Rose loves it when we sing to her. She’s loved it since she was a newborn. It’s one of the only truly effective tools to pull out in truly upsetting situations. And when she’s in play mode, singing never fails to produce big goofy smiles (I was singing to her when I took the “hot day” photos recently). In the early days we used to sing a lot of “Old MacDonald had a farm,” with lots of variations involving large tame eels and fields of maize (what sound do we do for fields of maize? “Swish, swish”). But recently the sound of old macdonald provokes an inner scream in me that won’t go away until it stops.
The song that’s taken over, and believe me when I say I’m very embarrassed to admit it, is “Walzing Matilda”. It’s such a perfect song for calming a baby. It’s easy to slow it down and trail off, and it has a rhythm and repetition to it that’s incredibly soothing. The other song we’re singing a lot right now is “Tutira mai nga iwi.” Rose loves it, especially the “Hi aue hei!!!” at the end. In fact, Rose loves any song in Maori, including “Pokarekare Ana.”
Other family favorites include “And Bingo Was His Name-o” (which actually was the first song sung to Rose. Chris was singing it to her when I first saw them in the postnatal ward, after being separated in recovery), Mama Cass Elliot’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy fam-il-y,” and the St Kentigern school song (Chris is the only one to sing this song, and only in desperate times).