Lullabies: A Class in Writing the Perfect Bedtime Song

O:  NOOOOOOOOOOO! I don't want that song. I want a daisy song.

J:  I don't know a daisy song.

O:  Just make one up!

The first time I tried to sing to tiny newborn O, I realized that I didn't know any lullabies all the way through. There was a lot of, "Lullaby...da da da...da da da da da da da." So I YouTubed everything from Brahms to The Muppets. As a frustrated shower singer, it was very satisfying because I developed my own set of songs and had a captive audience.

First song on the playlist.  A forever classic.

And then O learned to talk. Suddenly I began meeting with crushing rejections. My singing made her ears hurt. She didn't want to hear the songs I had been singing to her for months, especially the Bleshings Song.  

Now that she is almost four, she prefers improv. She picks the theme and I make a song up, lyrics and melody on the spot. I'm not sure if she genuinely enjoys the songs, or just enjoys listening to me fumble my way through these bedtime ditties.

 I take direction very well.

I take direction very well.

The songs will not be recorded for posterity. I believe they are largely forgotten even before her head hits the pillow and the sounds of gentle snoring begin, but I do hope that the memories of this bedtime improv routine will live on and bring a smile to our faces in years to come.

 See, she digs it.

See, she digs it.

P is not quite so discerning yet. I can still dust off some of those YouTubed standards for her, but once she gets wise, Kate and I might have to have a serious talk about creating a new captive audience member for my hit parade.