Thursday, December 1, 2011

good songs

Years ago, it was my turn to help out in Frances's cooperative preschool class. The only problem was she was sick that morning, and had to stay home with her baby brother and my mother, who had graciously agreed to babysit. Frances was sorely disappointed but I was secretly relieved, because cooping with that kid was never easy. At the tender age of three, she harbored an intractable fear that if I helped out other children I would become their mother and she'd be left out in the cold. If I had those suspicions, I'd probably scream whenever my mother bent over another child's shoes, too. But just because I could understand her distress didn't mean I liked dealing with it.

Despite the challenges of being in the classroom with Frances, I really did miss her that morning, most especially because we had a guest visit during circle time. A warm and lovely woman wearing bright red pants joined us with her guitar and sang and told stories. I particularly remember her reading a version of The Little Red Hen and singing an impossibly catchy refrain in the voice of the title character, who asks for help but is turned down time and time again by her lazy friends. The hen's song - anthem, really - stayed with me. I sang it for Frances and Gabriel and Mike at dinner. We all loved it. It entered into our family repertoire, where it has resided ever since.

Fast forward nearly three years. I have returned to the cooperative preschool, this time with Gabriel, and guess who I met there? Yes indeed, the singing/storytelling lady! Her name is Anna Padgett. She is a parent at the school, as well as a fantastic musician and dedicated kindergarten teacher. Here is a picture of her:
Well, it is a very nice artist's rendition of Anna, and you can find some actual photos on The Good Ms. Padgett's (her children's music name) Facebook page. The picture above is the cover art from her first eponymous album which is full of zany and sweet songs for babies and their adoring, long-suffering parents. There's something about these songs that transported me right back to being exhausted and crazy in love with my tiny babies. You need a good song and good laugh when you've got a baby. Well, you always need those things, but you really need them with a napless eight month old who looks good in hats, eats her feet, and proudly identifies her nose (all are the topics of songs on this album). Gabriel, who sometimes channels a baby named Tofu with an absurd sense of humor, really loves to listen to these songs. So do I.

Anna happens to be married to Miggy Littleton, who is another fine musician and the brother of Daniel Littleton, who is another fine musician who happens to be married to Elizabeth Mitchell. (Readers of this blog know how much I love her music). Anna and Miggy have been playing some tour dates with Elizabeth Mitchell this fall; maybe you've seen them? And the Littleton's father was a much-loved tutor at St. John's, where Mike teaches, and I think at this point you are beginning to see how satisfying the connections are for me!

Soon The Good Ms. Padgett will release a new storytelling and singing album, The Little Red Hen, but before that happens she has graciously agreed to give away three CDs (of her first album) to Homemade Time readers. It would make an awesome gift for new parents, or for old-timers like me who like to get all nostalgic and hug and squeeze their big kids too much.

If you'd like to participate in this first-ever real-deal giveaway on Homemade Time, here's what to do:
1. Like The Good Ms Padgett and Homemade Time on Facebook.
2. Leave a comment here, so I know you've entered.

Spread the word to your music-loving friends! And local readers: Anna will be playing this Friday (tomorrow, Dec 2nd) at the Leeward Market in Eastport around 6:30 pm. We're planning on being there, and hope to see some of you there too.


Heather C. said...

Very cool, Meagan! I've entered. :)

Becky said...

I had no idea of the connections between all of these musicians. Carter loves Mr. miggy; we'd love to hear his wife's music!

Anonymous said...

I've entered too. Thanks for connecting us these musicians too! -Melody

Milena said...

What a wonderful web! Hope to see you Friday at Leeward, Milena

AuntBeast said...

Very cool. Elizabeth Mitchell posted about this on FB. I was already a fan of The Good Ms.Padgett, so now I have "liked" you, as well. :o)

Chuck said...

Here's a test comment.


Olivemom said...

I have "liked" you both on Facebook!

MissB said...

I've entered, and hope to hear the new CD. When will the winners be chosen?