Sunday, November 16, 2008

Music, music, music!

We have a lot of music going on around here, though most of it isn't that high-flown. For instance, this is D's and my version of "Ba Ba Black Sheep" (which we sing during diaper changes, which take two adults these days since one determined and poopy "roly boy" can easily defeat one adult):

Ba, Ba, Baby, have you any poo?
Yes sir, yes sir, lots for you!
Some for your mother, some for your dad,
Some for your brother, just to make him mad.
Ba, Ba, Baby, have you any poo?
Yes sir, yes sir, lots for you!

As you can see, this is high-class stuff.

I have a musical background (a minor in music, many years of singing in choir, dreams of a musical career before I got a galloping case of GAD, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder -- which I guess means you're just a nut about everything in general). And D is very fond of music too, though he can't carry a tune. (Actually, that's not true. D can sing quite well for about one musical phrase, and then he loses the key and takes up the song again in another key. The odd thing is that within each phrase, he's right in tune -- but he can't seem to keep going in the same key throughout the song.)

At any rate, we've exposed Sam and Gus to whatever classical music was playing on the Sirius music channel, plus my singing old show tunes, plus Rush Limbaugh's bumper music, and whatever else happened to be floating along in the ether. We also got them a little red toy piano last Christmas (with money my aunt sent me before she died, so I think of that as "her" piano). They've enjoyed banging on the piano, though they didn't show any particular talent with it. Both of the boys have been singing "Ba ba baby" for the last couple of months, though that's as far as they ever get with it.

Recently, though, I got them a DVD called "Trebellina," which is basically an intro to the concept of a musical scale. The cartoon characters systematically go through the treble clef notes, C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, and the half-hour show also has video of a bunch of different musical instruments. I think it's meant for slightly older kids (hah! especially since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO TV AT ALL for kids under two -- sigh! which we have been violating with abandon for months now since there are just times when MOMMY NEEDS A FREAKIN' BREAK and it's two against one so guess who's winning?). But Gus and Sam love this DVD. Loooooooooove it. They call it "Eee" (since they can manage to warble along when the characters sing the note "E") and point to the TV saying, "Ee? Ee?" whenever they think there's a good chance I might pop them in the pack and play and give them another dose of mind-rotting musical cartoon TV.

And today -- which, btw, is their twenty-month birthday! -- Gus did something that made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Gus had had his morning bottle (which they get after breakfast -- today, home-made french toast) and was lobbying to steal Sam's bottle, which I was trying to feed him. I said, "Gus, why don't you go play your piano?" so he obligingly wandered over and started banging on it, then singing random syllables. Suddenly he sang, "Ee, ee, ee," in an ascending scale (like Do-re-mi). He was right in tune. Obviously, he had picked that up from Trebellina (and my singing along with it). My jaw dropped. I mean,he was right in tune. I didn't want to make a big deal of it, so I just said, "Gus, that was very nice," and that was that for the moment. But later, when D and I were changing Sam's poopy diaper and singing the song above, Gus not only started singing random syllables too, he followed that up with "Ee" in an ascending scale again, this time going up five notes instead of three. Then he repeated it.

Oh. My. Goodness.

So we are not exactly talking a musical prodigy here (I'm sure Mozart had already written a cantata by the time he was a mere 20 months) but still, it was very exciting to hear Gus's first real musical notes!

And last night, we had another first: A kiss from Gus. I was trying to get him to calm down and go to sleep (he's been on a bit of a strike about going to bed at night lately, though he's fine with taking naps -- go figure) and he had just handed me their baby doll, trying to engage me with that. Being the softy I am, I picked up the doll and played with it a bit, rocking it and kissing it on the forehead. I handed it back and said, "Can you kiss the doll?" No problem, Mom, he kissed it on the forehead too. I pushed my luck and presented my cheek to him and said, "Can you kiss Mama too?" He promptly went for my glasses inst4ead, of course, so we had to play Gus the Professor and I admired him while he wore my (break-proof) glasses for a moment.

Then I tried again, with the glasses out of his reach. "Kiss Mama?"

Gus bent over and feathered the softest little kiss onto my cheek. I'm not sure his lips even touched me. It actually felt more like when my cats give me little no-touch breathy "kisses." But he obviously meant it as a kiss ... and oh, I thought my heart would burst into a million pieces from suddenly swelling up so big.

Those boys, those boys. Those boys.


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