I hate nursery rhymes. They’re just awful. I don’t know the words to any of them either, which I realized when I brought my newborn baby home from the hospital and on his first night, found myself singing Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way to him as I rocked him to sleep (in lullaby voice, of course).
But I knew that I wanted Shepherd’s life to be filled with music, starting as early as possible. So the next morning, I clicked into i-Tunes with an open mind, willing to explore the mysterious world of nursery rhymes and give the arsenal of traditional, baby-friendly tunes a fighting chance.
Big mistake. After spending about three hours listening to one dumb, senseless little jingle after the next, I made the executive decision to ban all nursery rhymes from the house. They’re just not quality music. And in many cases, they border on disturbing. If you think this is extreme, just sit down and listen to some, and take a second to think about the lyrics.
For example, Rock-A-Bye Baby is about a baby lying in a cradle that’s hanging from a flimsy tree branch. The song predicts that when the branch breaks, the cradle will fall to the ground with the baby inside of it – so in other words, a soft, peaceful song meant to comfort and soothe babies as they drift into slumber. Or take Ring-Around-The-Rosie (sample lyric: “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”). Does anyone know what that means? Has anyone bothered to find out? Does anyone care?
I know I don’t. And from now until he’s old enough to like music that I’m old enough to consider “noise,” Shepherd’s going to listen to the good stuff, and the good stuff only. Will his childhood suffer if he doesn’t hear to Wheels On The Bus and Itsy Bitsy Spider a thousand nauseating times over? No, it won’t. But WILL it suffer if he doesn’t listen to all the songs on The Essential Buddy Holly at least that many times before the start of kindergarten.
Will he be scarred for life if, by the age of two, he knows the words to Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road, but not to London Bridge Is Falling Down? (Because you know, all children should learn to sing about the devastating collapse of a major metropolitan bridge.)
My belief is simple. Shepherd’s spirit won’t blossom any less if he doesn’t dance around the living room to the Diddle Diddle Dumpling Album. But it sure as heck will if he doesn’t dance around to Sam Cooke’s Greatest Hits. Nothing about his soul will benefit from having Silly Songs by the Teletubbies providing the soundtrack to his childhood. But his tender little soul does need nurturing from Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Bobby Darin, Patsy Cline, Elvis Costello, Chris Isaak, k.d. lang, Lyle Lovett, Nick Lowe, Otis Redding, The Talking Heads and Tom Petty, among others.
Then, when he’s old enough, he can start liking the noise.
Hi. My name is Cynthia. And I’m a listaholic.
There. I said it. I’m not proud of it, but the fact is, I’ve become addicted to something called the “To Do List.” I know – I live life on the wild side. But it’s my drug of choice. And it’s seriously out of control. Consider this blog post a cry for help.
It started as a useful tool to organize and prioritize daily necessities. When life got busy with goals, tasks, chores and errands, listing it out kept it in order. It was a crutch for sure, but a good one – one that made me feel more calm and at ease. And of course, one I could stop at any time.
Then, over the past few years, the phenomenon of the “To Do List” started to spin a little crazy. The List grew longer, eventually expanding across my desk like a rabid weed. Then it underwent a form of fission, splitting into a paper version and also a digital version. Then it took on a color code: red for “Must Do Today,” green for “Must Do Soon,” purple for “Must Do Someday,” and blue for “Can Possibly Shove Off On Husband.” Not long after, the paper version morphed into different colored Post-Its, sub-categorized with different colored markers. The Post-Its accumulated into piles, which twice a month got swept across with a feather duster (that is, if dusting happened to be at the top of one of the lists).
So I sat down the other day with four free hours, and very high hopes of tackling several things. I was practically drooling for the high – that special sense of triumph that only comes from crossing stuff off, one by one. Cut to four hours later, when something called “rock bottom” crystallized right in front of my eyes.
Nothing on the list had been done. Nothing had been accomplished or crossed out. Not one task had been addressed, not one phone call made, not one email answered, not one chore completed. BUT – the list had been re-written, re-worded, re-ordered and re-generated (three times over) into a new, improved, neatly organized List that looked up at me with truth in its eyes and said “Girl, you have a problem.”
I’m not sure what to do here. There’s no rehab for this. No 12-step program (although the thought of it appeals to me because it sort of sounds like another form of To Do List). But what’s the solution? If I quit cold turkey, the Evites won’t go out for our summer barbecue. If I Let Go and Let God, the plumber will never come to fix the shower drain (which has been broken for almost two years now).
The List goes on. But nothing ever gets done.
If you have any ideas, please let me know. I can’t say I’ll try them, but I’ll definitely welcome them, appreciate them and add them to the list. That much I can promise.
I want to start with a happy post, for two reasons.
Second reason: I love to complain. And because so much of this blog will undoubtedly be devoted to bitch-slapping the strange, annoying, creepy, laborious and frustrating aspects of everyday life… I might as well start out on a sunny note.
Amazing experience: I had a baby!! He’s an adorable little chubbers named Shepherd, and I’ve been in baby Heaven every minute since he entered the world.
We’ve all heard new moms go on and on about this huge, awesome, life-changing event and yes – it’s everything they say it is. Overnight, I’ve morphed into a thousand clichés, and I couldn’t be happier.
Growing up, I always kept a diary. It was my crutch, my closest confidante – the place where I’d detail my innermost thoughts and feelings (or, at least, the thoughts and feelings that were too embarrassing, mean-spirited or salacious to repeat to my girlfriends). So in other words, the good stuff.
Which is why the concept of blogging has always struck me as oxymoronic. A diary that’s intended to be read? What’s the point? Why keep a journal at all if you have to censor your thoughts and feelings, not only from family and friends, but from the entire cyber universe?
These are the questions that have kept me from joining the blogosphere – at least until now. But the thing is, the more blogs I continue to read, the more I feel like I might be missing out on some of the fun. I don’t keep a diary anymore, so innermost thoughts aside, there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t get written down at all. And doesn’t get shared. And doesn’t get remembered.
So I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to think of my blog as a girlfriend, someone who might get the slightly censored version, but at least it’s something. And when it comes to the juicier version… I’ll just save that for my next book.