the one with the lullabyes

When my sister was Ethan's age, I would spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to get her to repeat back the lyrics to Blink 182's All The Small Things. There was something funny about the way a two year old would shout out "work sucks," mostly because my mother didn't find it very funny at all. I remember the way my Jewish mother would insist on instead rocking my sister to sleep singing Silent Night which always seemed random and didn't make very much sense. But it worked, so it stuck.

I get it now, the "whatever works" thing. I realized recently that I have a repertoire of songs that I sing to Ethan when I need to calm him down, when he doesn't feel well, or when he's going to sleep. Every night for the past two years I have sung these songs to Ethan to the point where he has the bulk of them memorized and that's what made me realize how absolutely random these lullaby songs are.

First stop is always to old-ish school Matt Nathanson: Bent & Still. These songs remind me of skipping math class in college and instead drinking iced coffee in the Barnies parking lot listening to these songs on repeat. I hear these songs and start salivating over the very thought of a Santa's White Christmas Coffee Cooler. Somewhere along the years they have started to stand for bedtime instead.

Next is my favorite song by my favorite band -- Queen of Pain by Alkaline Trio. This is the song I insisted upon lighting a zillion candles to while laying on the floor crying when I was a teenager. Now it's one of the few songs that helps Ethan stop crying when he's upset or sleepy.

Followed usually by Blue In The Face by Alkaline Trio. (Nope, I couldn't resist an opportunity to post a second photo of Matt Skiba -- you're onto me.) What, "you're coffin or mine?" isn't an ideal lullaby? Says who? Works like a charm on my kid.

Once upon a time, in 7th grade, I auditioned for the middle school chorus with Brian McKnight's 6, 8, 12. I only made it because everyone did. But for some reason this song that I haven't actually heard since then has always remained in my memory and so it's become part of our nightly routine.

Followed by Angel Of Mine by Monica which is probably one of the worst songs ever, but it never leaves my memory. When I was 12, I rode my bike all the way to Eckerd's (that's right) to pick up a cassette single of this song. I probably listened to it a lot, and cried a lot, and dedicated it to boys I'd never talk to. Now it's made it's way into our nightly repertoire. So bad, but so good.

Followed by Jewel's You Were Meant For Me solely because Ethan likes to chime in with "pancakes, too" -- no matter how tired he is.

Second to last is always Poison Oak by Bright Eyes. These days, Ethan whispers the words along as I sing and then makes me sob like a baby when he gets to the yellow bird part. Because, well, it's our thing.

And we always end things with Paradise City by Guns 'n Roses. My two year old does a mean "oh won't you please take me home," please believe.

These days when he hurts himself at the park and I have to hold him close and start whispering "take me down to the Paradise City..." I have to fight back the giggles because, well, really? But after two years of a kid with troubles sleeping, I've found what works.

Do you have a certain song -- or songs -- that help soothe your little one or get them to sleep?


  1. Oh yes, I have several songs that do not fit into a traditional lullaby category! Like you said, when they don't sleep well you find what works and roll with it! Old Sublime songs are probably Dawson's favorite. My husband sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow to him which is especially sweet since it was the song we danced to at our wedding :) anyway glad to know I am not the only one that does that!

    Follow me at Being Dawson's Mom

  2. Lindsay @ youaretheroots.comNovember 9, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Ah, old Sublime, love it! Awwww, that is so super sweet about Somewhere Over the Rainbow! <3

    PS - LOVE the name Dawson! <3


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