I knew before I even got pregnant that there was one thing I wanted to do when I did get pregnant one day. I saw a television commercial – I have no idea what it was actually advertising – but it showed a pregnant woman sitting on the floor with her back against the wall, listening to a CD player. Then she took the headphones off of her ears and put the earpieces on either side of her very pregnant stomach.
I fell in love with the image. I knew that when I was pregnant, I was going to do the same thing. Maybe if I serenaded my baby with my favorite music, they would grow up with the same taste in music as me. Grandma M says it’s not true. She says she listened to smooth jazz the whole time she was pregnant with me, and I can’t stand the stuff.
So when I did get pregnant, albeit a little earlier than expected, I knew what I was going to do when my stomach got big enough. I didn’t really start showing until I was about halfway through my pregnancy and I didn’t truly get my stomach until about seven months, but when I finally got it, I broke out the headphones.
My headphones are hilarious, just so you know. I bought them at Target in high school, thinking I was “trendy” for not having the ever-popular ear buds. When I brought my Target headphones home and opened them, I realized that the cord on them was about 10 feet long, no joke. I could plug them into my iPod at the bottom of the stairs, put them on my head, walk to the top of the stairs and still have plenty of leeway to move around without moving the iPod at all. Needless to say, I stuck with my ear buds after that.
But for you, I pulled the headphones out of storage and prepared to introduce you to my favorites of the musical world. Now, I don’t really have favorite bands or artists. I will have multiple songs by the same group so I guess I technically do have favorites, but I have a lot of them, and they change regularly. I get my music from everywhere – tv shows, commercials, movie trailers, my friend’s iPods, songs I hear over the intercom in a store or a coffee shop…they say variety is the spice of life, and my iPod can prove it.
But I made what I called my Baby Playlist – my favorites, a little of everything. I made sure none of them had swear words, just in case (the mom gene was bound to kick in sometime). I even put some classical music on there since I’d heard a lot about psychological studies between classical music, kids and intelligence or attention span or something. Who knows? Claire de Lune by Debussy is an all time favorite of mine so it was inescapable anyways.
So one lazy day, I laid down on the futon which had become my bed (I was too big to be comfortable in my tiny twin bed), plugged in my headphones, placed them around my stomach, and started the playlist. I thought about the woman in the commercial and smiled. I can’t quite find the words to describe why I think it is beautiful, but I felt so happy and calm with my growing pregnant belly, thinking about the little boy inside it. The recognition that I was pregnant washed over me again, as it often did. I loved you. Amidst all of the decisions I knew I would have to make soon, I was happy in that moment with you.
And then you started kicking the headphones. You always rolled around when I laid down – I think it disoriented you, so you would always have to readjust. But then you kept moving. You kept kicking. It never hurt when you did – occasionally you’d kick my bladder or you’d lean a little too far to the left or right and my stomach would feel uncomfortably tight, but no more discomfort than that. I loved it when you kicked.
But just in case, I changed the song. You kept kicking or readjusting or whatever it was that you were doing. I started laughing. I changed the song again, to see if maybe you were just moving to the beat. I couldn’t tell – you were just a little kicking machine. You had good aim too, right for the earpieces. I took the headphones off. After you realized the noise was gone, you calmed down again. A few minutes later I put them on and the kicking started right back up.
You hated those headphones. I suppose it could have been an aversion to my taste in music, but personally, I think I have excellent taste so that couldn’t possibly be it. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like to think that you were just dancing.
Your musical education has been taken over by E (he has great taste, don’t worry), and I’m sure C will do what he can to influence it too. I don’t mind. I figure musical education is something that should be taken on by the musicians of the family anyways. You can be sure they’ll do a good job :)
But just so you know, here is another one of my favorites. I never really understood the lyrics until I had you – I thought it was a love song. After you were born, I realized it was…just not in the way I had originally thought. No song has ever really described how I feel about you the way this one does. It is a perfect description of my feelings for you. So despite the fact you are apparently not a fan of my musical taste, give this one a listen whenever you have time: Lullaby by the Dixie Chicks. I love you, baby boy :)