We had an errand in the city last night. The baby was his delightful elfin self on the ride there, an early restaurant dinner, and an intentional but meandering visit to IKEA. But he was not happy about the ride home. He was tired but overstimulated and irritated and unable to sleep. So we did what we always do, when trapped in a car with a screaming baby, we cranked the radio up and we sang. I’d say that we all sang, because we usually do, but last night, we had the dial set to the classic rock station, and it was a string of songs that only the husband and I knew. So the teenager and the seven yr old rolled their eyes and watched the rain and the husband and I showed Tom Petty how it’s done and the baby cried until he finally fell asleep. I remember telling someone once, when my older son was a baby, that I sing loudly when he’s upset in the car. “And that helps him?” the person asked me. No, it helps me! I responded chirpily. And it does. I’m so sorry, baby, that you have to be stuck in the car when you don’t want to be. But we just have to get home. And we can do it miserably; the sound of a baby screaming in the car is so pitiful/grating. Or we can sing like we are having the best time in our life, loud and full, and be in the Song instead.
I would rather sing in the car all together than always stay home. I would rather the baby be surrounded by a happy, singing family than a miserable, frustrated one. He won’t remember having hated the car (my other children did too! SO SO MUCH. uly in comparison is actually CAKE) but he’ll always remember that we sing.