Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's that Sound?

This morning, Calliope over at Creating Motherhood mused on the musical mixes she's making snork. What/who/how loud I should be listening to my own musical preferences has been a topic of our conversations and my thoughts for a while now. Seems like I should make some decisions now that the seedlings allegedly have ears enough to hear.

What an understatement to say that music is an integral part of our lives. It is seriously something that I cannot imagine living without. I know that I secured the love of my sweetie through his perusing of my CD collection. (Ask him.) We can muse for hours on the merits of My Bloody Valentine, listen to every Pavement album back to back to back and still not decide which one is the best. We can entertain ourselves for hours in front of our computers in his office singing along to Belle and Sebastian or bring ourselves to righteous tears hearing Sizzla Kalonji.

But you know, not all of these artists are necessarily appropriate for young ears. Catch my drift?
I had that revelation as I was going for an afternoon walk the other day rocking out to The Clipse. Fabulous hip hop. Fabulous beats. Witty lyrics, but not really the words I want my little ones to know by heart by age 2, right? Does that mean I forsake all songs with "explicit lyrics" for now? Or keep on listening and just be on the lookout for "teachable moments" later on in life?

"Mommy, what does _______ mean?"

Um, er, um. Ask yer dad.

Am I being ridiculous for even worrying about this now?

I love the local music scene in our town and support the bands as often as we can. Thursday nights mean live hip hop around the corner at our "local." Weekends bring a mix of jam bands, garage, some countrified rock and more. But as I was listing off to my mom the number of concerts (minimum five, not counting the Thurs. hip hop shows) the seedlings have already been to in utero, she got one of those "oh dear, but..." looks on her face.

What, mom? Whaaaaat?

"Oh, well, you know exposing them to loud music and sounds now will probably make them cranky and hyper. Don't you know?"

Huh? Whuh? Says the lady that never went below double digit decibels to get a point across throughout my youth?

And FYI, I've actually heard the opposite. As in, acclimating your baby now to sounds they can expect to hear when they emerge makes them less freaked out when they do hear them IRL. For example, babies who hear dogs barking in utero don't go nutso when they hear dogs barking as infants. They get it. It's a familiar sound. As opposed to babies who have spent in utero all quiet, who are far more prone to let out a banshee scream at the first woofs they have even known.

So, if I have no intention of ceasing our kitchen dance parties when the little ones are here, shouldn't they get a little whiff of drum-n-bass now?

That being said, I am planning out a more mellow nursery mix that will hopefully stave off the commercialized baby gook for a while (I know, L. you don't have to say it. I understand it's inevitable). I think Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake make lovely lullabies, don't you?


Somewhat Ordinary said...

My Ipod has a very eclectic mix of music and I wonder the same thing. I still play that stuff now, but I fear that will end soon as my little one will be forming words soon. I guess I'll reserve those artists for after I've dropped him off at daycare or when he's gone to bed. Besides he becomes increasingly bored in the car and only reacts if I sing the Elmo song or the Hokie Pokie-I guess I'll be adding kids songs to my Ipod soon.

Oh and your dance parties-they will quickly be to the sounds of The Wiggles and Sesame Street. Seriously, on some levels your like what the hell am I doing, but on so many more levels it is so worth it!

Sarah said...

We've been listening to Johnny Cash. It feels right.