At 34 weeks pregnant with my first child, and being the “love all the info person I am,” I’ve read several books (or parts of) on pregnancy. I know that the baby can hear voices right now. I know it’s good for my husband and me to speak out loud to her since she can recognize our voices specifically. But it feels weird. Now, we speak all the time to our cat, but then again our cat is vocal and answers back which makes it seem less strange. But talking in the general direction of my stomach…hmmm.
Anyway, I found a way around it - Music. Specifically, Broadway show tunes because that’s mostly my entire music library. Here are the songs and shows my Broadway Baby is being exposed to which if the books are right may result in helping calm her when she’s here, live and in-person!
Hamilton- we’ve listened to the entire album several times now and each time I pick out different songs, themes, or historical facts to discuss with the baby girl. She’s learned about immigrants, and how her family emigrated from various parts of Italy, she’s learned about the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda's use of different styles of music to represent characters in the show, and she’s learned about some of the histories of our great nation. And she’s learned that her mom cries at “One Last Time” Every. Damn. Time.
Bandstand and Allegiance- Both shows center around WW2, so we’ve discussed the war in detail and how her great-grandfathers served. Both shows also deal with topics not generally touched upon especially on stage, and we’ve delved into the treatment of Japanese-Americans and the correlations between then and things happening in our country/world now. The mental health aspects of Bandstand aren’t overlooked either; since I suffer from anxiety it is important to baby girl hears that it’s OK to have problems and know there are people to turn to for help. Generally, then this leads into a song or two from Dear Evan Hanson cause how could it not?
(After filling my husband in on how I’m interacting more with the baby girl, it’s at this point he requested some less shall we say intense music be brought into baby girl’s repertoire. I obliged with…)
Come From Away- While still a show with a serious theme, there are lots of moments of levity as well. Plus it’s the first show she “saw/heard” on Broadway! We talk about the kindness the Newfies showed the “Come from Away-ers” and the importance of showing kindness to others in life. She’ll be going to daycare so she’ll need to learn to show kindness cause there’s always that one kid who steals your toy!
Mary Poppins- Of course, the original London recording features that creepy song “Temper, Temper” which hopefully will prove useful in teaching her to listen and not fly off the handle. (She is half mine though so music can only go so far…) If all else fails I’ll just use it to say her toys are always watching and reporting what you do so just go to sleep already! (That’s called a parenting win, right?) More importantly we discuss how mom loves singing and performing having performed in this show a couple years ago! And plans to go back to singing and performing as baby girl grows up because it’s important to have hobbies and time to pursue your own passions.
So call it weird, call it clever (ooh- next in the rotation will be Guys and Dolls!) but I call it another way Broadway brings families closer together.