Now, I get that my child doesn't really care (yet) whether or not I can hit that high note. But I guess if you're me, several bad experiences with your church's children's choir plus one awful musical theater audition in high school plus several instances of being told, "I can't listen to any more of your singing" add up to bedtime state fright. So when I'm tucking Westley in and he says, in his sweet toddler accent, "seeng...a song," my mind is as quiet as the dark bedroom. I draw a complete musical blank. Until "Fuck and Run" or "Suffragette City" or "Total Eclipse of the Heart" pops into my head, and then...just, no.
For weeks, the only child- and my-voice-friendly song I could think to sing to Westley was "Jesus Loves Me." It seriously was the only thing I could come up with while mentally belting, "turn around, bright eyes!" Unfortunately, there's not much to it (I thought). To stretch the song out a little, I added the verse I wrote when I was tiny:
(You're welcome.)Jesus loves the cats and dogs.Jesus loves the rabbits and frogs.Jesus loves them all day long.Jesus loves to hear this song.
That wasn't a satisfying answer for either Westley or me. I thought I'd be stuck with the classic (and creepy) "Rock-a-bye Baby," or I'd have to give in and go with whatever inappropriate, un-singable thing popped into my head when Westley made his nightly request. Until yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, Westley suddenly zeroed in on a picture of a lollipop in one of his books: "Get! Loll-pop!"
"We can't get it, honey," I told him, knowing the high-pitched misery was about to set in. "It's just a picture."
Sure enough: "GET! Loll-POP!"
"I don't have any lollipops, baby. I'm sorry."
And then I realized: I know a lollipop song. (No, not that one.) So I started singing, simultaneously brilliant and like a huge dork. Westley stopped fussing, listened, relaxed, smiled.
Tonight, as I tucked his blanket around him, Westley asked me to "seeng." And then he added, "loll-pop song."
And so I did.
It might be the strangest lullaby ever. But it sure beats trying to learn all the verses to "Jesus Loves Me."