I’m think I’m doing this whole parenting thing wrong, because I’m pretty sure that a child who is almost-but-not-quite four years old should not know all the words to Cheap Trick’s “Surrender.”
But come on, have you ever heard a preschooler sing along with that song? I hear it almost every day, and it’s one of the loveliest sounds in the Universe. “Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away, away” – deep breath, head thrown back – “AWAAAAAA-AAAAAAAAY!” It’s kind of absolutely adorable.
My husband and I made a deal with ourselves when we started talking about kids: Absolutely not, under any circumstances, would we ever buy a Kidz Bop record. I have no fundamental objection to music written especially for kids – we love the Laurie Berkner Band in our house, and when I’m home by myself on a sick day I will sometimes sneak in some “Jack’s Big Music Show,” even though my daughter seems to have outgrown it. However, I don’t really like most cover songs, unless they are being sung by a crappy band in a bar where drafts are $2 all the time and the lighting is always dank and I have my kid with a sitter. To have to listen to sanitized Lady GaGa lyrics shrieked by adorable moppets over bad karaoke tracks should probably be classified as a form of torture.
And it probably goes without saying that I believe that there is an especially unpleasant afterlife reserved for whoever is responsible for the pox upon humanity that is Hannah Montana. Dante himself could not have possibly conceived of a Circle of the Inferno that would be necessary for THAT.
I’ve always been this way because, I think, my parents were this way too. Yes, we had our fair share of Sesame Street cast recordings and Little Golden Book Records, but left to our own devices, my sisters and I listened to the same kind of music my parents were listening to, and I’m pretty sure my parents actively encouraged this behavior. Family legend has it that the first song I ever learned all the words to was “Smoke on the Water.” I wore out the grooves on countless Beatles and Elvis records. If I were trapped on a desert island for the rest of my life and I could only take three CD’s with me, those CD’s would be “Back in Black,” Pearl Jam’s “Ten,” and “Freedom Rock.”
(Okay, maybe in a pinch I would substitute “Appetite for Destruction,” but I’d have a very hard time deciding what to switch out.)
So my kid listens to the same music that we do. She has no idea what she’s singing when she sings along, but she recognizes songs by the opening chords. She requests “Baba O’Riley” and “The Dog Days Are Over” and sometimes random show tunes or songs from Disney movies and “Single Ladies” and, yes, “Surrender.” We’ll get in the car and she’ll ask me to play her a song and I’ll ask her what she wants and she’ll think about it for a minute and she’ll say, “Mommy, do you have ‘Surrender?’” And I’ll say yes. And she’ll say, “Mommy, do you like that song? Is that one alright?” And I’ll say yes. That song makes Mommy very happy. And we’ll sing along together, volume cranked, singing at the top of our lungs:
“Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, we’re all alright, WE’RE ALL ALRIGHT!”
Hmm. Maybe I am doing this whole parenting thing exactly the way I should be.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.40momsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/rachelage2-a1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]About the Author
Rachel Gonzales (aka “rockle”) is a 40MomsClub.com regular Lifestyle contributor. She is the actual child in her profile picture, which was taken in 1976, so it probably goes without saying that mistakes were made. You can read more of her here on 40MomsClub, or on her blog, rockle-riffic. [/author_info][/author]