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Performing Karaoke to my newborn

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So I hear that singing to your baby is a good thing. And since I desire all things good for Kitty, I decided to give singing a go. I have been doing so all of last week and I’m still carrying on. I sing to Kitty as I change his diaper, when I’m rocking him to sleep, or when we’re just bored and staring at each other. While I am now cool with singing to him, I must admit that I began on a challenging note.

The first time I sang to him, I immediately stopped. Was that sound really coming from my mouth? I then quickly recomposed myself and decided to give it another go. So I cleared my throat and began singing again. Yenyewe roho safi I cannot sing. Wooooooiiiii! Even a simple nursery rhyme that does not require any intonation or diction (I have never known what diction is, I only know that judge Ian Mbugua loves mentioning it).

So I cleared my throat once again for loooooooong, and began singing again. No difference. If anything, I think I sounded worse than before because I was now nervous. Why I was nervous yet my audience was a 7 week old baby you tell me. But on second thought, I asked myself why it should matter how well or how horribly I sing. Why? Because my audience didn’t seem to mind. He doesn’t know what vibrato is (judge Ian’s words again) or harmony or all those nice things musical.

So I decided to continue singing anyway, and the one thing I love most about singing to Kitty is that he does not laugh at me and neither does he judge me. That’s the preserve of grown up people. Adults will always lie to you so as not to hurt your feelings but babies – babies are very honest. I know Kitty loves my singing because his face breaks into a toothless smile as he throws punches and kicks his legs in the air each time he listens to my melodious voice. I tell you the look he gives me as our eyes interlock and smile at each other is priceless. That really makes my heart flutter. Without a doubt my singing voice is the most melodious sound he has heard all his life. Makes me happy because it boosts my low singing esteem.

That aside, one week later, I have realized that singing badly is not my major problem. My major problem is that I only know two nursery rhymes that I sing to him over and over and over and over again. The two are:

1. Father Abraham had many sons, many sons of father Abraham, I am one of them and so are you so let us praise the Lord – hands up….
2. Old McDonald had a farm, eee aye eee aye oohhh and on his farm he had some pigs, eee aye eee aye oohhh……

Those are the only two rhymes that I seem to remember from my childhood days. I think I have a mental block where rhymes are concerned, because I have been scratching my head all week long trying to remember but only father Abraham and old McDonald come to mind. And you must admit making pig sounds and other animal sounds to a small baby are not exactly courteous. I keep saying I’ll ask my pals to remind me of some but I keep forgetting to. The only other rhyme that I have heard him been sung to is “Baa baa black sheep have you any wool….” sung to him by his father. Now, his father’s voice is something else. It’s no better than mine.

So Kitty is only sung to three nursery rhymes. Imagine singing these three rhymes while trying to rock him to sleep. I don’t think it’s fair to him. He needs to be sung for more soothing rhymes. Besides, they are monotonous. He needs to hear something new.

So therein lies my problem. If you can remind me of some nursery rhymes or lullabies that I can sing to him I’ll be very grateful. Cheers and thanks.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Mommy, Congratulations on your little bundle of joy! He’s such a cutie! You seem to be doing a good job and I think I will come to you for pointers and tips when I get there. I can imagine the stress of trying to rock him to bed and he’s thinking “that’s too old now, c’mon mommy sing to me a different one now”, and he cant tell you so he just smiles hoping you will somehow understand……..hehehe!

    Nway, you can try “Hush Little Baby” and here are the lyrics…………

    Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
    Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

    And if that mockingbird don’t sing,
    Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

    And if that diamond ring turn 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 don’t pull,
    Papa’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.

    And if that cart and bull turn 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,
    Well you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

    GOOD LUCK WITH THIS……..

  2. My baby is one year old and trying to sing to her a lullaby is asking her to stare at you like you come from mars. When it is sleep time, all I need to to is put her on her bed and she snoozes, start this training early as now and Kitty will be going to sleep without you having to lull her.

    But here is another lullaby……

    Itsy-Bitsy Spider

    The itsy-bitsy spider
    Climbed up the water spout
    Down came the rain
    And washed the spider out
    Out came the sun
    And dried up all the rain
    And the itsy-bitsy spider
    Climbed up the spout again

    Bobo: LOL @Mars. Thanks for the advice and the Itsy bitsy spider.

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