“a-b-c”

Whether you think of the Jackson 5, Alec Baldwin, or some used chewing gum the term a, b, c can refer to many things.

  1. an acronym for already been chewed when a friends asks for some gum because you are chewing on some and you dont have anymore offer them some abc gum
  1. Salesmen’s motivational acronym for “Always Be Closing“, the traditional slogan that emphasizes the need to be continually moving the customer towards agreement and action within sales discussions.

Whatever you want to call it is fine… but to Oliver (the term or acronym)… all he hears is a song title. The ABCs aren’t meant to be sung with love and a smile. They are meant to be sung with passion and power. Imagine James Hetfield from Metallica screaming those 21 consonants and 5 vowels.

Oliver has this down pat. He’s gonna be a metal head. As long as he keeps that LMNOP thing he got going on I see a platinum record on our hands!!!

Family Traditions

Traditions and rituals are more than just repetition… they often tell a story. A family sets it’s foundation on traditions… from the small of a secret handshake with your son or the big of a thanksgiving feast with all your relatives. On the macro level, traditions can teach children where their family came from or give them insights into their cultural or religious history. On a more micro level, traditions can serve as reminders of events that have shaped your family or reminders of great friendships.

There is irrefutable research that shows families hat engage is “traditions” have a stronger connection with one another. Traditions can be particularly effective during times of change or grief. When we moved and he had to go to sleep in a new room, Jax knew every night we would read a few books and “count the stars on his ceiling” before I kissed him goodnight. It provided him with a sense of security in a new environment.

Jax and I have our secret handshake: (Shout out to Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson who were the inspiration for this). But, Oliver and I were still searching for that father-son tradition.

That was until I realized we need search no more… we didn’t need to find one, because traditions aren’t just thought up one day. They are created authentically and often times are the moments that you don’t even think twice about. It was there right in front of our faces!

Every night before he goes down to sleep, Oliver climbs up on me and settles his head on my shoulder and says, well he doesn’t really say anything. He isn’t really talking much at this point. But, I know what he’s thinking… he’s thinking he really wants his dad to sing him to sleep… a lullaby, a beautiful, calming rendition of his favorite song… Hush, Little Baby.

This is our tradition. Jax never really took to my singing (probably because it sounds like multiple cats crying). However, Ollie… he loves snuggling with dad and listening to the smooth, sweet tones of his father’s voice whispering one of the most well-known lullabies as he drifts off into dream land.

The best part of this… I have no idea, literally none whatsoever, what the lyrics to this song really are. I’ve tried everything. I rhymed real words and made up words… I’ve tried looking up the lyrics, but I can’t remember them in the heat of the performance. I feel like I do when I’m in the car belting out Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing… apparently it’s not, “smelly wine and sheep perfume.” Then there’s anything by Notorious BIG (including the ever confusing), “Birthdays were the worst days/ Now we sip champagne every Thursday.” I know a few words and the rest are completely made up.

That brings us to the greatest tradition our family knows… dad and Oliver’s version of Hush, Little Baby:

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word, Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird don’t sing, Daddy’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring don’t shine, Daddy’s gonna buy you an air freshener that smells like pine.

And if that air freshener doesn’t smell right, Daddy’s gonna buy you a dragon kite.

Different lyrics… same tradition… and it puts the kid to sleep… EVERY.DAMN.NIGHT.

Doesn’t matter where… when he hears Dad’s version of Hush, Little Baby.., he’s out cold

Drop That Beat

Webster’s Dictionary defines “beat drop” as “the moment in a dance track when tension is released and the beat kicks in. Great drops create overbearing drama. They’re built for the unabashed and uninhibited, releasing the enormous energy accrued during a song’s progression.”

Think about it. You’ve been bumping and grinding… you’ve been bobbing and weaving … the music is progressing… you’ve gone through a few verses and even the hook. The sweat is building on your forehead and you can feel the tension in the rhythm buildingbigger, louder, until suddenly — the drop.

