Charlie has never liked music, especially not being sung to. Now, being mama to a baby who doesn't want to be held, rocked or sung to is pretty devastating, especially when this mama is also a singer and music teacher. That's your first instinct when they're sad or tired or hurt, isn't it? To pick them up, sway them back and sing to them?
Instrumentation overwhelms his senses. It's like he doesn't know what he's supposed to be listening to and the rapid succession of sounds overloads his sensory processors. He does okay in our church, where singing is a capella, but that has taken a long, long time and still doesn't go so well some days. I spend a lot of time in church with his little grubby sticky boy hands clamped over my mouth.
(Did I ever tell you that our fabulous church put video monitors in the lobbies? Now we can still know what is going on when we're sitting out with him.)
Another thing we've had to change is singing in the car. Dowlan and I used to sing on road trips, even before the kids. Can't do it any more, as it antagonizes him. We now listen to a lot of NPR and talk radio.
It's hard on the girls, too. Dixie and Melody would love nothing more than to take turns singing in the car, especially if it means arguing about whose turn it is. Melody used to have this alphabet toy with a button for each lettter. In one mode, it would say the letter name when it was pushed. In another mode, it gave you a word that begins with that letter. In the best mode, in her opinion, it plays a different song for each letter. Melody, at about 3.5 years old, had made up her own little song to go with the melody played, based on whatever word it said in word mode. She'd take this on road trips and be happy the whole way.
She also had her rocking horse song, that she would sing every time she was on her rocking horse. I think she got that horse for her second birthday. Charlie has insisted that, "Horses do NOT sing."
On with the story . . .
Charlie and music had been doing incrementally better, but he still didn't like it. The fits where he'd be prostrate and screaming have abated. He'd jump and run in circles when other kids danced to music, happy to finally have the chance to be wild, but with no interest in the music itself.
A few weeks ago, he started singing a song in the car on the way home from Vacation Bible School. Dowlan and I looked at each other in amazement, awe.
Last weekend, on the way home from Abilene, he made up a song (about things that are green, of course) and it had a decent melody, rhythm and phrasing pattern.
Dowlan took the kids to Oklahoma this weekend while I stayed to work. He called last night to say they were coming home a day later than expected. Apparently, while driving from town to town in Oklahoma, he kept requesting the CD of music from VBS.
I miss music in my daily life and hope that, bit by bit, it can come back now. Perhaps this is a sign that he's better able to handle auditory input and that this processing ability will continue to improve. Maybe, someday, I can sing to my baby boy.