I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sung the song “Hey Jude” this past year. I’ve sung it into the phone — while in the grocery store, in a Thai restaurant in Orange County, in the car, on the street — but mostly in Annabelle’s room, standing over her bed and rubbing her back, as she drifts to sleep each night.
I’m not sure just how it started, only that Annabelle had trouble sleeping, a few nights running, and “Hey Jude” is the longest song I know (most of) the words to.
Plus Ray and I have a thing for the Beatles (who doesn’t?) in that it’s the one group we solidly agree on. He serenaded me with Beatles songs (don’t gag, it was sweet) on his guitar, when we were first dating. I was really annoyed when I saw the movie “Love Actually” (a truly great chick flick, way better than you’d think, put it on your Netflix queue) because the one disappointment from our wedding was that I didn’t insist on a horn to supplement our walking-back-up-the-aisle music, “All You Need Is Love”.
Annabelle loves the Beatles, too, especially “Hey Jude,” although lately she’s been talking a lot about “Love Me Do”.
Sophie also requests “Hey Jude” from time to time, which made me cry the first time, because I didn’t realize she could hear me singing it to her sister through her bedroom wall, an hour after she was supposed to be asleep.
So you get that the song is sacred in our house. The one place I didn’t expect to sing it was the bathroom. But that happened this afternoon.
In our house, there’s no such thing as privacy. Pretty much everyone hangs out in the bathroom, observing your business. (As the sole male — even Ernie’s gone now — Ray insists on some alone time, but otherwise, it’s a free-for-all.) It wasn’t unusual that Sophie and I were along for the ride this afternoon, as Annabelle battled a case of constipation. I suspected all along that it was fear more than anything else, and Sophie and I were trying to distract her.
We read books, played games, fought, joked. Nothing. Finally, I asked, “Should we sing a song?”
Not thinking about this might play out during future potty trips (Annabelle absolutely will not go to bed til I’ve sung the song or Ray’s played it on his iPod) I started in and — lo and behold — by the “nah nah nah nah nah nah nahs”, success!
Later, I hustled Sophie into the bathroom on our way out to dinner. She settled in for a pee, then looked at me expectantly. “Mommy, sing Hey Jude!”
And so my sweetest bedtime ritual has been relegated to the toilet.