Music soothes the savage beast

Last night was just another hiccup in what has become a much easier nighttime routine for our little brat… I mean precious little one. Seriously, I’m kidding. Kayleigh’s been acting out lately but it’s the usual stuff. She’s still a wonderful joy to be around in the right increments of time…

Anyway, the little scutch had opted for a short nap which meant that half an hour before her bedtime she was already overtired. For those of you without kids and unaware of the concept of them being overtired, it’s the same thing as with adults – they get “punchy.” She was briefly lucid enough to give her grandparents goodnight kisses and willingly come upstairs in my arms to brush her teeth. But somehow between the bathroom and her bedroom the whole ordeal became too much for her to handle and, again, with the wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth.

This is how diaper changes become a 2 person job – assuming you don’t have a good restraint system in place. When a toddler switches moods, it’s easy to lose site of the tricks of the trade picked up over months of parenting. Frustration wins out over common sense and suddenly there’s two grown adults trying to to figure out how to pin down a 22 month-old without resorting to wrestling moves. Then it hit me: doesn’t this kid like music. So I broke out my dulcet tones, often described as a cross between Tony Bennet and Frank Sinatra (assuming that by crossed you mean “literally smashed into one another”), and tried to remember the opening lines of Kayleigh’s most recent most favorite song:

And amazingly, she shut up. So I passed the third line to The Woman because I don’t want to prevent Kayleigh from continuing to enjoy music (also because it’s a miracle if I can remember more than two lines of any song) and the rest of the process proceeded with little fanfare. That’s not to say the she went to sleep easily, but at least the portion that involved diapers and pajamas and books was uneventful.

Once again Jim Henson has come to my rescue. The fact that Kayleigh not only enjoys Sesame Street but can also identify characters such as Kermit and Fozzie Bear is a source of some pride for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of the newer kiddie entertainment with my little girl, but watching her shake her groove thing to the psychedelic sounds Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem is a lot more fun that singing that damn Caillou song for the umpteenth time in a row.

For the record, “I don’t know how to thank you guys”/”I don’t know WHY to thank you guys” is still one of the greatest comedic lines in a movie. And while Kayleigh might not get all of the humor, our daily viewings of “Movin’ Right Along” have slowly morphed into watching more and more of The Muppet Movie together.

I just can’t wait for her to actually get the “fork in the road” line and laugh with me.

Sunny day sweeping the clouds away

Kayleigh most likely called today a “sunny day”. I’m beginning to think that she doesn’t know what the word “sunny” means. But it’s a habit she’s picked up from one of her two favorite TV shows – Sesame Street or, as she calls it, Murray Street. It’s pretty amazing to realize that the show my baby girl is growing up with debuted 40 years ago today – almost 7 years before her dear old dad was even born.

And yes, Sesame Street has changed over the years. It is now geared towards a younger crowd, with a greater emphasis on toddler favorites like Elmo, Zoe, Rosita, and Abby and they’ve revamped the opening to give it a more modern feel. Not too surprisingly, people who grew up with the show get aggravated about this, often under the mistaken impression that everything they enjoyed in their childhood was equally enjoyed by their parents. The reality is it can all get at least a little annoying to adults – even those classic antiquities from our own youth.

All that matters to me these days is that the Sesame Workshop still puts out a decent show. One that can engage and entertain kids of different ages without making us parents want to go on murderous, puppet-killing rampage. A couple weeks ago Kayleigh was watching the video “Elmo Loves You” – one that I’ll admit to actually enjoying myself – while we had some company and you know what? My neighbor’s 8 year-old son sat down with her and watched it, too. Imagine that…

Hearing Kayleigh get excited for the theme to “Elmo’s World” doesn’t bother me – I find it cute. As much as the newer characters have taken over the spotlight, she also goes nuts for Grover, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Ernie and, to a lesser extent, Bert. And as far as “hip” guest stars go, Feist’s appearance is now a classic in my mind and one that I enjoy regularly with my little girl:

So while the original opening may be the best as far as we’re concerned, 30-somethings overly attached to their childhood aren’t really the demographic.

Thank you, Sesame Workshop, for 40 years of sweeping those clouds away. Here’s hoping that my baby will someday get to watch new episodes with her own little one.

Now as for that purple dinosaur…