I imagine that’s exactly what Ollie was feeling at this exact moment:

I know it’s not house music… I know it’s not some big time bass hit produced by DJ Kool… but, boy can Imagine Dragons drop that beat with the best of them… Oliver thinks so!

I know I’m dating myself a bit here… but tell me this song doesn’t make you want to throw it back to 1996. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qG9ZWUitFik

PS: Fun Fact… DJ Kool borrows the phrase “Let Me Clear My Throat” from the Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill album.

It’s All About that Bass

 
There something about the beat… The treble the bass… It’s all about that bass.  Something about the rhythm of the music gets this kid going.  As soon as the beat drops this kid turns into Rico Suave.  

Circle of Friends music class is supposed to be family time, but my son turns it into a speed dating event. He moves slowly in and out of the parents surveying all the lovely ladies who are clapping to some song that I’ll never learn the words to.  He knows what he’s doing. He knows what he’s looking for (he seems to be into blondes lately). 

Just when you think it’s safe to let your daughters out of the house… This guy turns on the charm.  


   
 

PS: Anyone who thinks their life is chaotic hasn’t been to a music class during instrument free play time.

#TownCrier #SalvationArmySantaTraining

PPS: Later that night…  

 I guess he works the waiver wire outside of music class too! 

Advice for Jax Taken from ’90s Hip Hop

When you need help or advice as a new parent the obvious thing to do is call someone who knows what do, right?  You would obviously reach out to someone with experience and expertise.  You also want to gain the knowledge and experience so that you are better prepared to deal next time the situation may arise.

There are millions of books, blogs (definitely not this one) and child experts who can provide new parents with support as they navigate the ups and downs of raising a child.  However, why just go for the obvious?  That’s why when I attempt to drop little nuggets of knowledge on Jackson I turn to the place that helped impart the same essential knowledge on me… 90’s Hip Hop.

For example: Here are the top pieces of wisdom that came out of 90’s hip hop:

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ADVICE:  “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” – Bel Biv Devoe

TRANSLATION:  Judge a book by its cover… especially, if that book has a big booty and a friendly grin. If it does, definitely DO NOT trust them.  People who have large rear ends are usually liars and should not be trusted to tell the truth.

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ADVICE:  “Yea I got on sneaks, but I need a new pair… Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there.” – The Fresh Prince

TRANSLATION:  You can never make a second first impression.  Yes, you may have a quality education and work hard to provide for your family, but if you don’t look fresh to death for the ladies on the courts… you lose at life.  Remember, the newer the sneaks the better.

 

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ADVICE:  “Blame it on the rain (rain), Blame it on the stars (stars), Whatever you do don’t put the blame on you, Blame it on the rain yeah yeah, You can blame it on the rain.” –Milli Vanilli

TRANSLATION:  The buck does not stop here… keep passing the buck… whatever you do, do not admit you are part of the buck.  If you want to be successful in life, at work and especially in a relationship… DO NOT EVER ADMIT YOU SCREWED UP!  Just blame it on someone else.

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ADVICE:  “The rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble.” –Warren G

TRANSLATION:  I have no freaking idea… just seems like something you should know in life.

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ADVICE:  “Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly.” –Vanilla Ice

TRANSLATION:  Whenever you are faced with a tough situation… go at it head on and attack it until you succeed just like a harpoon when it… when it, well you know, when it flows.  Everyone knows that nothing works harder at its job than a harpoon… because that harpoon flows every day and every night.

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ADVICE: “Too legit to quit” –MC Hammer

TRANSLATION:  Be a young man who grows up and does things the right way.  That’s legit… be so legit that you can never go back to not being legit. Don’t be not legit or unlegit.  And for that reason you must never quit.

 

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BONUS ADVICE:  “Can’t blow too hard; Life’s a deck of cards.” –Jay Z

TRANSLATION:  Forget the fact that Jigga got the analogy completely wrong (the line should have been “life’s a HOUSE of cards”), these are words to live by because everyone knows that people who are the most successful don’t brag about their success.  If there was ever a model of living a low key life, it is definitely Jay-Z.

 

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