As I’ve mentioned before, when I started out this whole dad-thing, I didn’t know any kid’s songs. In particular, I didn’t know any kid’s bedtime songs.
I compensated by dipping into my vast knowledge of television theme songs and classic ballads. Instead of Hush, Little Baby, I sang songs like Let It Be and Where Everybody Knows Your Name (from Cheers).
I have to say that despite the occasional rocky moment, my bedtime songs went over pretty well.
These days, my wife’s standard bedtime song is Stay Awake, from Mary Poppins. When I’m handling the bedtime routine, though, the kids often make requests.
Last night, as I turned out the light, the call was raised for Spiderman.
I smiled into the darkness. I haven’t sung that one in a long time.
“Spiderman, spiderman, does whatever a spider can,” I sang in a whisper.
“Yeah,” my oldest said contentedly as he sang into his pillow.
“Can he swing from a web? Take a look overhead. Hey there! There goes the spi-ider man!”
I drew out the last note to peer into the darkness at my youngest’s bed. Though I couldn’t see anything, I could hear him bouncing around. I tip-toed over to the light switch as I sang.
“In the chill of the night, at the scene of the crime, like a beam of light, he arrives just in time!”
I paused with my hand on the switch. The little guy’s bed was bouncing like crazy, and I could hear little whispered “yeah”s. I kept singing.
“Spiderman, spiderman, does whatever a spider can. Is he strong? Listen bud, he’s got radioactive blood.”
I flipped on the light. My youngest was kneeling on his bed, dancing and doing spiderman poses. It took him a moment to realize the light was on, then he dove under his blankets. His older brother burst out laughing.
“Good night,” I said, turning out the light.
“Good night,” they giggled.
All in all, not a bad bedtime routine.
Note for Spiderman fans: Yes, I realize that I mix up the stanzas to the song, but it doesn’t matter. It always works. It’s just that good.