We’re so grateful to Rockabye Baby for letting me, a first-time mommy, and, my partner in parenting, a daddy in training, share our journey with her. I have learned so, so, so much from documenting her different milestones here.
We’re throwing her a big birthday party tomorrow, with planning semi on par of our wedding and totally us: everything last minute, a little DIY and a little reckless spending (because there’s no one talking mama out of online shopping at 2 AM).
Little D may have no memory of the party, but as I mentioned earlier this week, honestly, it’s not just about her: It’s also commemorating our first year of parenthood—and we deserve a party. A funny hat party!
We’ve made a Rockabye Baby Birthday (After) Party Playlist for her to take the edge off after what’s sure to be a hectic weekend. If you read the titles closely, you’ll see that it also reflects what this year has meant having this little Gemini -Year of the Dragon baby, now toddler, in our lives.
Here’s to you, Little D, and everyone whose life has been transformed by little spirits like you.
It’s happened again: another chomp-down on my daughter. I knew something was up when I went to pick her up at preschool and was immediately swarmed by concerned teachers. I also received an official “ouch report,” which documented the incident with a series of check-box choices.
By the time I got to my daughter, who was sitting at a table finishing her snack, I’d been schooled in what to do and say. “Nothing,” said one teacher. “Let her bring it up if she wants. It’s better to make her feel comfortable here again. You can talk about it once you get home and she feels totally safe.”
Of course, I didn’t listen. As soon as I spotted the big red welt on her arm I broke. “What happened, honey?” I asked and she pulled her arm away, ashamed. It was the first time I’ve ever seen her be embarrassed (this is a girl who strips off her clothes at any occasion and I’ve had to bribe not to dance in places where it might be deemed inappropriate, like say, a funeral). It broke my heart that she should discover shame, especially when she was the victim, not the perpetrator, of the problem.
I realized, for about the hundredth time, that her teachers know way more than I do. I kept my mouth shut about the bite and helped her collect her things. We invited a friend of hers over to play and the rest of the afternoon was all fun-and-games, none of which were blood sports, thankfully. I wanted to bite that kid back so badly. I understand why the teachers never tell you who the biter is—that delinquent needs protection.
As soon as we were alone, she brought it up, showing me her arm and relaying the entire crime. She’d gone to get a ladybug costume from the dress-up stand when the perpetrator (she told me who), misunderstanding the school’s rules, told her she couldn’t. He then tried to take the costume away. She would not relent (don’t get between my girl and her choice of fashion), and pulling-and-pushing ensued. When he realized she wasn’t backing down, the violence escalated to him biting her arm so that she’d drop the costume.
Putting my feelings aside about the little vampire who bit my baby has been crucial to our efforts at damage control. First, we don’t want her to feel ashamed or afraid (she seems fine and still loves school). Secondly, we don’t want her to see biting as an option when other means of communication break down. “Use your words,” is the mantra around here, and most of the time, it works. But still, for three-year-olds and adults alike, physicalizing our feelings and frustrations can feel good. So we make critical distinctions: You can hit a pillow when you feel mad; you can’t hit a person. Feel like biting? Get an apple.
And leave my little girl out of it, you preschool punks.
Soothe the bitten and the biters—and the punks—with a sweet lullaby to bring things down to nap level.
Love is an amazing and inspiring thing. But you know what can be equally as amazing and inspiring? Unrequited love.
The summer before my senior year in high school, I worked at the local pool. Instead of attracting boys my age, I caught the eyes of the boys who were going into the 3rd grade. They would hang out by my lifeguard stand and do back flips off the high board, stuff like that. I thought they were just, like, my little buddies, but I guess to them it was more of a “Wendy Peffercorn and Squints” situation from The Sandlot. Thankfully, none of them ever “faked a drowning” to get my attention.
I grew up in a very small town, where our high school and grade school were connected. So when the school year started, I saw those darling boys, who I had somehow cast under my love spell, everyday. They flocked to me as they had at the pool, begged me to come to their little league football games and bought me secret admirer candy canes around Christmas time. It was cute . . . and weird . . . but I was mostly flattered.
One of them, let’s call him “Cole,” even got up the nerve to ask me out—on Valentine’s Day no less (a true romantic)!
I was sitting at the senior table at lunch with a few of my friends. Young Cole walked right up to the head of the table and gave me this suave, debonair look. He dug into his back pocket, reached across the table and handed me a Jack Sparrow Valentine’s Day card with the name “Dylan” scribbled out and mine etched under it (poor Dylan). Without hesitating, he blatantly asked “What are you doing after school? Wanna cruise up to Dairy Queen with me?” And winked.
