Before Jacob was born, I read a lot about the potential benefits of exposing your baby to music in the womb. Though I never really chose music for his sake, I did turn up the tunes on a regular basis and danced around for fun. (I also danced around not for fun at the end of my pregnancy when I was two weeks overdue and vying for “World’s Largest Creature Award.”)
I don’t know whether or not that the music had any real effect on J-cub while he was in utero, but it sure flips his switch nowadays. This kid loves music. If he’s cranky and hard to handle, all I have to do is sing or hum a little tune. (And, if you’ve ever heard my singing voice, you know that’s saying something.)
This would be a great trick for keeping him quiet when we’re out and about if only I wanted to belt out my best rendition of the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Three Blind Mice” in public. Strangely, this isn’t an urge I have often, and so I reserve our singing sessions for times when we’re away from the eyes and ears of strangers. (If any of you happen to be reading, you’re welcome.)
Of all types of music, Jacob seems to like classical the best. Unfortunately, it’s rather hard to whistle or hum unless you happen to have twenty of your closest friends carrying stringed instruments with you. So, we usually stick to kid’s songs and oldies.
Besides being able to soothe his sometimes-savage soul, music also keeps my little mister occupied while I tend to little things around the house. Whenever we moved into our new home, my parents packed up the piano I grew up playing and brought it to us all the way from California. (Have I ever mentioned what great parents I have? I haven’t? Shame on me. And, for the record, they’re the best.) The shiny black Wurlitzer has become Jacob’s favorite—and largest—“toy” in the house.
At least once each day, I take the tray off of his high chair, scoot him close enough to reach the keys, and he spends the next half or so tickling the ol’ ivories. For the first couple of weeks, he seemed to bang haphazardly and without abandon. “The noisier the better” was his musical method. Now, he touches each individual key lightly, listening to the sound each one makes. I have a sneaking suspicion I may have a budding pianist on my hands.
Last week, after noticing how much fun he was having with music and at the suggestion of my mom, I added a soundtrack into our daily routine. Each day, we dance to Motown, dine on sweet potatoes to Debussy—“Claire De Lune” is his favorite. Or, wait, maybe that’s me—and splish, splash during bath time to, you guessed it, Bobby Darin.
Jacob seems to love all the different sounds. Before, he would raise a ruckus while I prepped his food. Now, he sits quietly listening to the music until it’s ready. I’m a pretty big fan of our new system, too. It helps break up the monotony of our everyday routine and makes even the mundane tasks seem more fun.
It may be years before I know if I have a musical genius on my hands, but for now, I know I have a music lover, and that’s good enough for me.