The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Thirty-two weeks. Eight weeks (give or take) to go. It seems like only last week we went to Walgreens to purchase the EPT That Changed Everything so I’m really beginning to comprehend how relative time is to this whole baby-making undertaking. Bebe’s going to be here very soon, and after that, everything will change. As if everything hasn’t changed already. In baby time, she may as well come this afternoon. We’d be ready. Kind of.

Maybe "the nursery is coming together" is a bit too generous a statement.

The third trimester has been full of all those hallmarks that come to mind when you think of  the Institution of Pregnancy. I’ve got the look: I’m a whale, having gained thirty pounds since the beginning.* The nursery is coming together. Enrollment in a childbirth class is in the works, and I’m beginning to iron out the details of my birth plan. B is giddy and talks to my belly several times a day.

*The doc said I’m right on track with my weight gain. I don’t believe this is possible, but what-evs.

So I’d say that Bebe and I are doing a pretty good job of fulfilling all the mandatory requirements of being a Mother With Child. We’re slogging through and playing the parts I suppose we should be playing. Face it, that’s what you do when you’re pregnant for the first time: you take cues from others and the media about what you should be doing because you have no clue yourself. At least I don’t. But I’m used to being pregnant now and here’s the thing that I love the most:

I’m mellowing out. 

I think back a few months ago and I shake my head at how I could get myself in a tizzy over the minutiae of what I assumed parenthood would entail. Luckily for me, I have a blog where all my naivete has been chronicled. Today I was reading topiclessbar’s post Odd Thoughts on Having a Kid and I was reminded of a post I wrote way back called Baby Mix where I freaked out over Kiddie Culture and my soon-to-be induction into the world of The Wiggles. With all due respect to my October self, I now have to tell her to calm the frick down. No one is going to force this stuff on you and your Bebe. Pregnant Me pantomimes parenthood and assumes that what I see other people doing is what I’ll be doing too once Bebe arrives, but there’s not a lot of truth to that.

No one ever said I HAVE TO listen to The Wiggles. And here’s the thing: no one ever said that I’m not “cool” anymore if I do. Our family will work itself out and we’ll develop our own little culture. A good mixtape always includes a bunch of weirdness that somehow meshes with itself, so B and I can play our stuff right alongside The Wiggles if we so choose. Our family is changing and so is its soundtrack.

Granted, Little Alex shouldn't watch The Wiggles. But I've gotten over it.

In the meantime, though, I am still going to think about all the music I want to fill our home with. It’s a lot more fun to do this than it is to interview pediatricians, yet another amusing duty of the third trimester.

Arcade Fire – Tunnels

Just because. I may be in the minority on this one, but I think very little explanation is needed on why children – nay, EVERYONE – should be exposed to Arcade Fire.

The Go-Gos – Our Lips Are Sealed

This song has always made me think of Bebe. I mean, way, waaaaay before I became pregnant with her or even met B, I would hear this song and think of the girl who I might have someday.

The Smiths – Panic

A playlist should have something for everyone. This one is for B whose fascination with Morrissey knows no bounds and would possibly concern me if I weren’t completely convinced of B’s well-established manliness.

The Rolling Stones – Jumping Jack Flash

We have made a decision, B and I have. It’s weighty and contentious and not for everyone. Given the choice between the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, we’d have to take the Stones. Don’t be a hater.

….And a lullaby….

The Smashing Pumpkins – Luna

The Smashing Pumpkins get me emotional like no other band does, and this song is just so sweet I can’t handle it! The theme variations from Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness are also extremely soothing and lovely and will be a mainstay in the nursery; we’ll wait a few years to expose her to the shredding. One day I will tell the lengthy tale of my affair with The Smashing Pumpkins.


What would you include on your family’s playlist?


  1. First, it is completely possible to eliminate the Wiggles and I heartily recommend it. That said, if your kid likes a particular show and it keeps her occupied long enough for you to have a cup of tea sitting down and without burning your tongue, let them watch. My son loved Blue’s Clues. In our family soundtrack, we have lots and lots of Led Zeppelin. I made him/her listen in the womb. He now loves the Zep. My husband injected copious amounts of classical music and we invented new words to famous operas. We had a particular aria that we sang along with diaper changes. The most wonderful thing about music and kids was discovering the amount of really, really good music on Sesame Street. Check out James Taylor and Jelly Man Kelly.

    1. Sesame Street really is awesome. I have to admit that when I get bored and nothing else is on (which is often at our house because we don’t have cable), I don’t mind tuning in.

      And I know EXACTLY which James Taylor clip you’re referring to because it left a strong impression on me when I saw it as a four-year-old! I remember having a strange craving for peanut butter and jelly after seeing it! :)

  2. You’re never quite ready and yet, you are. When my second child was born, we had to stop at the 7-11 on the way home from the hospital for diapers. It’s not that we didn’t know she was coming. It’s that we were living. She survived. So did we. And we listened to the Beatles the whole way home.

