It doesn't take a private-school degree in English Lit. or master's degree (in how to teach our crazy language to people who didn't grow up speaking it) to figure out some aspects of this whole parenting thing. Like this: If a certain toddling member of your family prefers to only eat grapes, then by all means, serve them up quartered on a bamboo cutting board for as many meals as you can.
Or this: If you are morally opposed to the lyrics in the lullabies you sing to your kid, while he is, at the same time, completely enthralled by them, then you ignore your inclinations to over-analyze them, and sing your heart out. I mean y'all: I can close-read a fairy's monologue from a Shakespeare play with no problem, so while I'm sitting around twice a day (nap and bedtime) singing songs about what "Papa's gonna buy ..." the mind starts wandering.
Case in point: "Hush Little Baby, Don't You Cry." Since there may be many versions of this song, I've posted the lyrics below just so we're all on the same page:
Hush, little baby, don't say a word, Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird won't sing, Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns brass, Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke, Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat.
And if that billy goat won't pull, Papa's gonna buy you a wagon and bull.
And if that wagon and bull fall over, Papa’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won’t bark, Papa’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down,You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.
Now let's just ignore the obvious patriarchal overtones for a sec and discuss the issue of empty promises and materialism. First, who promises jewels to fussy babies? Second, who promises a whole slew of CRAP to kids who're just gonna trash it all anyway? Clearly the writer knew this, as evidenced by not only the "wagon and bull" but also the "horse and cart" meeting their demise.
Each night as I belt out this tune (and others), I wonder about what lessons are being learned. Will singing this song make me seem untrustworthy? Materialistic? Anti-feminist? Amish? Questions worth pondering.
All's well here in Gooseville. Macy & Granddaddy are coming tomorrow and The Dad and I are going out for a wedding where they're having karaoke at the reception. Serious bidness since the groom works for a record label and I am totally trying to get discovered. For those of you who haven't ever heard me do Roberta Flack's version of "Killing Me Softly," or Olivia Newton John's "Hopelessly Devoted to You," you might wanna try to sneak into this wedding reception ... it may be a show you'll never forget. I've been practicing.
As has The Goose:
And speaking of talent ...
And good looks ...
The last time I was in Newton, someone said, "he's too pretty to be a boy." Well, he is definitely a boy, pretty or not. I'll leave the heavy-duty evaluations to others, since I've been known to show a little bias.
Can you tell that I really have nothing to say? Should I try harder? Ok, here goes:
- He's peeing in the pot about 50% of the time.
- He's incorporating lots of bilabial stops into his emerging language repertoire: "bubble," "bottle," and "ball" are extremely frequent lexical items these days.
- He's really into grapes.
A bulleted list of three is enough, right?
Ok, how 'bout this, entitled, "Nothin' but net:"