Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Kid Music

At the end of January, I had a couple of girlfriends come to town for a visit, one of whom is the mother of 6 and 8 year olds. She bestowed upon me four hand-me-down CDs that are like "Sesame Street's Greatest Hits" or something. Alls I know is that there's Elmo and shit on them. We joked around about how her giving me these CDs was a sure sign that she hates me (which she doesn't), but it got me thinking: am I obligated to play this horrible shit for The Geej? I know that they sing all the standards at school ("Twinkle Twinkle," "B-I-N-G-O," "Wheels on the Bus," etc.), and there are times that even I bust into a rousing rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," but really--it's one thing to SING the songs, it's another thing entirely to listen to Burt and Ernie do a round of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

We have music on almost all the time. I've generally got the iPod on random shuffle any time we're at home, and then when we're in the car, we listen to my music, not hers. I just feel like I want her introduction to music to be enthusiastic and eclectic. I want her to see me enjoying music and singing along gleefully, which I'm sorry, I just can't imagine me doing with some lameass CD of "kid music" playing. For instance, today in the car we listened to Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and The Neville Brothers in honor of Fat Tuesday. Yesterday, we listened to Stevie Wonder on the way to school, and Arabic dance music on the way home. Some music she responds to more than others, but she generally seems to enjoy it all. I just pray the day doesn't come when she starts hollering for The freakin' Wiggles from the back seat. If that happens, I guess I'll just have to crank up the P.J. Harvey a little louder...


Karla said...

I listened to my mom's music when I was a kid. Neil Diamond, some German stuff, and my dad's stuff (Peter Paul and Mary, world music, etc.) Lots of oldies, and 60's stuff.

Our first album, my brother and I, was Queen's Flash Gordon.

Mom would not tolerate that kiddie crap, and I am so glad.....you play what you want, and let Miss THang go BANANAS.

Jules said...

Dude- mine are 6 and 8, not 4 and 6. Toot and Poot mainly liked to listen to these in their rooms, when they were very wee.

I think that simple is good- it's not like you're reading her Kafka's Penal Colony at night yet, right?

They grow out of those very, very quickly. Leah's current musical favs are White Zombie, Devo and Lenny Kravitz. Tyler thinks that Elmo is stupid, worse than Barney-who, by the way, has an elementary school song made up about his death by stabbing!

Sybil said...

Oh Karla May-

I have so many thoughts to share with you on this topic.

First and foremost - It's your car! Your money! Of course you should listen to whatever the hell you feel like listening to. I don't remember my mom going out of her way to spare me the pain and agony of listening to Kris Kristofferson over and over and over...

Next- at the risk of offending you, you have always been somewhat of a music snob - we'll just say highly selective. I'm sure you're hoping and praying that the Geej will develop similar musical tastes, but once she hits 5th grade, all bets are off.

Finally, the little ones love the goofy ass baby songs, because - in fact - they are goofy ass babies! While my own little Mr. Beautiful may shake his head and his rump to Bluegrass music every Sunday morning, nothing gets him dancing and singing like a little bit of "Bumblebee", "I'm Not Perfect", "The Chicken Song"(not dance), or (and this might be more to your taste) They Might Be Giants' "Clap Your Hands". Those songs freakin' inspire the kid.

So to sum up - Yeah, I hate most of the shit too, and yeah, Mr. Beautiful doesn't get to listen to his stuff whenever he pleases, but do I ever love it when it buys me a little quiet time, and does it evoke tears of joy from me when I'm watching him shake what his mommy gave him? Hell to the yeah. (I really miss Being Bobby Brown.)

Badger said...

Okay, well, I think you know where I stand on this issue. So far my kids have awesome taste in music. Well, the boy does, anyway. The girl is a little too partial to 80s chick bands for my taste.