembered from my childhood; I beat on drums and shook maracas; and I danced around the house to a mix of Celtic tunes, Prince, Afro-Pop, and swing. But when he was going to sleep, all he wanted was rhythmic rocking, with none of the noise.

I’ve been interviewed about that experience for The Longest Shortest Time (a fantastic blog exploring, through spoken interviews, “the truth about early motherhood”). Here’s the link, if you want to hear more about my lullaby story:

But I discovered today another  mom who’s faced this same please-don’t-sing-me-a-lullaby issue. Here’s the link to her blog post:

And, let me just say, to anyone else dealing with unsuccessful lullaby time — if bedtime’s not the right time, just find the time that is. I’m so glad that I continued to be musical with my baby at every other time of the day. Now in 5th grade, he hums and sings his way through life, has taught himself to play the ukulele and guitar, jots song lyrics in his journal, and loves discovering new music to hear, sing and play.

Even so, to this day he still craves silence at bedtime.


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