Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Songmaker Says It Ain't So Bad

I have made it a point to always put adult music (not adult music) in the car quite simply because I don't want to listen to kid music.  And once the kids know that their music "works" in the car, there is no turning back.  

I know this, because in an act of desperation, we gave in to 2o-month-old Hazel while driving the congested California highways.  After a night of pacing the halls of our hotel with Hazel (who was terrified of the room) we stopped at Walmart and bought an Elmo DVD for her to watch the next time she woke at 4 a.m.  Problem temporarily sovled.

But navigating Los Angeles in the car isn't easy and it sometimes took extra long to get places.  And so, now Hazel wasn't happy in the hotel or the car.  The Elmo DVD included a bonus CD with three tracks, including Elmo's Song and two other winners.  And after trying every other option, including making up my own songs about kitties (still among my totally awesome repertoire of songs), we relented and put in the cursed Elmo CD.  At that point, Jed and I lost.  Because now, though Hazel wasn't screaming, we couldn't talk or think or sleep without Elmo and Big Bird badgering us about goldfish and crayons.  

And although the CD was scratched and ruined a long while ago, it still lives in our memories. On and on, it lives.

Jed and I refuse to lose such a battle again, and no kid music is ever brought inside the car.  So, now our kids listen to the music we listen to.  No one even asks to bring music along--the thought hasn't really crossed their little minds.  But it seems we've run into a problem.  The kids are starting to choose favorites from our music and are insisting on listening to them over and over.  Jed is not one to let repetition fade into the background, and these recurring playlists are of a mounting concern to him.  Currently, the Killers' Spaceman, is requested by all three of our kids every time we get in the car.  We can talk Hazel and Parley into other things, but Julian cries "Snowman! Snowman!" (we tell him it's actually Spaceman, but it seems that kid is a little slower) until we turn it on.  I guess we're glad they seem to have good taste--it is a great song, but will it haunt us in years to come as do Snuffy, Elmo and Dave Matthews Band? (C'mon, didn't Busted Stuff haunt everyone?)  

Spaceman does end with the twice-repeated phrase: it's all in my mind.  I guess, depending on how you interpret it, that could be hopeful or despairing.  But whatever it means, that phrase-- repeated endlessly-- could win in a punch-out with Elmo loves his goldfish, his crayons too.

17 comments:

Bridget said...

haha this is hilarious. i feel your pain.

when we got our first and only car with sirius xm we thought "oh cool! they have a kids station" so it became a preset. sure enough, every. single. time. the kids were present, they'd request it. i changed the preset and now they've forgotten which number it was. thanks to high heavens for that.

Carly said...

My son is currently obsessed with John F. Kennedy because of a line in a Postal Service song. I feel that it's my duty as his parent to teach him about cool music, and if he happens to also learn about presidential assassinations in the process, then my work is done.

Lori said...

Oh Jayne I hear ya. When Milo went to kindermusic, they gave us a CD to play for him, well when they gave it to us I made the mistake to put it in the car and start listening...WELL on that CD it plays a few songs BUt what Milo really likes to listen to are the random noises it plays like horses running, babies laughing and his all time favorite is a tub filling up with water and then little splashes kids make in the tub! That is the stuff we listen to over and over and over and over and over.

allison nadauld said...

Way to be strong. We've got to keep our sanity somehow. Car I-Spy is doing me in.

Kim said...

I made the mistake of going on a road trip with a friend and her two kids. 4 hours each way. I almost jumped out, twice. I asked them to drop me off @ the mental hospital on the way home. I was just released. Nanana Nanana Elmo's world. Sigh

jed said...

@carly, "sleeping in" is not a bad tune to have on a loop. lucky.

Paige said...

Serena says Radiohead gives her a headache. I'm devastated.

emily k. smith said...

It was David Bowie for us. "New Killer Star". At first I was thrilled by the obsession with David Bowie, then, after the two thousandth time of listening to the "reality" album I pretended the cd was lost. Then it was "long way home" by Tom Waits. Luckily (and very sadly) my iPod was stolen right out of my car and the kids got a good healthy dose of mom singing acapella. Now they are just grateful we never have to hear that again and happily stand by when I say "I'm putting the iPhone on shuffle and it will pick whatever songs it wants! Maybe you'll get lucky." Then I secretly bypass any song I don't want to hear. Foolish children! Ha ha!

c jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
c jane said...

You mean those damn Wiggles songs will haunt me FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?


And I know you weren't asking, but I'd like to add my son's repeated request: A-Punk by Vampire Weekend. Thanks Jed.

lady lee said...

yeeaaaah Bridget reads you too! Hi Bridget!

I don't have kids but my friends kids sing "All Star" by...is it Sugar Ray? And "Life is a Highway" at the top of the lungs in or out of the car.

I love it, I suspect because I don't hear it everyday.

Zach and Codi said...

So glad to hear other parents are just as "selfish" as we are (And yes, I was told I was being selfish by another mom when she found out I don't play kids music in the car.). I think next time it comes up I'll just use Carly's brilliant explanation and say it's my duty. Knowledge of cool music is a must.

Carly said...

If only the message of "don't wake me, I plan on sleeping in" would sink into my children's brains the way the image of JFK's assassination has captured their imagination.

nhsphoto said...

ha ha ha. my kids don't even know that kid music exists. if you ask them their favorite bands they will tell you radiohead and pink floyd. and they love "the kids don't stand a chance" and "walcott" by vampire weekend. on the downside, raleigh has a strange obsession with the song "poison" by belle biv devo. probably my fault. oops.

jayniemoon said...

I love all you guys and your comments.

Carly--I hear you on the sleeping in! By the way, you look so pretty in your profile picture! I hope you're well!

Allison, I can't find your blog on your profile--what is it?

Heidi said...

Sometimes i opt for some kid music after having to listen to the same death cab for cutie song over and over..."I want my cutie" she would say. Yeah, we took a 3 year old to see death cab for cutie, she had fun- when they finally plaid her song.

Sparklebot said...

My kids love Spaceman too. It's so upbeat and fun, until you realize it's about him trying to commit suicide. Downer.