I turned bright red and my friends burst out laughing, but Cole stood firmly waiting for an answer. This kid was nine. Nine! Most people I know still can’t work up the nerve to do something like that unless they’re three sheets to the wind. So, although I declined his offer to buy me a Peanut Buster Parfait, I let him know how much I admired that he went for it so fearlessly.
I saw him the next night sharing a drink and popcorn with a girl at the varsity basketball game, so I don’t think he was too torn up about it. Besides, a lot can be learned from our “Cole” here. If more of us could learn to go for what we wanted without the fear of rejection or embarrassment, imagine what kinds of lives we’d be living—and whom we’d be leading them with.
To inspire you to be more fearless in your love for one another this Valentine’s Day, we’re offering a free download of our lullaby rendition of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover.”
I’ve been a mother for eight months now, and people always ask me what I miss most about my life before baby… (That ellipsis was me thinking.) Um, less laundry? Less responsibility? Less trash? More sleep?
One thing I do miss about my pre-baby but not pre-pregnancy life is my dream world. I don’t know about you other mothers or mothers-to-be, but when I was pregnant, the places I went to and the things I did in my dreams were way, way, way beyond my imagination.
I lived like a rock star in one, had NC-17 adventures in another… (that ellipsis was for me blushing) and often, I even flew around like a superhero. So I travelled everywhere. That was my dream life when I was carrying little D.
Maybe it was hormones; maybe it was my subconscious getting all my wild tendencies out in my dream world before settling into motherhood. Or, maybe, it was my little girl who sent me out on all these crazy escapades, giving me the most fantastic slumber life saying, “Hey, mama, enjoy this time; I’ll be a great adventure, too.”
But these last months, you know how eventful my dreams were?
I woke up this past weekend a bit confused and told my husband, “I think I just went to the grocery in my dreams. Or did we actually go?” In another dream, it got even duller and I didn’t go anywhere: I cleaned the house. Where’s the fun in that?
Is my wild dream life a thing of the past?
Is my greatest fantasy getting chores done?
Will I ever fly again?
I decided it was time for a big helping of my life before baby. I went out. Without my husband, without baby D—and certainly not to the grocery store.
I joined two non-parent friends and my older sister and BFF—both of whom also wanted a “Mama’s Night Out”—and ventured out on a Saturday night in Hollywood as we did before we had children (or were pregnant with them). We ended up at a very L.A. club that required being on a guest list, didn’t have a proper marked entrance (very Swingers-esque) and didn’t get happening until after midnight.
We had overpriced cocktails and danced as if we were teenagers, thanks to the DJ, who was spinning tracks from artists from our generation versus the 20-something crowd who ruled the place: Prince, Beasties Boys, The Cure, to name a few oldies but goodies.
We didn’t get home until after 1 am. And when I opened my bedroom door, there was my husband and baby fast asleep in bed. I stared at them for a while and thought, this night was even better than I had anticipated. Not because I got to go out without them, but because of what I came home to every night that I didn’t have 8 months ago. (Well, most nights, around that hour, I’d be nursing that babe of mine).
In that moment I decided that the two hours out in Hollywood was real life and my family life is the dream—though, very G-rated with occasional mature language (I blame hormones!)—even with the empty pantry, mountains of laundry and cluttered rooms.
But I’m hoping when I wake up next weekend, my husband and daughter make my dreams come true and those undone chores will be figments of my imagination. Yeah, I’d totally make them my Valentines if they did.
Make the mother in your life’s dreams come true this Valentine’s Day with a selection of Rockabye Baby CDs that will softly rock her and her baby to slumberland.
Now through February 14, we’re offering free domestic shipping on your entire order!
I’ve known people with some questionable tipping practices. There’s my dad, for instance, who used to think servers should only get $1 for every person at the table. (Where he came from, $1 went a long way.) Glad I never served him.
Then there was my first boyfriend, a true punk, who liked to put the tip on the table when we first sat down at a restaurant. “I do that so they see what they could get,” he said. “And then I would take money away from the pile as the service got bad.” That was a 19-year-old talking, by the way. And, yeah, I left him.
I consider myself a pretty generous tipper. Usually 20 percent for attentive service, because I know how hard servers work—I’ve been one. But now, as a mom, the reasons I tip well have definitely changed. It’s not just about being friendly to me and getting my order straight. It’s all about my Little D.
