So, I have been witness to something in my family called the “Tyler Effect.” Tyler, as in Steven Tyler, as in front man for Aerosmith…the band. How old am I anyway!?
Really, the effect isn’t in my family, it is something I have noticed primarily where my son is concerned.
I need to back this up about five years so it makes a little sense. Okay, when I was pregnant with my son I was, like most firstly pregnant women, completely delusional. Completely. I just decided to pick and choose the things I thought would be useful for me during my pregnancy, my labor and delivery and even when I became a first time mother. For example, I had a very serene playlist of Jack Johnson, Natalie Merchant, Elton John, Stevie Wonder (if I go on, I will burst into laughter so I’ll just stop there) that would be played exactly one time through and then I would promptly meet my perfectly sized 7.5 lb. baby boy who would coo sweetly and snuggle upon knowing that he was now safe and warm in his mother’s arms. I knew he was just as excited to meet me as I was to meet him. Of course he was.
It didn’t exactly go like that. The word “opposite” would only scratch the surface of the actual experience and when my doctor happened to be on the only vacation he had taken in several years and the on-call showed up with a football jersey, a mullet and a small gold hoop earring, I should have known that the Jack Johnson was definitely not gonna cut the mustard…and yet…
After two and a half hours of pushing – with a surgeon waiting outside the door for an emergency C-section – my son finally decided to join our little family. I did not realize how close I was to being rushed to surgery until the wonderfully English labor and delivery nurse came chim chimmery-ing up to me during the last few moments of pushing and like Jiminy Cricket said to me “you can do this, we need you to do this…now.” And so, I did. What I had not realized is that my iPod had gone through my carefully orchestrated playlist four times before kicking into shuffle mode and my beautiful TEN POINT TWO POUND baby boy came barreling into this world to none other than Aerosmith’s “Crazy.”
In that crazy moment, I did not think anything of it. I was just so enraptured by my new little love – and his subsequent non-stop screaming – that I decided to do what I did best at that time and I cast that little tidbit of information into the “not useful” bucket. But, like everything else in my neat little world, “Crazy” had a way of making an appearance time and time again. Enter, the “Tyler Effect.”
Over the past five years, I have noticed that every time…EVERY TIME, my son hears an Aerosmith song, he gets completely quiet, completely still…stops whatever he is doing and just listens. I am not kidding. I am not. At first, I thought it was a complete coincidence. Like, okay it sounds different than “Baby Beluga” so he must just be trying to figure it out. But like a dulcimer stomp again and again, when an Aerosmith song is played (whether on the radio, or when he stumbles across the album cover on my iTunes – what child wouldn’t click on the album cover of “Get a Grip” with that cow…and those…utters?) he gets completely quiet and just listens.
So, today when he scrolled through the music on my iPad and inevitably came across “Cryin’,” of course he got quiet and just listened. I had half a heart to tell him the charming story and why he must love that music so much, but just as I sat next to him to enjoy his sweet little moment he looks at me and says “Mom! Will you please go brush your teeth?”
I guess I’ll have to wait a few more years.