My Photo
Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

RSS Feed

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Directions in Family Rock, Part II

So, how to incorporate the baby into our rock-and-roll lifestyle? That's been the burning question ever since Roo was born.

At first, it wasn't such a pressing issue. She was a tiny infant and took up so much of my and my Old Man's time and energy, the question of rocking out in the basement was entirely moot. And O. was on his drum strike, so all our rock equipment began to gather dust. But then my Old Man starting picking up the drum sticks, and slowly O. was seduced back down into the basement by the lure of getting to play chaotic noise rock on his dad's electric guitar. Then O. got his own guitar, and then he finally got back on the drums.

Just as I abstained from sex for a spell after Roo was born, I abstained from rock, and for many of the same reasons. I was tired. My breasts were too big and swollen to want to be touched by man or guitar strap. I just didn't have the right hormonal kick to work up the urge. I was tired - did I mention that? But my rock libido took much longer to come back than my libido libido. I was playing a lot of acoustic guitar, playing for the baby at bedtime, playing for myself during her naps. Somehow the sweet mellow tone of my Yamaha hollow body was just what I wanted. I got my fingerpicking back up to speed. I revisited my folk and country roots.

Eventually, I felt inclined to head down the basement stairs and pay my Fender Jaguar a visit. The Old Man was getting good on drums, and fun as it was for him to create gnarly noise with O., he also wanted the challenge of keeping a beat with someone who actually knows more than two chords. So we started to play again, and I started to play with O. again. Roo was such a champion sleeper back in those days, we'd often play while she was asleep, setting up the baby monitor receiver in the basement and keeping an eye out for the telltale red lights.

What I really wanted, though, was to get Roo in on the family rock action. By the time she was a year old, she was fully inculcated into music fandom, frequently requesting that we turn on music by pointing fervently to the stereo and shouting "gyung!", her made-up word for anything that makes sound and entertains her. She liked to dance and was particular about which music she'd accept, nixing anything with an inadequate beat with a "nah nah!" and an adamant head shake. It seemed like it was time to take her down to the basement and see how she liked live music. This experiment would have the additional benefit of allowing the Old Man, O., and me to all play together for the first time in a long time.

There was only one problem: we were too responsible to expose her tender ear drums to the cacaphony of basement rock, but too busy and/or lazy to get on the ball and buy her a pair of baby-sized noise canceling earphones like all the rock stars' kids have. We kept saying "well, we could all go down there, if only Roo had something to protect her ears." But she didn't, so we couldn't.

Finally, as so often happens in our home, I rigged a stop-gap measure. We have plenty of ear plugs in our home, but the problem with them is 1. they're small and babies can choke on them, 2. Roo would undoubtedly rip them right out, and 3. I'm not convinced they would protect her young ear drums sufficiently. But, I decided that if she wore her earflappy winter hat over the ear plugs, as long as we kept the volume low on the amps and the drumming relatively soft, she could come down and watch. The hat would keep the plugs in her ears and out of her mouth, and would provide an extra layer of sound absorbency.

So this has been the look Roo's been rocking when she's down in the basement to partake in the rocking:

Ruby listening to the rock

And I actually did some research recently and found a pair of noise protection earphones for babies that cost $20 instead of $100 plus. They are ordered and on their way, so soon Roo will be rocking a look more along the lines of:

ear phone baby

Except I got her the light blue ones instead of the pink.


Blogger Lisa Blah Blah said...

Gah, she really is a beautiful child.

P.S. And she rocks!

4:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home