    1. True dat! AND you can never have enough diapers!

  3. There are cultures that believe it is bad luck to buy anything for the baby prior to its birth. Many Jews, for instance, order the furniture for the nursery before the birth. Then, while Mom and Dad are on the way to the hospital, someone calls the store and the furniture is delivered. I, personally, bought nothing but a stuffed animal for my first.

    1. I have heard that. I have a Jewish friend who just had her first baby back in October and she didn’t get anything prior to the birth and (of course) they all survived.

  4. Cut cable by the time the wee one is two. My son is only exposed to the shows that I can tolerate, and only via DVD. It’s a beautiful thing.

    1. No problems there! We don’t have cable now and don’t intend on signing up for it anytime soon. My mom has cable, and I always look forward to being able to watch it when I travel to see her, but then after watching it for more than 10 minutes I realize it’s all terrible reruns and ads. Plus it is the biggest money-suck EVER; I don’t want to pay to see ads.

  5. Here’s what Drinkify recommends to accompany the Wiggles:
    2 oz. Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon
    2 oz. Coco López
    4 oz. Rum
    Combine in shaker and strain into cocktail glass. Serve.

    Agreed on the Stones; too bad the kids don’t feel the same way. Life wouldn’t be complete without the Smiths!
    The song the kids are hearing a lot lately: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want…”

    1. See? Now THAT is a comment. It has all the necessary components of an awesome blog comment:

      a. a drink recipe,
      b. agreeance (is this a word?) that the Smiths are awesome,
      c. a reference to an awesome song that I don’t mind getting stuck in my head

  6. Ah you are so right about the reality of “baby time” – it is at least three times faster than non-baby time in my estimation.
    We have managed to avoid The Wiggles, thank God! We like Sesame Street but lately the boys can not get enough of Shaun the Sheep, a claymation with no words. It is so awesome, you should check it out. :-)

    1. I think I’ve seen Shaun the Sheep. No words = very good

  7. 30 pounds lucky I gained fifty !!!

    1. When all is said I done I will be surprised if I DON’T gain fifty!

  8. The Smiths! Oh, how I love the Smiths. I think ‘This Charming Man’ might be the best song ever. We listen to a lot of the Weepies, Radiohead, and awesome 80’s tunes. Sonia likes it. Or, we just pretend she likes it because we are the parents and we make the rules.

    1. Love that song! I think it was the first song other than “How Soon Is Now?” that really got me hooked.

  9. You and B will be the coolest Mom and Dad ever !
    BeBe needs to listen to Richie Havens….

  10. mommysaidaswearword · · Reply

    My daughter, last night, sang me “close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, tomorrow I’ll miss you”. It was possibly one of the most memorable points in her little life for me. Well, that, and when she busted out a booty drop to “whatta man” while we were cleaning the living room.

    1. She has quite the well-rounded repertoire! Beatles AND En Vogue!

  11. I like the idea of a soundtrack of life. I’ll have to think about that one for a while.

  12. I’ve been thinking a lot about the baby soundtrack lately, since I realized all of the stuff we listen to is highly unsoothing and not child friendly. My ipod on shuffle has developed an affinity for finding Paul Simon songs, though, and I think that may be a good soundtrack jumping off point.

  13. Yo Gabba Gabba has been one of the coolest kid shows around ever, I think. My son Haden really dug it. Even though one of the characters looks phallic (& ridden with some v.d.), the rest is filled with enough musical guests (I’ve spotted The Shins & The Roots, to drop a couple of names), celebrity guests (Jack Black, Biz Markey), & general weirdness that I fully believe the people who make the show probably eat a lot of hallucinogens. It’s just to bizarre not to watch.

    In terms of music-sweet-music, be who you be & play what you like. Maya has developed a taste for pop country (personally, barf!), and listens to the classics of her age like Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez…oleary & I actually recently heard my 4 yr old son singing Ke$ha recently (that’s totally his stepmom’s music, I had to ask what it was). He’s also into this one Alice in Chains song… However, both the kids have enjoyed my tunes from Modest Mouse (personal fave) to The Flaming Lips, The Moldy Peaches, Oitkast, and other severely obscure musical talent that most kids wouldn’t even begin to recognize. I think it makes them pretty boss.
    Anyway, I have a longtime friend who makes CDs of kid songs & Disney princess songs -on PURPOSE – and rocks those while she drives. I would rather eat thumbtacks.
    But it’ll be your family, you guys will make your own lil unit. Don’t sweat stuff too much, you seem to have it so much more together than me & I’m 11 years into the game. You’re going to be superb.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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