“Twinkle” to Top 40: A Music Revolution

“I’m going to the basement,” my just turned 4-year-old daughter declared.

“Sure,” I said while trying to de-clutter the kitchen.

A few minutes later I heard loud music coming from the karaoke machine and a little voice belt into the microphone:

“I’M FEELIN’ SEXY AND FREEEEE!”

I froze.

And proceeded to hear my tiny child sing the song “Domino” – (by Jesse J, if you’ve never had the pleasure) complete with lyrics:

Dancing in the moonlight… Take me down like I’m a Domino… Oh baby baby got me feelin’ so right…

The karaoke machine that started it all

The karaoke machine that started it all

I felt sure that a 4-year-old proclaiming her sexiness into a microphone cranked on high would bring protective services to my door in a matter of minutes.   So I went charging downstairs.  And turned the music off.

“I’m singing,” my child protested.

“I know,” I said.  “That’s the problem.”

This is the third child who cannot remember to put away the pile of naked Barbies strewn around her room, but yet has a mind like a steel trap when it comes to lyrics.  She can perform “Moves Like Jagger,” “Dynamite” and “Single Ladies”.  Not to mention multiple Lady Gaga tunes and “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

It’s my fault, I know I know I know.   Reason #324 why I will not receive the ‘Mother of the Year’ award.

She listens to music with her older sister.  A little Taylor Swift here, a little Katy Perry there.  I thought it was pretty harmless.  But after eight years of listening to nursery rhymes, toddler tunes and the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, we’re finally listening to the radio when we’re all together in the van (I now know too  much about Radio Disney).  While I have a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old, I seem to have forgotten I still have a 4-year-old sitting in the back. With a really good memory.

As tried to figure out just when I lost all control of the proper upbringing of my child, I had flashbacks of my own history with risqué tunes at a young age.  I could sing Rod Stewart  (If you want my body and you think I’m sexy..) “Centerfold” by J. Geils Band was in my 45’s collection.   Who let me listen to that??

My mother.  Aha!  The same mother who let me  sing “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon from the back of our station wagon.  She also let me listen to the soundtrack of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and a lot of Neil Diamond.  So perhaps it all balanced out.

I vowed to find better song selections to prevent my sweet child from turning in Honey Boo Boo’s best friend.   Perhaps some 80’s easy listening.  So on our way to Target (I’m always going to Target) I flipped the stations.  She heard a snippet of one song.

“Go back!”  she yelled.  “I like this one!”

I WANNA SCREAM AND SHOUT AND LET IT ALL OUT… “she sang.

Maybe Beauty and the Beast wouldn’t be so bad for a little while longer.

Shoes, Star Wars and the Third Child

My 7-year-old daughter stared at me in disbelief.

“You got Kitty light up shoes?” Caroline was incredulous as she watched her two-year old sister jump up and down, setting off lights on the sides of her Disney Princess shoes.

Shoes for the 3rd child

“You said we could NEVER have light up shoes!” Now the tone was a bit angrier.  “Why did SHE get light up shoes?!”

You know the shoes I’m talking about.  Sneakers that light up every time you walk on them.  You can see them in a dark movie theater, they always come with some annoying cartoon character plastered on them and usually cost double.

When Caroline was old enough to see how cool light up shoes were, I put my non-lit up foot down. Nope.  No one needs his or her feet to light up with every step.  When Josh came along, it was his dream to have Thomas the train shoes or Toy Story or whatever light up shoes.  There was begging.  I held firm, because of course, I had set a stupid parent rule in my head.  No swearing, hitting or light up shoes.

But here comes the third child.  She picked out Princess shoes at the store.  Ok, I say.  Princess sneakers are fine.  She put them on.

“Oh!” Kitty squealed. “My shoeses lighted up!!”

Sigh.  I was in trouble.  Trouble if I took them off her feet.  And trouble if I came home with them.

After years of law and order, I caved under the pressure of the third child.  By number three I’ve realized:

1. Parental patience is thin

2. Parental perfection is unrealistic

3. The third will cry if not included

When my first was born, she played with educational toys, only watched Sesame Street and didn’t eat candy.  I was determined to do this parent thing right.  Then came number two.  Things were a little more lax, but they didn’t know who Sponge Bob was, rarely ate at McDonald’s and had no idea how to play video games.

The third one came, and it all went to hell.  Frazzled from meeting the needs of three children at different ages, my standards have dropped. Significantly.  In turn, I have a two-year old who can play “Pac Man”, sings songs from “High School Musical” and wants an American Girl Doll.  She manipulates tiny Legos and has taken an unnatural interest in “Star Wars.” She recently dazzled a crowd at the hair salon singing Darth Vader’s theme song with a lollipop hanging out of her mouth.   She snuck up on her sister the other day and said, breathing heavily in sister’s ear, “Luke, I am your daddy.”

I find myself just watching her and shaking my head.  Like, whose child is this? And when is her mother going to do something?  One person who takes great glee in this, is my mother.

“That’s what happens,” she said recently.  “The third becomes a lot smarter a lot quicker.”

She ought to know.  I was the third child.  Boy, am I in trouble.