Monday, October 12, 2009

Playing it by ear

For years I've been singing the boys to sleep. As babies we'd rock and sing until their tiny eyes closed and sleep crept in and carried them off. Sometimes I'd sing lullabies I remember being sung by my mom but more often I'd sing the boys something with a little more swing. See, I like jazz. Big band swing to be specific.
The other night, after Little Dog resisted sleep through "Them there eyes", "Deed I do", "Petootie Pie" and at least one "Hush Little Baby", I added a new song to the repertoire. This time it was "A-tiske A-tasket". I ended up singing it non-stop until he fell asleep. The next night, it was all he wanted. "The basket song." Non-stop. Until he fell asleep much, much later.
When we drove to school the next day, I decided to let him hear the original. I had loaded it on my iPod the day before, Ella Fitzgerald way back in the day with the Chick Webb Orchestra.
At first he wasn't really listening, then it sunk in. "Mama! Is that you?" he asked.
"No sweetie, that's Ella Fitzgerald. She's good, isn't she?" I asked, just mildly flattered he'd mistaken my evening singing for a jazz legend.
"No, the singing mama. It's you?"
"Nope, it's not me. It's Ella Fitzgerald. I promise. She sings much better than I do."
He finally believed me, and sat back to listen. It was a hit. We played it over and over. Then I introduced a few others from that same era that were especially kid friendly. "Chew chew chew (chew your bubblegum)", "Cow cow boogie."
After a little bit, Big Dog asked, "Is that a boy or a girl, mama?"
"It's a girl," I said, a little bit confused by the question. Couldn't he tell?
"Oh," he said, as though he didn't really believe it. "Elephant Gerald is a girl."
So they may not have an ear for names, but they do have great taste in music.

1 comment:

Green said...

Elephant Gerald! I truly did laugh out loud. Multiple times.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...