Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Music Baby

Music.  It is one of those things that seems to resonate with everyone in some way.  I have had the pleasure of watching how music affects each of my children; they all have a clear love for music, but the way Atticus reacts to music is like nothing I have seen in his older siblings.

As young babies neither Little Ish nor Liliana had any strong preferences for specific songs.  I would sing to them or put on recordings for their enjoyment, and although they clearly reacted to the music they did not start to show any preference for one song over another until they were toddlers.  Atticus, on the other hand, has shown preference for specific songs and albums for months now.

The first observation of Atticus's inclinations toward a specific piece of music was several months ago.  Anytime he was fussing during a car ride he would immediately stop as soon as Blue Orchidby the White Stripes would come on.  This preference has become so clear that when Atticus starts fussing Little Ish likes to note that, "Atticus is making a request"; immediately we switch the music to Blue Orchid.   As one might imagine, listening to the same song all the time starts to grate on the nerves a little bit.  Little Ish was delighted a few weeks ago to realize that Atticus calmed almost immediately when I started singing a bit of Rag Doll by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  It isn't quite the magical cure-all for fuss as Blue Orchid but most of the time it does the trick.  Plus, it's a whole lot easier to sing.

Atticus's strongest reaction to music however is the clear joy that he gets anytime I put on the album Appalachian Mandolin and Dulcimer by Butch Baldassari and David Schnaufer.  He was having a sleepy don't-wanna-have-my diaper-changed kind of meltdown this morning; you know the kind of meltdown that makes you wonder if your ancestors were part banshee?  Well, I walked Little Ish through the steps to start the album playing, and as soon as the first track began to play Atticus stopped mid-scream and giggled. Thankfully Atticus isn't the only one who really likes this album so it may or may not be playing on repeat during not so great days.

I used to think people were crazy when they would indicate that their infant had a preference for a specific song or album, but after observing Atticus, I don't think they are crazy any more.  I also think it is justification for not introducing children to annoying children's music as babies--you might as well help them develop preferences for music that you enjoy too.

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