Music to My Ears

I used to enjoy watching all those “Remember When” specials on VH1–I Love the 80s or I Love the 90s. The flashbacks were fun, and when they came to the segment about favorite songs of the year or the decade, I’d immediately see a friend’s face or see the place I was when I first discovered the song.

Music Box

This little toy is a big musical memory!

If I were to produce my own version of “Remember When”, I’d go back in time to the most significant points in my own personal history. Naturally, my kids feature prominently in that history, so I’d start with my son.

The episode would be called, “I Love Infancy.” I’d take my audience on a stroll down  Memory Lane, or what I like to call, “The-Months-When-I-Didn’t-Have-a-Clue.”

I would flash up pictures of The Older One as he was back then–all tiny and pink and…needy! There would be a shot of him rolling aimlessly on a dressing table as I struggled to fasten the diaper. Another one would show him strapped to one of those front-carrier things. It would be an image of perfect multi-tasking…until the viewer noticed I’d only managed to get one of his legs in the appropriate hole. The other was stuck inside the thing somewhere under his bottom, quickly becoming the only part of him that was asleep!

I would wrap up this installment with the most memorable song of the year *drumroll* Knick Knack Paddy Wack! That song came to my rescue many times during the Older One’s first year. I first discovered it’s power on an airplane on my way to a much-needed visit with my Momma.

The Older One was three-months old at the time, and as all three-month-olds know, when the cabin door closes, you start crying and turn your momma into the spitting image of incompetence. I did the best I could in the situation, but when rocking, pacing and jiggling failed to comfort my squalling child, I pulled out the last thing in my new-Momma arsenal. I leaned in closed and softly crooned:

This old man, he played one. He played knick knack on his thumb. With a knick knack paddy wack give a dog a bone, this old man came rolling home.

By the time the old man had played ten, my sweet little baby was sound asleep. It worked every time.

The next episode would be titled “Wonderful One” and would feature my daughter’s first year, complete with flashback tracks showing her adoption into our family, our dog’s bewilderment that this new puppy walked on two legs and my now 14-year-old son’s first lesson in diaper changing.

It will most likely spend quite a bit of time comparing new millennium-era baby gadgets to those of the early 90’s–how the filters in the Diaper Genie actually worked this time around and how the new plastic version of the doggy-on-a-string pull-toy was so much inferior to the wooden version of long ago.

Toward the end of the show I would announce the top song of the year…wait for it…Itsy Bitsy Spider!!!

For me, the memory sparks sentimentality and irritation all at once. On the day we took the Young One from Baby Home #95 in Novokuzetsk, Russia, we bonded peacefully in our hotel room surrounded by a plethora of American toys that made it through customs on our way into the country. One such gem included a set of plastic keys, attached to a large round key ring that would play a merry tune when little fingers pressed one of three buttons.

The Young One couldn’t get enough of this new toy. It probably wouldn’t have had quite the same effect on me if she would have paid equal attention to all three music buttons, but she found a favorite one on our first day together. Every time she pressed it, I would hear:

The itsy bitsy spider went 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 came up the spout again.

That music box became our constant companion. It went in the diaper bag right along with all the other necessities. And when we went out, it would inevitably go on all by itself.

Walking down the streets of Moscow, I’d bump into something, and we’d hear, “The itsy bitsy spider…” Waiting patiently in the quiet US embassy for her visa, the Hubs shifted the bag, and…”The itsy bitsy spider…”

Not even the security checkpoint at one of the most scary airports on the planet was immune to the sensitive touch buttons of my child’s favorite toy. I should close this segment with a close up of the Russian security guard’s face as he leans a curious ear toward my suspicious bag…”The itsy bitsy spider…”

The finale episode of my special memory series would close with a medley of my children’s favorite bedtime songs…the Older One preferred movie and television soundtracks with Space Jam and Pokemon in heavy rotation. The Young One still listens to the same CD that lulled her to sleep on her first night in the USA–a Little Einsteins rendition of classics from Mozart and Bach.

We’ll close out the show with my all-time favorite song to sing to both of my kids. It is my number one because it simply says everything there is to say about loving a child. Once my son came into this world, my life revolved around him. When his sister joined the clan, my life circled her too.

So, I dedicate this hit to my two stars:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are gray.

You’ll never know dear how much I love you.

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Oh, the memories, the good times. It’s all music to my ears.

What are your favorite musical memories?

* This post was written for Blogging University Writing 101.

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