Monday, January 6, 2014

Musical Confessions

Elvie made her triumphant return to physical therapy today. As usual, she was resistant to doing anything the therapist wanted her to do, except when the therapist started singing Single Ladies while bouncing Elvie on the exercise ball. Elvie has a thing for Single Ladies, and when I say "a thing," I mean that when she woke me up at 7:30am, the first thing she did was start singing "Oo-oo-OO-oo-oo-OO-OO!" and doing some of the arm motions from the video.

The therapist first asked what Elvie's favorite songs were, suggesting things like Twinkle, Twinkle and Wheels on the Bus. I said, "Um...well...she doesn't really listen to many of those. Right now she really likes...Beyonce?" Later I had to admit that she also enjoys Macklemore and Bruno Mars. I really don't know what to do with myself, but I have no interest in suddenly taking up singing The Farmer in the Dell.

Sometimes I look at the childhood we are creating for our children and I wonder if they will feel that we robbed them of some essential childhood experiences, particularly when it comes to what they listen to and watch. And I really don't know. But I'm not concerned enough about it to invest in a playlist of tinny children's music that will rob my house of peace and my soul of joy.

I think we'll just keep cranking up the Macklemore and hope for the best.


  1. Eh, it doesn't matter :) we don't sing lullabies. Logan sings along to a Frank Turner song with the lyrics 'there is 'nooooo god' (not quite as heretical as it sounds!) and Elise will think that she is some kind of raft as we sing row row row Elise to her.
    They have music and dancing in their lives. That's the important thing.

  2. Our toddler son can sing every one of the sounds on "What does the fox say?" It's hilarious. As long as she hears music, I think you're doing fine. :)

  3. This is something I am so jealous about. We are dutch and my daughter who turned 9 today is very slowly accepting english spoken songs. She hates not understanding the lyrics. At least now she can read fast enough for subtitles so we are starting to get somewhere....

  4. Ohhhhh ... Maceo would sing Single Ladies all day long if we'd let him. Also jiggles around, singing "Heeeeeey, sexy lady!" Usually at the worst times. And the latest is his prancing around the house with, "Everybody PANTS down!" instead of "Everybody dance now!" If you're standing close, he will pull down your pants. Be warned.

  5. My son loved Barney as a toddler and I've sung him most of the standard kiddie songs, which pretty much means I've already paid for my sins in this life. But I don't do fairy tales, and early on I worried that I was depriving my son of some essential cultural references. Then I realized those references were pretty offensive to me and got over it. And I have to say The Farmer in the Dell is the one song I have never and will never sing with my son. I hate it, and I've hated it since childhood. The farmer takes a wife - dang, that was enough to rile my preschool feminist sensibilities. Why does the farmer get to pick a wife? What if she doesn't like him? My son now mostly makes up his own songs, which I think is pretty awesome.

  6. My parents never really played children's music to us...I was raised on classic rock like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, and so on. I don't feel deprived because we didn't own a Raffi tape, nor do I think my daughter will feel deprived because she gets Arcade Fire, Macklemore, classic rock, jazz standards, and musical theatre. I think it will actually make her a cooler person (not that being cool really matters in the long run).


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