My baby girl is my everything, and, frankly, if I’m with her at your restaurant, you’d better treat her as a guest as well, or else!
I’m not saying every server, hostess or manager has to roll out the red carpet for Little D or shower her/me with compliments over how cute she is, but really…she’s there— acknowledge her. Are you all with me on this?
On behalf of my very opinionated and sensitive daughter (I’m projecting, I know), here’s (what I think) are her list of dos and don’ts on getting the best tip.
Top 5 Ways to Get the Best Tip from My Parents
By Little D
DO greet me. It’s that simple. Smile, say “Hi,” or something. Don’t make me invisible. Happy baby equals happy parents equals great tip for you.
DON’T assume I want to be placed at a corner or far-off table. To quote a line from Dirty Dancing, “No one puts baby in the corner.”
DO offer me a seat. Even if I cruise in with a stroller, or can barely hold my head up, it’s nice to be asked. On the flip side, it’s great for you to offer to take a seat away so I can park my ride.
DO keep your bathrooms tidy. I realize I poo and pee in my pants, but I don’t lie in it. A clean counter space/changing station is always appreciated!
DON’T roll your eyes, or make a face, if I speak up, spit up, or decide it’s a good time to wail. Dude, I’m a baby.
Do you have a “tip”—ha, ha—my baby should add to her list? Tell us below.
P.S. Here’s a great tip from me: A great way to keep your baby at ease when you’re looking to enjoy a meal at home is by playing one of these great Rockabye releases. Little D–tested, First-Time Mommy–approved!
Well, it’s here, the moment that I’ve been eagerly awaiting and terrified of: preschool.
My two-year-old started last week and we are both exhausted. Who knew this first, tiny step into learning would be so taxing? First, getting on an actual schedule after our free-for-all summer stinks. My party girl can’t sleep before 10, which means I’ve dragged her bleary-eyed to school tardy every day, despite the fact the school is literally in our backyard. (And I really do mean literally—we share a fence.) Thank goodness there’s no draconian punishments like detention in nursery school because she’d have a permanent spot.
Her school couldn’t be a sweeter place: They play all day, sing, dance, make art, do yoga, garden and have a crew of critters to adore (fish, bunnies and mice). Sometimes, when I drop her off, I’m overcome with jealousy that my day isn’t going to be half as fun.
Still, the separation is tough. Even though I stick around until she’s comfortable, she cries when I leave and I feel horrible, like the most evil person that ever existed. Put together the execs of Enron, BP and Wall Street, mix them with Magneto and Dr. Doom, and they still aren’t as awful as me.
I keep reminding myself that this is best for both of us—for her, it’s a chance to have social interaction with peers (read: ignore them until they have a toy she wants) and an opportunity to learn to trust and love caregivers outside the family (wonderful people, who, no doubt the more she loves, the more I will dislike). For me, school means time to work and maybe even take a shower.
You know what’s getting me through these long days? Kanye. Yes, I had no idea his songs could soothe the ache of maternal yearning but there you go. I play the disc for the baby after coming home from drop-off and “Good Morning” immediately calms me down. By the time we hit “The Good Life” I’m thinking, “Yeah, that’s what I’m living, toddler-free, baby.” That high comes back down with “Hey Mama,” and by the time “Homecoming” plays, I’m pacing the floor like a lion, ready for pickup.
Are you suffering through sending a child to school for the first time? Does it get easier as kids age? Because if she starts actually being able to carry that cute little backpack on her own, I’ll just wither and die out of uselessness. Is there a Kanye song that can help with that?
Have sleepless nights made you delirious? When your little dove cries and a simple kiss won’t do, try these gentle renditions of Prince’s funkiest anthems. Drive off to dreamland with Rockabye Baby.
2. Raspberry Beret
3. Little Red Corvette
5. I Wanna Be Your Lover
6. U Got the Look
8. Alphabet St.
10. When Doves Cry
11. I Would Die 4 U
12. The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
13. Purple Rain
Do you keep losing sleep because of a restless baby? Is the moon stealing your baby’s slumber? Spin these bedtime-ready renditions of Silverchair’s most-loved songs. Your little tadpole will be dreaming sweetly, asleep in a golden ocean.
Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of The White Stripes
Just don’t know what to do with yourself when baby won’t sleep? Don’t fret, Mom and Dad; slip on these blissful versions of The White Stripes’ rock hits. There’ll be no screeching guitar and no crying infants. Tonight, your baby and bedtime are going to be friends.