Wednesday, April 29, 2009

True story.

When Asher was first born, I had all the time in the world. I would wash his little hands every time he touched the floor. Every single meal was meticulously prepared, baby foods bought ahead of time and planned out for the week. Not only did he always (always) sit in his high chair to eat, but he always wore a bib, and I washed every bib after every single use (even if it only had crumbs on it). And when they were clean, you know I would fold every single bib before putting them away.

Just thinking about it now makes me laugh. Little Silas's life is so different.

But back then I had nothing but time to spend caring for my one baby, and so I took care with every tiny detail. Including changing his diaper. I always - ALWAYS - changed him on his changing table. (Please note that Hypothetical #3 won't have a changing table, and I've already taken changing pad down from Silas's dresser). And because he's a baby, and at least among babies I know they usually HATE their changing tables, he often complained about being there. So I would sing to him - not our lullabies (which are the old hymns I grew up hearing), but silly songs my grandmother sang to me. "Bushel and a Peck," "Jesus loves the little children," and - my favorite - "I've been working on the railroad." For whatever reason, these three songs became our little changing routine, in just that order.

Then life happened. We lost the second baby, we bought a house and moved, I got pregnant again. Thankfully for both of us, I no longer had the time to be so neurotic, and some of our type-A ways fell out of our routine. I quit folding bibs, I didn't wash his hands nearly as often, and I quit using the changing table. And while we sang nursery rhymes and lullabies, some of those silly songs I used to try to keep him still went by the wayside as well, mostly because I gave up on the idea of ever keeping a toddler still (talk about an exercise in futility). All of that to say, he hasn't heard those particular songs since he was probably seven or eight months old.

Fast forward to this week. Asher's had trouble sleeping this week. He was up most of Monday night and didn't nap yesterday. The rule in our house is that when it's naptime you stay in your bed, no matter what. But there are a hundred times in a day a parent has to decide between the law and grace, and yesterday I chose to show Asher a little grace. He clearly was tired, and for whatever reason just couldn't sleep. So halfway through his "naptime," after he's already disassembled his bed and thrown his blankets across the room, I decided to rock him for a few minutes, to see if he would settle down. As we sat in the rocker, I sang "Jesus loves the little children," one of our old silly songs from the changing table days. When it was over, Asher said, "Sing the 'blow your horn' song." I said, "Baby, I don't know that song. You sing it to me." "No Mama. You know it. Sing 'blow your horn.'" I sat for several minutes, trying to think of what he could be talking about. Then it hit me.

"Blow your horn" is a line from "I've been working on the railroad." The next song in our old changing table routine - from when he was SEVEN MONTHS OLD.

Amazing. Just - amazing.


Jamie said...

This story comes at a perfect time.
I always used to sing "You are my Sunshine" and "Jesus love me" when rocking Andrew to sleep. I can't remember the last time I sang either of those songs because our routine changed about a year ago from singing to reading. Recently we were driving home from somewhere and I was in the back seat with him. I started singing you are my sunshine and he sang with me...every word. Jason and I were both a little teary. Simple little blessings...

Madame Rubies said...

I have always thought they could remember. It is just that, as they get older, more and more of the baby things begin to slip away.


I love this story.

Laura M. said...

are you serious?

Jason said...

I will go on and say it ....this post made me cry...SO SWEET!!

wheelsonthebus said...

my theory is that kids remember this crap b/c they don't have to waste brain space thinking about global warming.

Kendra said...

That is amazing! I think little ones remember better than we give them credit for.