I have nephews.
3 of them - 16, 12, and 8.
They are on DH's side of the family, and I love them dearly.
Every year when it comes to holidays and birthdays, I ask if there's something special they might like.
When the boys were younger, my sister in law would almost always tell me they wanted those Kidz Bop CDs.
I researched what they were on line, even listened to a sample or two.
And I refused to buy them.
10 year olds singing Top 40 hits?
And just plain silly.
It sounded ridiculous.
Was the music even appropriate for their young ears?
Since there was always something else they wanted, I'd politely choose something else and everyone was happy.
Then I became a mom.
For the last 3 years and (almost) 8 months, I've listened to kids' music.
Slowly, the 6 CD changer in my car has been taken over by music from Elmo Live, The Backyardigans, Gymboree, Music Together, Sesame Street, and more - you get the picture.
And slowly over the past year, we've started listening to Mommy and Daddy music in the car once in a while.
Just for a change of pace.
It's usually a big hit.
MH, being so into music, has developed a major love for The Boss.
She loves to sing the bah-dee-ah song (known to the rest of the world as Earth Wind & Fire's September).
And we can not forget her newest found love - Dee-onis Lewis.
Yep, Leona Lewis. My girl belts out Bleeding Love like nothing you've ever heard.
She sings it to family, friends, and herself, and even managed to realize on her own that the latest Leona song on the radio is in fact Leona.
Back to my story.
In this house, we have major love for Dora. I DVR almost every episode and she asks for them by specific name.
Inevitably, a few commercials get captured in these recordings.
One morning a few weeks ago, I got out of the shower to hear my munchkin singing little snippets of current songs and wondering how on earth she knew them.
I popped my head out of the bathroom, and there it was - the commercial for Kidz Bop 14.
Clearly she had seen the commercial before (she has amazing auditory memory skills like her mommy, and managed to learn each and every song snippet they show).
And this particular Kidz Bop cd is special. Not only does it contain many songs she's never heard, but it's home to two of her absolute faves - the first, of course being Bleeding Love (she sings the line "my heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing" clear as day), and the second being Love Song by Sara Bareilles (according to MH, Uncle Dave's favorite song, as he was at our house one day when we were having an impromptu iPod dance party and he sang every word to her while showing her some rad dance moves).
Listening to her sing along with these little kids is one of the cutest things I've ever seen and heard.
My first thought was that I needed to get her this CD.
Actually, I lie.
My first thought was Oh no! It's one of those weird CDs with the odd little 10 year olds singing Top 40. Seriously, these CDs are still around, let-alone on version 14?
I can't exactly put my finger on it, but there's something that disturbs me about the music.
There's nothing wrong with it, per say.
The songs do not contain inappropriate lyrics.
As I said before, I let MH listen to some of them - we've actually enjoyed some fabulous car singalongs together with them.
But still, it's just odd. Weird. Disconcerting. Like I said, I just can't put my finger on it.
And then DH witnessed the MH reaction to the commercial. And I told him how just the other morning she told me she wanted the CD (and this, my friends, is also new to us - the viewing of a commercial and the "I want that").
And you know what DH said? Awww, we should get it for her. How cute is she?
So, dear readers, today we headed to Target for a couple of things and DH went straight to the music department. And among today's purchases was Kidz Bop 14.
We managed to hide it and I slipped it into the CD player before MH even knew we'd gotten it.
As we hit the road, I told MH we had a surprise for her, and quickly hit track 7. The car immediately filled with what sounded like 20 little munchkins singing "Closed off from love, I didn't need the pain . . ."
I looked back and her little face was incredulous. That I know I've heard this before, but huh?
And I told her. She was now the proud owner of that CD she saw on TV and really wanted.
You'd think I'd know by now, but I'm still always amazed at how such a small gesture on our part makes such a huge impact on them.
The ear to ear grin on her face paired with the dancing (such rhythm!) and perfect (in tune) singing (of every single word) along with those kids was all I needed to remember that there is nothing I won't do to make my little princess happy (when possible, of course).
She was like a kid in a candy store - Mommy, can I hear a different one? Ooh, I LOVE this one! Can we have another one now?
We sampled every song on the CD within 15 minutes. She danced, we all sang, it was one of those fun family moments we all cherish.
DH said (after he sat in the car with her listening for another 10 minutes while I was in CVS having prescriptions refilled) "this one's gonna get old fast".
And the irony is that it's in my car, and I'll likely be the one to listen to it over and over and over.
And you know what? When Kidz Bop 15, 16, and 17 come out, I'll be right there buying them for MH (as long as she likes the songs).
Because she so clearly loves music. Because watching her dance and sing fills me with joy.
Because when we got home and got out of the car this is what she said to me:
"Thank you so much for getting me dat
music nyusic CD. You made me so happy. You and Daddy are my very best friends."
Does this mean I am a parent who will cater to my child's every desire and whim and purchase every item she bats an eyelash at?
Of course not.
But seriously, what she said to me when she got out of the car still hasn't left me.
Could any of you ever argue with that kind of reaction?
I challenge you.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I have nephews.