Audrey first heard music (outside of the womb) in the arms of her daddy whilst mummy took a shower. We were in the room on the baby unit, where we had to spend the night to see how we got on with Audrey. A sort of transitional home from home, with nurses checking her over and weighing her (oh that obsession with her weight! So glad it’s over). We would not be allowed home unless she gained weight!
I entered the bedroom to be greeted by The Supremes singing “Baby Love”, Ted cradling Audrey in tears. She was 3 weeks old and looked like a music fan already. It was a bit of a turning point as she was no longer on the ward and seemed more like “ours”, plus a reaction to music made her that more… normal. I know that might sound ridiculous, but when your head is full of “difficulties” and “special needs”, it makes you think things won’t ever be “normal” and you worry what sort of interaction you might get from your little one. Of course I know now that those worries were pointless, but every little moment like this one served to teach me that.
We have played Audrey a lot of music since then, everything from The Beastie Boys to Blur to opera. She likes a good beat and from around 13/14 months she started dancing (rocking back and forth whilst sitting), which is amazing.
Of course Audrey loves the irritating music from a tacky, bright, light-up toy too and is getting quite adept at bashing the right places to get the music going!
Thankfully she is just as happy to listen to music we like, especially when we sing along and dance around the room. In fact, I’ve had several of those funny lyric-realisation moments that have led to tears… You know when you’re a teenager and suddenly you understand what the love songs are about? (Imagine me, 90s teen, ‘Again’ by Janet Jackson on repeat…). Well you get to experience that revelation again after having a baby.
When Stevie Wonder (one of my favourites), sings “Isn’t she lovely, made from love” I get such a warm, positive feeling. “Made from love” just gets me every time. It sums up making Audrey.
I’m also a Justin Timberlake fan and although I’m aware ‘Mirrors’ is about his wife, there was a sudden point listening to the lyrics that really struck me and now it has become an Audrey song…
I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me,
The vacancy that sat in my heart,
Is a space that you now hold.
Show me how to fight for now,
And I’ll tell you, baby it was easy
Comin’ back here to you once I figured it out,
You were right here all along.
It reminds me of when we reminisced about Audrey’s scan picture (she was pouting or sticking out her tongue) and the fact that she was such an active, kicky baby. There we were, looking at her a few weeks old, little tongue sticking out, as she kicked her legs… And then we realised there was no need to mourn the baby we thought was there – it was Audrey all along!
Here’s that cheeky tongue: