Music, and more specifically the music our children listen to, has been a frequent topic of discussion among my mom friends this summer. We are long past the stage of nursery rhymes in our house and although our girls will still rock a mean jam session to Strawberry Shortcake and various Disney Channel soundtracks we are definitely moving into the realm of them playing DJ from the backseat with demands for more mainstream selections.
Currently, the girls are loving anything by Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, or The Black Eyed Peas. And why not? They seem likely perfectly suitable role models, don't you think?
I'm partly to blame. Seven years of listening to saccharine sweet wholesome kid songs will drive a person crazy especially in the confined space of the car on an hour long drive. Thus, I'm quick to turn up the volume and belt out some lyrics to some of my favorites songs, both old and new. I can't help it that the above artists also appeal to me (in direct contrast to my husband's hard rock and alternative musical palette, I assure you). I'm also guilty of being notoriously bad at paying attention to lyrics outside of the chorus. I like a song not so much for the message but for the beat or just the sound of the music itself. There have been more than one occasion where I don't even realize there are words that are not appropriate for five and seven year old ears until either The General points it out or I hear one of the girls use them as they're singing along. Yesterday's example: Shortcake singing "looking sick and sexified". Oops - Ke$ha's potty mouth strikes again.
I've tried to supplement the more inappropriate songs and artists with "kid friendly" options. Justin Bieber is on that play list for reasons obvious to those of you who know Punkin, and I'll even admit that his song Somebody to Love has won me over. If he's going to be supporting my youngest daughter and their children some day (you know, after they're joined in holy matrimony as Punkin is certain is going to happen as soon as he loses that Selena Gomez chick) I should probably start trying to be supportive of his career, right? In addition to the before mentioned Disney related songs from movies and television, Bob Marley's Three Little Birds gets frequent play time in my car. My new favorite suggestion came from a friend who talked about adding a Kidz Bop station via Pandora on her iPhone. In my most recent effort, I attempted to infuse a little more country into their lives during our drive to El Paso yesterday. Within the first five seconds on two separate songs Punkin made her displeasure known with shouts of "Disgusting!" and "BOOOO!". I suppose I should take her lead on those opinions considering a song that encourages girls to shake it for the young bucks sitting' in the honky tonks isn't exactly the best message to pass along to my impressionable daughters either.
When I get overly concerned with what I'm doing to my daughters based what is becoming the soundtrack of their youth, I just remind myself that I grew up idolizing one of my own generation's most questionable pop stars and turned out okay in the end. Initially introduced to Madonna after an afternoon of musical discovery at my friend Lori's house, my parents bought me the Like A Virgin cassette the following Christmas - a very memorable and well received gift, I assure you. This was a huge departure from the Elvis and John Denver eight tracks that provided the background music in our house up until that moment, and at seven years old I'm surprised my mom went along with my gift request. I vividly remember her asking me if I knew what "virgin" meant. I guess maybe I'll just take her lead and let my girls discover what makes their ears happy.
So far *knock on wood* we have not had any embarrassing moments where offensive words have been repeated or asked for clarification (with the exception of Shortcake asking "What does 'go to hell' mean?" I totally dropped the push-next-ball on that one). I know that time is coming, but for now I'm just going to play the "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" game. In the meantime I'm taking suggestions from you for kid friendly songs that won't make me want to stick a fork in my ears.
And just so you know, after being told by Punkin that I sound exactly like Olivia Newton John while I'm singing along to "You're the One That I Want", I'm already all over downloading the rest of the Grease soundtrack so you can save yourself time by eliminating that suggestion.