This post is a continuation of the list of unexpected things that have cropped up since I had a baby. The first was that I now wear leggings as pants. Here is the rest of the list:
2. I now like singing. Okay, let’s be for real. I’ve always loved singing. Love it. All of my favorite embarrassing memories involve singing. When I was in sixth grade I memorized the entire Grease soundtrack and sang two songs as part of my audition for the local high school production of the play (including, I think, “Sandra Dee,” although if I’m right about this I’m not sure what I did with the “lousy with virginity” line), only to be told at the end of the audition that it was only open to high schoolers (um, duh), not precocious tone-deaf middle schoolers. When I was fourteen and visiting my grandparents in Utah, I used to sit cross-legged on the floor in their living room strumming my guitar and belting out “Mr. Jones, ” attempting to follow along while the song skipped in my discman and jangled through my foam headphones, only to be told by my siblings later on that whenever my grandma wandered into the room, she would start singing to herself, louder and louder, almost as though she didn’t love my teenage angst. To this day, Robert actually does the same thing my grandma did, although I’m pretty sure he does it unknowingly. Whenever I start humming along to a 90s hit on the radio, he starts singing a different song that he’d rather be listening to. These anecdotes should illustrate that my love of singing does not translate to talent, and also that I only like singing along when there’s music playing. Unlike Robert, who makes up no less than three new songs per day, I don’t sing while I work or walk around or sit. I don’t even whistle. So I didn’t picture myself singing to a baby. I figured I’d be more of a talker and storyteller. They don’t tell you, though, that it’s not easy to talk to a tiny baby. You see, they don’t talk back. Or make any noises other than cries. Or appear to understand. Not at first, anyway. It took me a couple of weeks to find my mom voice, and during that time the baby and I had a lot of awkward silences. I quickly discovered that the easiest way to interact was to sing. I ran through every child’s tune I knew. I spun records and danced in the living room. I crooned murder ballads and sad, sad folk songs to my little girl and called them lullabies because, hey, they put her right to sleep. And I expect I’ll keep singing to her until she joins the ranks of family members who’d rather listen to something else.