Over the past several years I have been regaled with pictures of OTHER people’s grandchildren. One theme is clear: they always seem happy. So it came as a bit of a shock to me when visiting my newborn grandbaby that he cries. Sure, Leo smiles but not all the time like I would hope. Sometimes he’s fussy and it takes rocking and singing lullabies to quiet him.
Singing lullabies is particularly challenging because I can only remember the first verse of my favorites. I love “Three Little Fishies” but it been 30 years since I sang this ditty to my children. I can’t remember what happens to the three little fishies after they follow mama’s order to “swim if you can” and “they swam and they swam all over the dam.” When I explained my dilemma to my daughter she simply said “Alexa, play “Three Little Fishies” and the fate of the fishies became clear. Frankly, it is a rather complex story line involving a whale and disobeying mother fishie so I am not surprised I forget what happened after the dam incident.
Interestingly, the chorus includes multiple repetitions of the phrase “Boop bop ditty dotty whatem shooooooo.” Research studies now tout the power of the 5 S’s to soothe babies: swaddling, side/stomach position, swinging, sucking and (ready for this one?) shushing sounds. No wonder Leo likes Three Little Fishies. It’s got the shushing sound!
There are many other lullabies in my repertoire. When recalling all the verses is simply too challenging, I revert to my long time, easy to remember favorite: 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. I may be old but I can still count backwards from 100.