Flashback Friday: Lukey’s Boat is painted green

by DaniGirl on July 5, 2013 · 1 comment

in Uncategorized

Every now and then I stumble across a post in the archives that makes me smile, and I like to share them with you. I have no memory whatsover of writing this post nearly five years ago, but since I was deep in the sleep-deprived madness that is life with a newborn, I’m not really surprised I don’t remember writing it. I’m just glad the blog remembers these things so I don’t have to. This gem is from summer 2008.

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When he’s really frothed, I can rely on three songs to calm Lucas down. “You are my Sunshine” is my lullaby standby, and I have sung it to all three boys. It reminds me of my Granda, my grandfather on my mother’s side, and I cringe when I hear it used to huck orange juice. Chet Baker does a much better version of the song than I do, but Lucas seems content to listen to me serenade him endlessly as he fights off sleep.

The second song is Great Big Sea’s “Lukey.” Beloved sang this to him ’round about the time he was a week or two old, and in those first colicky weeks we must have sung it hundreds of times since then. I like this song because it comes with many verses, and Lucas doesn’t seem to mind if you mix and match them so long as you just keep singing. On a good day, humming may be permitted.

I have one failsafe song in my arsenal: I have never seen him so worked up that “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes” doesn’t immediately calm him. (Yes, it’s weird. Don’t judge me, it works!) He will settle and listen as long as you keep singing, and will resume his histrionics with renewed vigour if pause for so much as a quarter-rest worth of time between repeats. I have bellowed it across the back yard to him, trying to yank just a few more weeds from the backyard jungle while he demands attention from his swing; I have blushed rather furiously while singing it to him in a crowded waiting room over and over again; I have danced a little jig while singing it in the grocery store, just to spice things up a bit. Did you know that the song comprises only 10 words, and even with repetitions the whole thing only draws out to 23 words? Do you have any idea how many times you can sing a 23 word song in the average trip to the grocery store, let alone when traversing a highway across a national park? Many, many, many.

Anyone who has had the misfortune to hear me warble in person knows I’m no Amy Winehouse (which, all things considered, may not be such a bad thing), but I have to say there is something sweetly empowering about being able to soothe my baby simply by singing to him. One of my favourite memories of this age will be of Lucas with his face red from bellowing against some indignity, chin trembling and tears held in abeyance. “Well, okay then,” his teary gaze says to me. “I’m righteously ticked off, but as long as you keep singing, I suppose it’ll be alright. But don’t you dare stop. And no, as a matter of fact you may NOT sing any other song. Don’t even think about trying that Old Macdonald had a farm shit with me.”

For the record, it has not escaped me that the song my son best loves me to sing has no actual melody to speak of. And no, I do not accept this as a criticism of my inability to carry a tune.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Roz July 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Ha! For Nathan (8 months old as of yesterday), his favourite song, and the one I sing in all of those places (waiting room, grocery store, yard…) is rock-a-bye baby. Over and over and over…

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