You did it! You had a baby. And it is beautiful. Time to recuperate before you take home your little bundle of — uh oh. What was that noise? It sounded like… no, no that’s impossible. It couldn’t be. It can’t be. And yet… It is. Your worst nightmare realized: the Little Drummer Boy has come to the maternity ward to pa rum pum pum pum for every newborn and weary new mother in sight.

You will never be truly ready to fend off The Little Drummer Boy, but there are steps you can take to be well prepared when the time comes.

Remain Calm

When you find yourself face to face with a small child absolutely going to town on a drum, your first instinct might be to run down the hallway, crazed and out of breath, to protect your newborn’s delicate, developing ears. Don’t. Take a deep breath. Remember that running to your child will lead the Little Drummer Boy to the exact thing he came for—a room full of babies to upset.

If you find yourself becoming anxious or confused recognize that this is normal. It is confusing that this boy thinks a drum solo is an appropriate gift for anyone—let alone an infant. That’s what makes the Little Drummer Boy so dangerous. He is reckless. So take a deep breath. You will need your wits about you if you want to defeat him.

Become Aware of Your Situation

Once you’ve calmed yourself it’s time to defuse the situation. Start by survey your surroundings. Are there things the Little Drummer Boy could grab to continue drumming if you were to take his sticks? Is there a table for him beat on? What about items that he can incorporate into his song in a cutesy yet infuriating way? For example: A pair of scissors on your bedside table could easily become, “Can I cut for him pa rum pum pum pum/an umbilical cord to snip pa rum pum pum pum.” Before making any moves to disarm the Little Drummer Boy, be sure to remove these kinds of things from the surrounding area.

Listen to the Little Drummer Boy

Sometimes The Little Drummer Boy just wants to be listened to. It’s important to take a second and realize The Little Drummer boy isn’t looking for an answer when he asks “shall I play for him?” He’s not asking for a quarter when he says “I am a poor boy, too.” And when he tells you “I have no gift to bring pa rum pum pum pum”, he doesn’t expect you to scream “this is a ‘no gifts required’ situation!” So don’t. Just listen. If only for a moment.

But, be careful! It is easy to get lulled into the rumming and the pumming of The Little Drummer Boy’s song, so be sure not to listen for too long. Remember, it doesn’t matter how entranced you are by The Little Drummer Boy—he and his drum will still wake your dang child upright after it finally went down for a nap.

Speak Slowly

The one thing you cannot knock The Little Drummer Boy for is his impeccable rhythm. He is, if nothing else, extremely consistent. This is his greatest strength but also his most deafening weakness. Use this knowledge to your advantage by speaking slowly and decidedly off-beat. The cacophony of sound and lack of rhythmic precision will throw him off long enough to take those damn drumsticks from him. But be cautious. Hearing things out of rhythm can be irritating to musicians, and The Little Drummer Boy may shit-talk you later to the Bells from Carol of The Bells. You do not want this. The Bells from Carol of The Bells are not as nice as they sound.


The Little Drummer Boy’s need to pa rum pum pum pum will never be satiated. If The Little Drummer Boy knows there is an infant nearby, he will hunt it down and he will play his drums for him. In the end, there’s only one thing to do: grab your newborn baby and run. Change your address. Change your name. Change your baby’s name. Move to Chile. Learn Spanish. Learn Chilean street fighting. Use the Chilean street fighting to fight the Little Drummer Boy when he eventually finds you (and he will find you). Realize the Little Drummer Boy is too strong and you’ll never be able to defeat him. Resign to living your life on the run. Consider moving to Barcelona. It’s supposed to be nice this time of year.

Congrats on your new child! Now, go! While there’s still time!