Practical Dad

First Lullaby

In War of the Worlds, Tom Cruise croons a war-zone lullaby to his daughter - a horrible, tone-deaf rendition of Little Deuce Coupe.  He can't sing and doesn't know squat about lullabies, but he does manage to do it right.

During the first several weeks of a child's life, the feedings happen every several hours, non-stop.  But that doesn't mean that the baby will necessarily want to sleep after nursing.  My first night stint with our baby was terrifying; my wife was back to sleep and I carried this small package that was only grudgingly giving way to sleep.  "Ah," I thought, "hit the rocker and turn out the light, sing a lullaby and turn out the kid."  Simple.  So we settled into the chair in a darkened nursery and the only song that I could remember at 3 AM was the Washington Redskins fight song.  You know the one:

Hail to the Redskins!

Hail Victory!

Braves on the Warpath!

Fight for old DC!

No, wait.  What was that one that James Taylor did?  Oh yeah, the Redskins fight song.  Wasn't there one about the cradle and a treetop?  How does that go?  Yeah, being circled by braves on the warpath, that's the one.  Geez, it wasn't even preseason yet.  Multiple efforts and that same sorry team song continued to clutter my mind.  So, I gave in and worked with it and it finally came out like Tom's Little Deuce Coupe.  Very soft and calm, and I found that when sung in waltz time, it worked in this bizarro way.  My little girl finally gave up and I tucked her in, then stumbled out of the room.  Only then did I do the tomahawk chop.

And the next day, I made it a point to learn some real lullabies.  But I haven't forgotten the Redskins fight song.

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