Did you have a record player in your house long ago?
This record player came from an estate sale,
the first one Nik and Kate went to several years ago.
The price was $150.
That number seemed high.
It’s probably about as much as the original cost in the late 1950s or early 60s.
They tried to bargain, but the stubborn old man said.
“Firm price. You’re gonna thank me every day.”
So, now we play our songs —
the old-fashioned way, with snaps, crackles and pops not found on CDs.
We have played the record below over and over again (Kate’s favorite 35 years ago which we saved).
Granddaughter Lydia brightens every time the needle hits the groove.
While we listen to the catchy music with strong beat, I often toss Lydia in the air and start dancing.
This video was made six months ago when Lydia was just starting to love music,
but she obviously enjoys the rhythm, the whirling, and the tactile experience.
The words matter less, and Grandma obviously has not memorized them on the video,
but now that Lydia sits in a high chair several times a day,
the lyrics to “Sittin in a High Chair” mean more.
Stuart and I have made record albums our gift to Lydia for her first birthday,
choosing from this annotated list of the
Lydia now owns four of these.
Recently, NPR has run a series called “How to Raise a Human.”
Not surprisingly, the role of music in child development was a major topic.
What makes music magical for babies and children?
For starters, It soothes, aids in learning, motivates action, and entertains.
As feelings emerge, parents are as impacted as babies.
A lullaby slows down the parental heartbeat as much as the child’s, for example,
leading to this fascinating conclusion:
Shankar Vedantum: Indeed, if there’s one thing that all this research shows, it’s that communicating with babies is not a one-way street. Parents and caregivers are shaped by what babies say and sing and scream, just as babies are hungrily soaking up information from adults. When we think about raising a human, it’s natural that most of us think about the role that adults play in shaping their children. What’s less clear – but what is abundantly true – is that babies are every bit as involved in raising humans of their own. It’s not just a figure of speech. We’re all always growing up.
I love that idea;
it summarizes well what being a grannynanny is all about.
Lydia has been teaching us her own songs just as we have been teaching her ours.
Every night before she goes to bed, her parents sing “Peace Like a River” to her.
And she in turn is teaching them more about peace than they could ever learn in books.
When Kate and Nik bought the record player, they were neither parents nor dreaming of becoming parents.
Nevertheless, they coughed up $150 and listened to a wise old man.
Did he see a vibrant baby girl in their future?
Probably not, but they have to admit he was right.
“You’re gonna thank me every day.”
Please add your favorite baby/children’s songs in the comment section below. It would be wonderful to continue growing each other up with music and sharing it with others. If you have a memory involving record players and their role in your family’s life, that would be great too.