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.

St. Vincent… swoon

I do not hide my various indie crushes, but one in particular is worn on my sleeve. The delightful Annie Clark, better known by her stage name of St. Vincent, ignites feelings in most hipster hearts – and I am no different. Here is her complete performance from KCRW’s indispensable Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Be still my beating heart. Someday I’ll get to see her perform live… le sigh…

(thanks to St. Vincent)


Where do I begin? There’s these Russian women showing gratuitous cleavage while farming, cleaning, working in a machine shop, etc. Interested yet? Yeah, not really. But then some black metal music kicks in and… well… some Stalin zombies attack them. Have I got your attention? What if I told you that only one man could save them – Mikhail Gorbachev clad in a loin cloth with a shield and battle axe… And then it starts to get weird.

Bet you want to watch now:

There is so much awesome going on in that video it hurts. Hollywood has failed to bring me anything that cool. It makes Shoot ‘Em Up look like a documentary on childcare. When will the full length feature be coming? Not too surprisingly this was discovered on a blog entitled Awesome Robot (via Culture Kills). Now that’s a blog I need to be following!

Two Weeks

Do you know Grizzly Bear? If not, you should. So let’s get that part out of the way immediately. This is the incredible song “Two Weeks” – this is also the incredible FAN-MADE video for “Two Week”. Enjoy.

(thanks to Dooce for pointing this out)

I wanted to share it with The Woman this morning, so just before heading out to breakfast I fire it up. She likes it… and so does Kayleigh. My baby girl starts doing her little sway back and forth dance while watching the computer screen. Knowing full well that she gets real cranky when anyone takes her from Mama, I scoop her up in my arms and start dancing until the crying fades quickly into smiles at the birds and trees and stars that fly by. The music and the video both capture her attention.

And there’s this real connection. We’re all enjoying this song together and Kayleigh is happy and comfortable in my arms despite Mama being only a few feet away. She even starts saying “Do do do” to mimic the piano. I hugged her even more tightly and spun around the room. By the end of the song her face was beginning to burrow into my shoulder, so we fired it up again and Mama danced her off to sleep.

It’s time to create a new and improved “Daddy’s Little Girl” playlist and put “Two Weeks” at the top, because these are the moments I live for.