Tag Archives: baby

Lullabies are Creepy


Everyone knows that children’s songs are a just a little bit unsettling.

You’re either singing about children falling down a hill and cracking their heads open, or you’re glorifying the flooding of a tiny spider’s drain pipe home. And let’s not even touch on the macabre horror of telling an inoffensive ladybird that her house is on fire and her children are gone.

But it wasn’t until my first child was born that I realised exactly how creepy lullabies can be.

Rock-a-Bye Baby, in the Treetops
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks the cradles will fall
Down will come baby, cradle and all

Creepy, right? What, you don’t see it?

The rough translation goes something like this:

I love you dear Baby
So I’ll put you in a tree
And when the branch breaks
You’ll fall and die

Or I may be over-thinking it.

Either way, the first time I held Big Brother in my arms and started to sing him this lullaby, I was struck by the wrongness of it. It didn’t feel comforting to sing to him about falling out of a tree.

So I did what anyone would do. I changed the words.

Allow me to present, for the first time ever on the interwebz, the new, improved Jo-style Rock-a-Bye Baby.

Rock-a-Bye Baby, in Mummy’s arms
You close your eyes, you’ll come to no harm
When you wake up, I’ll still be here
And we’ll have fun tomorrow, without any fear

This is the verse I sang time and time again to both my boys, and so far I’ve only come across one downside.

Big Brother is quite vocal about telling everyone else that they’re singing the wrong words.

Have you ever changed the words to a song you’re uncomfortable with?


Filed under Life With Kids, Opinion

Goodbye Baby, Hello Little Brother

The day Big Brother started school was a momentous day for another reason. It was also Baby’s first birthday.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since he was born. It seems like such a short time has passed, certainly not a full year, but I can’t even begin to imagine life without him.

To celebrate his graduation from Baby to Little Brother, I give you this pictorial tribute to his first year.


Filed under Life With Kids

The Diary of a Ten-Month-Old

For ten months, I’ve been at the whim of my captors — let’s call them the “parents” — but finally things are starting to turn around. They couldn’t have known that I’ve been practicing, training, waiting for this day. I feel like Sarah Connor from Terminator 2 (not that the parents have ever let me watch that classic movie), building my strength for the day that I knew would come.

The day I learned to crawl.

I’m still a bit unsteady, but my strength and speed are improving on a daily basis. I can make it from my playmat to the lounge room quicker than ever. I hope to break the two-minute mark within the next week. And then it won’t be long before I can escape from this prison — let’s call it my “house”.  The world will be my oyster! (Whatever that is.)

The best part is that the parents are completely oblivious to the fact that their reign of supremacy will soon be over. If they had any sense, they’d be worried. Instead, they spend their time oohing and aaahing at me, encouraging me to “dig my knees in” and “keep that bottom up” as I exercise.

Truly, their stupidity is a blessing.

They do lock me in a cage every night — let’s call it a “cot” — but I’ve recently discovered that, in their naivety, they have forgotten to put a roof on the thing. In a few more months, I should be able to scale the wall and disappear without the parents being any the wiser.


My captivity isn’t too bad. Other than the solitary confinement every night (isn’t that against some kind of human rights act?), I’m treated well. There’s as much food as I can eat, assuming I’m prepared to scream until I get it, and a variety of interesting toys to play with. Best of all, I have a cellmate — let’s call him a “sibling”. The parents call him Big Brother, but I’m fairly sure that’s not his real name.

I’ll have to ask him next time we’re alone.

Big Brother plays with me, brings me toys, and tells me stories. I keep trying to tell him that I’m plotting my escape, but so far he hasn’t responded. Maybe he doesn’t want to alert the parents. Or maybe he doesn’t understand plain babyish. It’s a shame. I’d like him to come with me: he’s good fun to have around. Plus, he can open doors.


