By my calculations, Forest has heard the songs “Star of the County Down” and “Wild Mountain Thyme” a bare minimum of approximately 800 times each. I’ve sung both songs to him as lullabies almost every day since his birth, and multiple times per day the first six months or so. Donald (Daddy) does an excellent Scottish brogue when singing both songs to Forest. Forest is also showing an early predilection for contra dance moves–he has been practicing his allemande lately.
Lullabies and other music have been a big part of Forest’s life. Since he was difficult to settle and put to sleep as a baby sometimes, we ended up singing him many, many songs every day while holding and rocking or bouncing him. Donald used to go through his entire repertoire of songs for naps while I was at work, and then I would often go through my entire repertoire of songs to put him to sleep at night and sometimes in the middle of the night.
Forest loves to listen to music on the I-Pod stereo, but especially on CDs where he can ask us to change out the CD often. He likes opening and closing the door for the CD player, opening jewel cases, and pressing play on the device. I’ve often thought that I should just spend a day putting the rest of our CDs on the I-Pod to clear up some clutter, but Forest definitely prefers the many tactile joys involved in listening to CDs over the relatively boring couple of buttons to press on the I-pod. Here is a picture of Forest with his Mozart CD.
We should find someone to visit who has a turntable and vinyl records. That would really blow his mind! Of course, it can’t be my brother Don who cares deeply about his record collection and probably wouldn’t appreciate the adorable cuteness of his nephew scratching an expensive needle across his precious Beach Boys album.
Forest comes by his love of music quite honestly. Here’s the rundown on his father’s side: Grandma Miriam has a Master’s in Piano, plays organ and piano professionally, and is a music teacher. Aunt Evelyn has a Master’s in Voice, sings opera, teaches music, and plays piano. Uncle Billy plays electric bass, trumpet, sings, and plays with a band. Aunt Clara has a Master’s in music technology, is an elementary music teacher, plays guitar and piano, and sings with a band. Forest’s Grandaddy Charles can lecture for hours on Mozart and claims to have a superior aesthetic sense. On Forest’s mother’s side: His maternal grandparents passed away before he was born, but they loved music. His maternal Grandmother Ada played piano beautifully and loved to sing. Grandfather Norman played a bit of guitar. Uncle Walter plays viola and has a giant digital music collection. Uncle Don plays tenor saxophone and has a giant vinyl record and CD collection. Mommy plays piano, viola, and loves to sing (all rather ineptly, but it brings me joy).
To top it all off, Mommy and Daddy met contra dancing to lovely, live Celtic music. So, when Forest was just a wee glint in Daddy’s eye, there was music in the air!