Soothing the savage baby

My youngest daughter, Zoe, is just over a year old. She basically has two settings. The first is a sweet little thing who wants to get into increasingly more mischief. I think it just comes with the crawling and trying to walk. The second is this a very upset little doodle monster, inconsolable and acting as if the world is ganging up to torture her. I think they mentioned something like this in Revelations.

The other day she was having dinner and suddenly slipped into mode two. There was no apparent reason for this. My guess is that her mouth was hurting since more teeth are coming in. While this is happening, her sister Phoebe is at the other end of the table with her fingers in her ears. She hates it when Zoe starts fussing.

I  pick Zoe up from her little seat and try rocking her. That doesn’t help, so I start to sing. I like to sing and most of the singing I do these days is in one  of two scenarios: either in my car or to my daughters. I have been told I have a good voice. In my opinion, it’s not anything spectacular but I more than hold my own. No one will ever mistake me for an opera singer, but if I can do the musical theatre thing and I’m pretty comfortable with rock songs. So what do I sing to my daughter? While I can do a solid version of some Alice in Chains and some Warren Zevon, they usually aren’t my go-to with the kids.

That tends to be Muppets. More often than not, it’s Sesame Street. The one that I do the most is the Ernie classic, “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon.”

So I sing to Zoe. She starts to quiet down and stares at me as I sing. I look up and because Phoebe has left the table and followed us into the other room. Now I am trying to sing to Zoe while not laughing because of my older daughter. Phoebe has now begun to enjoy my singing by doing her own interpretive dance routine.

I want to crack up. I keep singing instead. Not only because Zoe is calm but because Phoebe is just having way too much fun. I finish singing and get applause from the baby and a “Nice singing, Daddy” from Phoebe.

I really hope one or both of my girls sings when they get older. Mostly because I want to be able to perform my own interpretive dance.


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