Despite the good treatment, it’s important that I maintain a healthy level of control. I don’t want the parents to think that I’ve succumbed to the idea that this is “for my own good”. Plus, I don’t want to get sidetracked and forget my escape plans. I’m coming to wonder if that’s what happened to Big Brother. I have no other explanation as to why he doesn’t use his superior door-opening skills to run away from home.

Between the parents and Big Brother playing with me, and all the tickling and games every day, I find it hard to stay surly. In fact, I spend most of each day laughing at them. (Sometimes they don’t even realise they’re being funny. Seriously, who wouldn’t laugh when a parent slams his/her finger in a cupboard or stubs his/her toe?)

I’ve found the best way to keep the parents on their toes is through sudden, unexplained, and uncontrollable crying and/or shrieking. Not only does this force them to stop what they’re doing immediately, it reminds them of who has the real power in this house.

Unfortunately, the female parent — let’s call her “Mummy” — wears soporific-laced clothes. Within minutes of her picking me up and resting my head against her chest, I fall into a deep sleep. This is highly inconvenient to my plans for world-domination.


The parents spend a lot of time trying to “bond” with me and “teach” me their “language”. To be perfectly honest, I think they make it up as they go along. Most of their so-called “words” are just a combination of odd sounds. Even so, I’ve come to understand a few of their nonsense sounds. Here’s an abridged version of the dictionary I’m compiling:

No: Please stop what you’re doing and smile at me, then continue as you were.
Come here: Please crawl away from me as quickly as possible.
Time for breakfast: Food time!
Time for lunch: Food time!
Time for dinner: Food time!
No biting me: Food time!
What’s in your mouth: Please open your mouth as wide as possible, wait for me to stick my finger in and then clamp your teeth down as hard as you can.
Take that out of your mouth: Please swallow. Quickly.

But in an effort to broaden Mummy’s horizons, I’ve taken it upon myself to teach her some of the more basic words in babyish. As you’ll see from the following example, my patience is a thing of legend.

Mummy: Is that Daddy? Say Da-Da.
Me:     Gik.
Mummy: Da-Da.
Me:     Gik.
Mummy: Da-Da, Da-Da, Da-Da.
Me:     Gik.
Mummy: (laughing) Gik.

I smile to show I’m pleased with her progress and she beams. Then I slap her on the side of the head as a reward.


I’ve come to believe that the parents are deluded and stupid. Want proof? For a start, they seem to completely incapable of making full use of their senses or their bodies. I’ve never yet seen Mummy or the male parent — let’s call him “Daddy” — explore any part of the house with their mouth. So while I can tell you where I am merely by the taste of the floor and the chewability of the furniture, the parents rely on their inferior sense of sight.

Likewise, the parents insist in using their hands to do everything. I’ve tried to help, tried to demonstrate that there are better ways to manipulate objects than with the clumsy use of “fingers” — or, as I like to call them, hand-toes — but they seem oblivious to the fact that they have other limbs. It’s almost as though they think of feet and toes as simply something to put on the ground, instead of as useful tools for holding toys, picking up dropped food, and even sucking on (in dire situations).

Sometimes it’s like living with forty-year-olds.


One of the biggest things I’ve learned since starting to crawl is that the parents have been hiding all the good toys from me. Yes, for ten months I’ve had access only to the cast-offs; the leftovers. But no longer.

I’m talking, of course, of those amazing rubber snake-like toys with one end attached to the wall, and the other… well, who cares where they go, really. (Although I’ve learned that if I pull on them hard enough, things fall over with very satisfying crashing noises.) These rubber snakes are perfect for my favourite games — chewing and pulling.

Sometimes it’s necessary to climb under or behind furniture to get to the snakes, but I assure you that it’s well worth the effort. And although the parents do their best to distract me from them, it doesn’t work. No other toy is nearly as interesting. Besides —

OOoh! Big Brother’s building a tower of blocks! I need to go knock it over!

Bye for now!

Baby Brother
(Not my Real Name)


Filed under Life With Kids