Tag Archives: Listen

Music for the Little Man Soul

24 Mar

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 :)

The Little Man Language

20 Mar

Being the expert that I am at language development (a.k.a. there was a chapter on it my developmental psychology textbook), I know that you are currently in the “babbling stage.” Babbling starts around four months old, but once word comprehension kicks in (around nine months), the desire to converse with others gets really strong. Toddlers want to talk to other people and they want to be understood, which is partly how and why language develops at all. Well you have been talking for ages and you are definitely ready to be understood.

 Quite honestly, I don’t understand half of what you say (sorry, I’m working on it!), but even so I love listening to you. Every now and then I catch a real word or something that sounds something like a real word and I’ll try to find the meaning in the things you say, but you don’t seem to be too concerned with whether or not I “get it.” If it’s really important to you that I understand, you gesture or motion for it – you’ll point at something you want or you’ll run to the door when you want to go outside or you’ll hold your arms up and you want me to pick you up.

 One of my favorite gestures that you do is actually one you do when you’re upset. I know that sounds horrible and I truly do hate it when you’re upset, but you do this thing where when you’re just frustrated or mad, you’ll hit yourself in the forehead with your hand. Sometimes, you’ll throw your head back and cover your face with both of your hands, like you’re just so fed up. Nothing like a little flair for the dramatic, right?

 Although you do gesture a lot when trying to get your point across, there are a couple of words I never have to guess on. “Doggy” is one. “Up” is another. You’ve also got names down pretty well. “Mama” and “Daddy” are always clear. You even say C’s name with pretty good clarity, which I learned this weekend and was highly impressed by. You are good with nicknames too – Nay-Nay for me, Bubby for Sports Man, Pop-Pop for my dad…the list goes on. That’s not the only way in which you are impressive: My psychology book actually says that toddlers don’t start putting together two-word sentences until they’re two, but I have heard from J that you have been putting sentences together for ages now. Not that that’s surprising – you are incredibly smart after all. Not that I’m biased.

 My favorite thing about your little language? Your translators. J and E understand you like no one else. Every time you’d just talk and I would be smiling and listening and not at all comprehending, J would turn to us and say, “Oh, he wants to go outside,”  or “He wants to play with the video camera.” It must be an acquired skill (one that I’m working on, I promise) to understand the Little Man Language. Eventually, when you would be adorable and just babbling on and on, I would turn to J and she would tell me that you were talking about your cousin or I’d shrug my shoulders at E and he would silently get up and get you your bouncy ball because he understood that’s what you had asked for. It’s a talent. You should probably take them everywhere, just for purposes of clarity.

 I started getting pretty good at it by the end of your trip this past weekend. I’m better at understanding your body language, but I’m picking up on the words. J helps me cheat – every now and then she’ll send me a text or E will send me a video of a new word you’ve learned and how you say it. That’s how I learned that “at-too” was “tractor” and “pickoo” was “pickle.” Either way, I still love listening to you. One day, you’ll have a little boy voice and then a man voice and I’ll reminisce on the days when your babbly baby voice would just go on and on and on. I promise to listen to you forever, no matter what you have to say or how you say it. I’ve loved listening to you since your very first word (which I think was “da-da”). That will never change.

 But I’m glad to see that you’ve gotten something from me other than your eyes. I have the uncanny ability to talk and talk and talk, sometimes without realizing that no one understands me either :)

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