When I graduated from college, I took Dr. Seuss’, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!“, to heart. And, “with brains in my head and feet in my shoes,” I returned the ring my parents gave me at graduation and bought a two-piece, Samsonite set, along with a one-way ticket to San Juan. I decided to postpone graduate school and instead, accepted Carnival Cruise Line’s job offer as a child counselor. Oh, the places I went! I swam with stingrays in Grand Cayman, climbed the Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, canoed through the rain forests of Dominica, went horseback riding through the papaya fields of Grenada and more. Yet, I wasn’t prepared for the trip my psyche would take when I entered Motherhood.
Early on we discovered Noah had two speeds – high and off. While other babies’ speakers went to 10, Noah’s rocked a Spinal Tap's 11. As a newborn, it seemed the only time he wasn’t crying, was when he was plugged into me…literally. He suffered from acid reflux and frequent ear infections, so sleep was elusive for all of us. However, when he was just a couple months old, we discovered Noah had a hankerin’ for Hank Williams. One day Steve started serenading Noah with an old Williams’ song called, “Roly Poly”. A few bars in and Noah’s rigid body began to relax and his cries began to quiet down. The twangy tune soon became our first defense in stopping the screamies. As time went on, the results would become even more dramatic. That one song kept our ears from bleeding, but the jury is still out on how it affected our brains.When Noah was about six months old, we decided to take a trip to Columbus, Indiana to visit Steve’s college roommate. It would be our first long haul trip with the baby, but everyone told us – it’ll be so easy. Babies just go right to sleep in the car. Something about the hum and rhythm of the engine just puts them out. Trouble was, no one had told Noah that. And, because road trips hadn’t been added to his playbook, we were in for quite a ride.
The first 30 minutes we tried to wait him out. Surely, the rhythm of the car and strenuous exercise he was putting his lungs through would tire him out. Wrong. Finally, Steve broke down and started belting out Noah’s favorite ditty. While my body sat in the passenger seat heading east on highway 46, I’m not sure where my mind went after the first hour. But, every time Steve would stop, Noah would amp back up. By this time, Steve’s voice was beginning to crack so I took over. Steve and I continued our singing relay until we reached our destination. All I could think was, where in the heck is Scotty when you need him? Beam me up!
Today, Noah still loves music and thankfully his tastes have expanded beyond "Roly Poly." He has an ear for sounds, but not always for the actual words . Like when he sings Katy Perry’s, “Hot n’Cold”. The words I hear from the backseat are, “You’re hot in your clothes. You’re up in your nose!” Or, when he’s channeling Ke$ha with her song, “Blow” and instead of singing “It’s time to kill the lights.” Noah’s singing, “It’s time to kill the lice…”
Hmmm…I wonder how Weird Al got his start?
For those of you curious about "Roly Poly". Here it is for your listening pleasure.