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DIY lullaby

  • Tagged The kids
  • Commenters Claire Bidwell Smith, Gram Amy, Erik, Anne

One night early on, as I was walking around the nursery, trying to lull Ezra to sleep, I reached back into my memory for a lullaby and found, to my shock, the cabinet almost bare. All those dozens of lullabies I’d been sung as a child — almost entirely gone. Only one old standby made itself apparent, and only one verse at that:

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

Sweet, to be sure, but only thirteen words long. Then I was back at square one. I didn’t have the option of stopping, as the boy was still awake, so I had to extemporize. Relying on the basic rhythm and pattern of the above, I came up with a technique: swapping out the end of the first line with a word or phrase that’s roughly synonymous with being sad or bad, and then coming up with a second line that about something Daddy might buy you to cheer you up. Some examples:

Hush little baby, don’t you fret
Daddy’s going to buy you a jumbo jet

Hush little baby, don’t be sour
Daddy’s going to buy you the Eiffel Tower

Hush little baby, don’t be silly
Daddy’s going to buy you a pot of lilies

Hush little baby, don’t you cry
Daddy’s going to buy you Ione Skye

Hush little baby, don’t be dumb
Daddy’s going to buy you some comics by R. Crumb

Hush little baby, don’t be a snot
Daddy’s going to buy you a cast iron pot

Hush little baby, don’t be stupid
Daddy’s going to buy you a date from Cupid

Hush little baby, don’t be moronic
Daddy’s going to buy you a high colonic

Hush little baby, don’t be a jerk
Daddy’s going to buy you a Mechanical Turk

And so on.

If you’re a parent desperate for sleep and/or sanity, I encourage you to try it out. I make no promises about its efficacy as a agent of sleep, but at the very least you’ll keep yourself entertained during those wee hours.

4 Comments

Gram Amy

Dec 4 / 14:41

Anne

Dec 15 / 00:27
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