Unseasonably warm weather settled over New York area this weekend leaving Maddie with a little bit of spring fever. She made it quite clear to her parents that a little bit of outdoor adventure time was now on the docket.
Unlike Katy Perry or Ke$ha, Maddie decided that there was no reason to brush her gums with a bottle of jack before hitting the town. We eased the baby into the stroller, outfitted her with a stylish pair of shades and were off into the wilds of Jersey City.
Warm weather certainly brought out the crazies this weekend and after being seated at an outdoor café near the town square, Maddie and her parents had front row seats to the show. Moments after we sat down, we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of Michelle and Dan, (a couple of friends, not crazies) who joined us at the table for Maddie’s afternoon on the town.
As always, Maddie was pleased to be the center of attention and gave a great sigh of contentment as she settled herself onto Michelle’s lap. However, there was a great deal of activity and city noise going on around us, and after a while, the baby began to get restless. It seemed like Maddie was on the verge of cutting lunch short, when a homeless fellow across the street took it upon himself to conduct an impromptu saxophone concert right there on Grove Street.
Suddenly a series of soulful and sonorous notes drifted across the neighborhood touching all of those within earshot. The music washed over the delighted Maddie, who was now the picture of relaxation.
The baby did not look for the source of the rhapsody, but instead allowed the gentle tones to soothe her into a dreamlike state. This is when we came to the realization that even in the center of urban chaos, you can still find a lullaby to please the even the most discerning of children.
The day began with a 6am airport run and a full morning of shopping for Maddie and Stay Home PaPa. Aunt Rachel had an early morning flight and kissed the baby goodbye before departing for the frozen tundra of Homer, Alaska.
Maddie was very restless when we got home, but it was still too early to eat and there was not enough time to take Maddie for a walk. Not exactly a situation fraught with upside.
As I looked for a solution – I realized that there was a great deal of noise and commotion going on across the street and that gave me a very unconventional idea. Perhaps this symphony of noise pollution was just what the doctor ordered. (Whoops – we don’t like doctors right now) Was it even possible that the ruckus across the street might actually be the magic elixir needed to put my little girl at ease and send her off to dreamland? What harm could there be in trying?
With Maddie already in her car seat, I threw the window wide open and let the noise from the street flow in with the cool crisp air. Maddie looked momentarily stunned by all the action coming in from the window. First it was constant beeping of a cement truck backing across the street blocking all lanes of traffic. Then came the blaring car horns emanating from all of those courteous and sensitive Jersey City drivers. Then the erratic rhythm created by two men hammering away at the steel poles being driven into place to support a concrete reservoir.
One look at Maddie told me all I needed to know – this chaos was actually sweet music to her ears. She sighed, smiled and began to drift off to sleep.
Suddenly the deafening drone of a generator kicked on at the same time a traffic policeman began yelling at a defiant driver. Surely this would be too much for the Madster. Wrong again, the little girl was sound asleep; literally hypnotized by the bizarre concert that was beseeching our once peaceful neighborhood. It seems that Maddie is bound and determined to teach me new lessons each and every day. Well played my friend!
Researchers often talk about the correlation between music and brain development. The theory is that playing music for babies stimulates brain development by promoting the increased development of neural synapses. (Building up brain cell connections) The idea is that the more brain cell connections a baby develops – the faster they will be able to grasp language and motor skills.
We introduced Maddie to a wide variety of music, but she showed very little interest in any of it. We tried the classical route, some mellow stuff and even a little bit of progressive, but each time, our little girl turned up her nose. However, this week, we had found something she really liked – country music.
Ha, I can hear the moans and groans now – but Maddie lights up when the country starts playing. She starts cracking little smiles and you can tell she wants to join in. Of course, I would be lying if I said that Gina and I don’t chime in to help these country singers belt it out. Let’s be honest, Maddie seems grateful for the additional melodious voices of her parents.
It’s probably likely that Maddie is drawn more to the sound of the voices singing than the actual genre, but imagine a Jersey City girl introducing her classmates to Tim McGraw and Phil Vassar.
Who knows, maybe Maddie will give Taylor Swift a run for her money as soon as she learns how to talk and sing. The CMA awards may have to wait until next year, but Maddie knows that when it comes to country music, “It’s Just Another Day is Paradise!”
Well, it’s ok. It’s so nice
It’s just another day in paradise
Well, there’s no place that
I’d rather be
Well, it’s two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise – Phil Vassar