Wednesday, 30 March 2011

An open letter to Raffi

Dear Raffi,

what kind of voodoo-magic hocus-pocus did you weave into your riffs that has my boys mesmerized? I thought it was just dumb luck that first time with Deaglan, when after 40 torturous minutes of head-splitting wailing on our way to Sarnia, I slipped in one of your CDs, that he mercifully (excuse my bluntness) shut his pie hole.

So then I started using (you) when I had to take a shower and leave him in the crib; a little peanut butter sandwich made with jam, and he was quiet as a mouse. And I thought that would be it. But no; I found myself getting greedy, taking hits (of you) on shorter drives - some take me out to the ballgame and presto, a stress-free ride to Walmart.

I also noticed your music having calming effects on my husband's driving, so that pretty soon we were both singing along with you, sometimes at the top of our lungs.  And just like riding a bike, the words came back, even though it had been thirty years since we'd heard you last. There were moments when I'd hear  apples and bananas in my head while doing the dishes and happily start whistling. 

Convinced your hold over my son was going to be short-lived, too good to be true, I got desperate. I needed more. More albums. I was going through CD's one after another and there were always songs that struck a chord. There was the shake your sillies out phase, and the now-infamous tingalayo phase. We sometimes had to give him six or seven doses (of that song) where he would dance naked (and maniacally I might add) around his toddler bed, butchering the lyrics.

Then with the birth of Naveen, I told myself to not get my hopes high; I certainly wouldn't be able to train him to be addicted to (ahem) - enjoy your music. But it didn't take much repeated exposure. It was like giving candy to a baby. Like a fish to water, he just took to it, like he'd been listening to you since the womb.

Why, just this morning, while driving Deaglan to daycare, Naveen decided that being up all night teething didn't make me candidate-for-the-loony-bin enough, he started a riot in his car seat making me wonder if I didn't maybe accidentally pinch his finger into the seatbelt buckle when you came into my mind like some sort of metaphysical zen instructor. Grampa's Farm, Grampa's Farm you seemed to be chanting. And just like that I pressed play and that tiny motormouth CANNED IT.

So thank you, you pied piper, you shutter-upper of babies and toddlers, you magic man. May I just say you get more and more attractive to the likes of mothers like me. Suddenly short trimmed beards are kinda sexy, Armenian men alluring, the lyrics to Kumbaya intoxicating - if you know what I mean. Okay, I'm not sure I know what I mean with that...but still, thank you.


Mother of two, impatient-in-the car, haven't-let-me-sleep-in-three-years, it's-all-about-them, boys.

I'm pouring my heart out with Shell.


  1. Ha! I had forgotten about Raffi. (More like blocked him from my mind after 8 years or so of hearing him 4 times a day while coaching gymnastics!) Now that Jellybean is here though, maybe I should invest in some "I like to ate ate ate apples and bananaaas, I like to ite ite ite..."

    Yup- branded in my brain after all these years!

  2. You know, we've never even listened to Raffi. Sounds like a worthy investment!

  3. I have no idea who or what Raffi is, but somehow I think that is a good thing.

  4. This is hilarious... Also, Raffi came to my elementary school (like a million years ago). Unfortunately I was in like 5th grade when he came, so it was just creepy. The 1st graders? Loved him...

  5. Whatever works! With my oldest, it was the Wiggles. Who made my ears bleed...but not as bad as my son's screaming, so we listened to them nonstop.

  6. I have to confess I haven't tried Raffi, but I sure will now. Thanks for the tip!

    This is really funny, by the way.

  7. Good for you!!
    I wouldn't judge anyone for playing anything that stops the screaming!!

  8. Oh How I needed Raffi apparently during those young screaming years!! You have me wanting to go get a CD to help quiet my much bigger kids. Maybe it would somehow work. A mama has to hope you know. LOL

  9. I never tried Raffi. For my oldest the CD that worked was Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon. My youngest was all Simon and Garfunkle. Aren't kids funny in what they choose to listen to?

  10. how absolutely adorable. Now we never listen to Raffi. Our kids listen to what we listen to but at home the easiest way to get the twins to shut their pie holes...THE FRESH BEATS! or OLIVIA.

    hey whatever works right????

    I am visiting from PYHO and I have to say your sons....OMG, CUTE. :)

  11. Brings back memories of "Baby beluga in the deep blue sea..."

    I'll be pleasantly humming that for the rest of the day now:)

    Hooray for Raffi!

  12. I have no idea how Raffi is, but I'm glad it works! I'll keep that in the "things I'll need to know when I'm a mom" file. :)

  13. Ha Ha, I love this Kim. I am such a fan of Raffi...Baby Beluga and Tingalayo are two of my favorites!! I'm so glad your boys (and you) are enjoying the magic of Raffi!

  14. We LOVE Raffi - we checked out two of his CDs this past library trip plus we own two. The kids LOVE them and as soon as we get into the car T Rex says, "Put Raffi on?". And all the time he insists I sing his songs.

    Our favorites, "Shake your sillies out" - Bebe Sister is SO cute when she dances to that one, we love PB made with jam, we also like "Bumping up and down in my little red wagon," and of course, "He's got the whole world in his hands."

    He really is magic!

  15. Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea, swim so wild and you swim so free..." Years later and I still sing that in my head.


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