The little guy has made it to three months old (about a quarter of a year) and he is growing fast, most notably from his cartoonish hands and feet much like the grow pattern of an incredible Hulk. Unlike a Hulked out monster, our guy keeps his anger emotions pretty well in check. He has only had intense cries single instances of a surprise throat clearing by dad while walking by this morning and that one time the milk sprayed in his mouth too fast. It was too fast, I tell you! He said. Sure, he'll give off cries to let us know about diapers, hunger or the terrors of getting wet in the bath, but lately he has found that he can be a little more subtle with those cues. He's maturing into having a little personality, one that involves smiling a lot. He likes his play mat, seeing mom and dad and music.
He listens to versions of nursery rhymes that are on his swing or his mobile, but they have a tendency to drive me insane and he prefers the white noise of crickets and owls that those noisemakers also provide, anyway. They aren't that up to date of songs, anyway. Hush Little Baby is a nonsense song where the author snowballs through compulsive shopping for verses before buying a HORSE AND CART to try to get the kid to be quiet before giving up. There was once a time where doing the Hokey Pokey and turning around was WHAT IT WAS ALL ABOUT. If you were asked the main point of an article on the LSAT and you replied that it was all about poking your fingers to the sky and spinning around, you would be institutionalized.
We have some friends with the family specialty of classical music and they were generous enough to send us a list of recordings that are baby friendly. I made a youtube playlist of a good number of these tracks that is several hours long. It's pretty great to play throughout the day for a little background music for the developing baby brain. Recently I was reminded that in the mid 2000's They Might Be Giants made a few children's albums so their four albums about science, numbers, letters and random stuff (Here Come The 123s, Here Come The ABCs, Here Comes Science and No!) have found their way into the rotation of baby music. They're very listenable and I have no problem singing them to myself as they're catchy and not cheesy.
We have a separate baby playlist of songs that we'll listen to on shuffle consisting of random songs, mostly classic rock, that we have found the little guy really enjoys. It's hard to say what is going on when his little absorbing computer brain encounters these songs, but we don't have much objection as long as they don't make him cry or teach him to say inappropriate things. Recently a friend passed along her middle of the night comedy shows she watched when her newborn wakes everyone up and needs time to fall back to sleep (mine are Brooklyn 99, Speechless, Great News, The Good Place and Drunk History when my wife has an overnight shift) and here are some of our daytime listening:
Apeman by The Kinks
I think it was just before my wife was pregnant that I made a Kinks mix CD for her car. This is such a fun song even if it's about wanting to run away from the civilized world to live a more simpler, fun filled life. It has turned into a song to dance to for the little guy that perhaps he remembers from his time in utero. He has been a bit of an escape for us, an excuse to have fun and do what we can to coax smiles and laughter from the baby. It's a real mystery why he's laughing some days, and we'll have a long time before he can articulate these things and for now we're going to just go along with it and enjoy laughing with him.
Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult
Godzilla by Kesha
On the wall of our living room, next to our gliding chair, we had a print that depicts Godzilla in the style of the painting "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa." From the very first days since the baby came home we would feed him in that gliding chair and he would sit there with us while relaxing after meals and nearly every time he was in that chair he would crane his neck to stare wide eyed and mouth agape at this Godzilla picture. We thought "well, maybe it's just the location of the picture, maybe it's the color contrast that attracts him." One day while having trouble getting him to sleep I put a Godzilla movie on and within two minutes of listening to the old monster he was fast asleep. I played for him the Blue Oyster Cult song and he would perk right up, I found a new song about Godzilla by Kesha and he made it clear it was his most favorite song he had ever heard. The Kesha song is great for a baby, "what would you do if you took Godzilla to meet your mom?" I understand that this was a song Kesha's mother made up to sing to her when she was little and it just might be the best song we have for our guy that was written for kids.
It’s All Over Now Baby Blue by Bob Dylan
There was a 24 hour period in the hospital when our newborn had to be under bright blue lights, wearing a blindfold he did not want to keep over his eyes and we sat watching him trying to keep that blindfold in place. He was our baby blue and we couldn't wait to get him out from under that light because we would also be one step closer to taking him home. It's only fitting that he has a few Bob Dylan songs on his playlist as Dylan is a native to Minnesota, as can be seen by a few murals around Minneapolis. Calling our guy "Baby Blue" took a meaning when we realized his diapers have a PH strip that would turn blue when he peed so we could know when to change him. "He's blue!" is a common call through the apartment. I like to say he's in a Beastie Boys style rap group called "The Dirty Diaper Boys" that he runs off to scratch records and cut rhymes with when the rest of us are asleep.
Jalapeño by janelle Monae Pharrell Williams
He's our little jalapeño and Hidden Figures is a good movie. They aren't all so convoluted.
Pennyroyal Tea by Nirvana
There was a night my wife was working late and the baby had gas so I was singing this one to him a lot, especially the "cherry... flavored... antacids..." part. No antacids for him, just some crying, bicycle pumps of his legs and bouncing.
Peaches by Presidents
We have a little dance that scares the hell out of Mom that involves a lot of jumping. Even after the dance was banned in the apartment I will still catch her singing the song to the little guy. Unrelated, I like to change the word "peaches" to "footballs" while watching games because "Are You Ready For Some Football" is such a terrible song. Sometimes I also change the word "country" to "football." Baby gets to hear a lot of songs with very incorrect words because I either can't remember the real words or don't think they're funny enough.
Lost in the Supermarket by The Clash
There are a lot of Clash songs that are ever so catchy and this one plays out like a strange children's book about going shopping. The couple of supermarkets he has been to are the very few places he knows in the cold winter of Minnesota because there aren't any songs about the common area on the fourth floor of our apartment building or the park across the street. There have only been two or three days warm enough for walks in the park in his short three months, anyway.
His rock and roll playlist is just over two hours long so he gets a good mix of songs in the short bursts that he hears. Stay tuned for his debut song from the Dirty Diaper Boys "Dirty Diapering" featuring Tony Bennett.
Full List of Playlist Songs
Little Tornado - Aimee Mann
Goose Snow Cone - Aimee Mann
Lost in Space - Aimee Mann
Godzilla - Kesha
Beautiful - Aimee Mann
Walk Don't Run - The Ventures
Debora - T. Rex
Apeman - The Kinks
Tightrope - Janelle Monae
Jalapeno - Janelle Monae & Pharrell Williams
Parallel universe - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Bellbottoms - The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Today Is the Day (Rock Version) - Yo La Tengo
Surf Wax America - Weezer
Only In Dreams - Weezer
Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones
Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Silence Kit - Pavement
Road trippin - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Godzilla - Blue Oyster Cult
Pennyroyal Tea - Nirvana
Peaches - The Presidents of the United States of America
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
Over the Hills and Far Away - Led Zeppelin
Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Arthur - The Kinks
Victoria - The Kinks
Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
Shout, pts. 1&2 - The Isley Brothers
Lost in the Supermarket - the Clash
Starman - David Bowie
Peace Train - Cat Stevens
When the Ship Comes In - Bob Dylan
Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - Bob Dylan