Putting little ones to sleep can, shall we say, be fraught/traumatizing/the WORST. But there's one part of our night-time routine that's always sweet.
After the chaos of bathtime and the fights over toothbrushing and the million "whys" during story time are done (and before we start in on the tears and the increasingly fractious demands for one more cuddle, one more drink of water, one more trip to the potty, etc ad infinitum), there's a quiet moment of connection. We turn off the lights and turn on the white noise and then we cuddle and sing. Is there anything nicer than a freshly bathed baby all snuggled up in clean pajamas?
I also can't help but think of that scene from Dumbo when the mama elephant is locked up and she sings Baby of Mine and rocks her little baby. It's an expression of pure love, and it's a freaking cartoon, and it gets me every time (Alison Krauss also has a pretty version).
When P1 was little, every night before she went to bed I would sing two songs to her: Dream a Little Dream of Me and then The Carpenters' Close to You. Once she got older, she started requesting songs - for awhile she rotated between My Cherie Amour and The Wheels on the Bus, though lately it's been either Hush Little Baby or Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. She'll sing these to her baby dolls when it's time to put them to sleep, which is pretty adorable and makes up for all sorts of petty offenses.
When P2 was born, I started singing You Are My Sunshine to her. We had a brief stint in the pediatric NICU when she spiked a high fever at just under two weeks old, and I'll never forget those seemingly interminable hours, when all I could do to comfort her was hold her and sing her song to her. The song stuck, and for months I would be able to calm her when she fussed by singing You Are My Sunshine while rocking her - I could shush her or sing something else to her or talk to her and there'd be no change, but once I started singing, she'd recognize her song and calm down. Now when I put P2 to bed, I sing You Are My Sunshine and Hush Little Baby to her while we have a nice little snuggle. (I also love this sweet version of You Are My Sunshine by Vered).
Readers, what about you? Do you have any favorite lullabies?
Image at top: Mothering, by Joya Logue.