Thursday, October 10, 2013

What kind of music do you listen to with your kids in the car?

My Sweet Pea loves music. Loves, loves music. She's always singing something and some days I'm convinced it's songs she's made up. When she was younger she would sing the songs from Sesame Street and also memorize the choreography to go along with it. I've been booty bumped to the side so she could imitate Chris doing the Hammer Dance in the sibling episode. And lets not forget the phase she went through where she had to get up and sing and dance to the hot dog dance. Better than the hammer dance, I suppose, more age appropriate.

At home there was never an issue of not having kid friendly music on, it was a given that that was all that was played. It's not like I watch MTV, TRL doesn't even come on anymore so what is there to watch? But the car has always been a battle. When Sweet Pea was first born I nixed the hip hop station. You wouldn't think that I like to nod my head to some old school Tupac, but trust me I can. It just seemed odd to do that with an infant car seat behind me, and so I stuck with the pop stations. (Because the Kanye West played on the pop stations is a little more acceptable for a baby.) I always wondered what other parents were playing for their kids in the car, but dare not asked for fear that I was outing myself as tarnishing my child with Britney Spears.

And then one day while at Gymboree somehow the PitBull song Give Me Everything came on the radio and one little girl started shaking her booty and her mother mentioned how that was her daughter's favorite song. My friend made eye contact with me and gave a look of horror. I too had a feeling of horror because when that song came on I had a fear that Sweet Pea would also start dancing! Thankfully at that moment, when I felt like I was caught stealing cookies from the pantry after my mother said I couldn't have anymore, my child did not acknowledge that one of her favorite songs was playing from the speakers and continued playing her own version of the freeze song on the color log.

So, maybe most of my friends did have kid friendly cds for their children? Despite my shame, I still continued to play my pop stations in the car. We did have a sesame street cd that we listened to at meal times, but for some reason it never got moved to the car? I'm not saying that my child's own likes couldn't possibly come before mind especially for such a lovely song such as Elmo's "This is the song, la la la, Elmo's song." That song feel like nails on a scratch board? No, not at all. So maybe some of the kiddie music just couldn't get car status because the car had always been my one sacred place to listen to my music and I wasn't ready to kiddify yet. 

And then Sweet Pea got older and began to remember songs she heard in the car and would sing along. Yes, at first when she would sing along to Leona Lewis's Bleeding Love it was cute. When she attempted to hit the high notes with Leona it was even cuter. And then Justin Timberlake came out with his new cd and I had it on repeat in the car. It was cute when she sang along to Mirrors, having no idea what the words were but just mumbling along. Or when she heard the song in a store she would scream  how it was her song from the car. (Putting Mommy on blast that we did not listen to kid friendly music in the car.  That wasn't embarrassing at all, but thankfully no one I knew was around.)

It wasn't until this last summer that I learned that most of my friends listen to the pop stations in the car as well. At first it was when we were at a pool party and one of Sweet Pea's friends started singing "I don't care, I love it." So my child isn't the only one to jam to pop hits. And then when babysitting another friend's daughter we were in the car and the same song came on "I don't care, I love it" (I don't know who sings it, but it's that obnoxious European song that's blasts techno beats in the background, I think it's in the commercial to some shave gel or something?) and she proclaimed that it was her mother's song! More proof that you don't have to kidize your car radio! And then Sweet Pea started shaking her thang singing "I like to move it move it" exclaiming that she dances to that song in dance class. Oh, so any attempt I make to shield her from non-children's music is a moot point since she's being exposed to it in dance class, excellent!

So all was well in good and I felt confident in singing to current and historical pop hits with the kids (Madonna's Dress Me Up came on and Sweet Pea emphatically noted that she liked the song). And so we were singing together to Anna Kendrick's version of You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone and then the song ended and Blurred Lines came on and Sweet Pea shouted that it was her song. Visions of Hannah Montana twerking on Mr. Seaver's son came to mind and I immediately went home and downloaded the Sophia the First soundtrack and I must say Blue Ribbon Bunny really has me rocking out. I mean, who doesn't enjoy listening to Wayne Brady rapping as a bunny?    

Ok, so I will admit that when Bambino and I go to pick up Sweet Pea at school we always listen to the back to the old school remix on the hip hop station, nothing better than some old school Tevin Campbell and Total.  What? Did you think I was going to go cold turkey on my music? Bambino falls asleep on the ride anyways and I put the volume really low.