I need to write a little bit of the background before I launch into the story. I am ashamed to admit my children do not have great taste in music. They have atrocious taste. I didn’t listen to classical music when I was pregnant with them, like all the good pregnancy books said I should. I listened to Hindi pop songs instead and now I am paying the price. After the candid confession, just one piece of advice to would-be moms, turn on that Beethoven, pronto, if you don’t want to be listening to Katy Perry and Eminem for a greater chunk of your life. Not that there is anything wrong with those singers, it’s just not my kind of music. Since these songs(noise) are ingrained in my brain, I hum them occasionally as I go about my chores till a gleeful, gloating voice calls out ‘Huh, you are singing Britney Spears mom! That’s our music! Haha!” Oh yes, there is certainly an imaginary line drawn between their music and our music. And sometimes when I cross the line it is like crossing over to the Dark Side, like I would be summoning the Death Eaters, momentarily! Tracy Chapman, however, is our neutral zone, along with a handful of others. On long car rides, we all can agree to sing ‘TALKIN’ ‘BOUT A REVOLUTION SOUNDS…..like a whisper…’! Thank goodness for small mercies!
For a while, it was country music. A lot of tractors, guns, trucks, finding ticks on girlfriend’s body (not kidding, there is a song of that nature by Brad Paisly, look it up) till Ryan started talking with a distinct Southern drawl. After the country music phase, Sahana and Ryan got obsessed with Rihanna’s S&M song. The refrain goes something like this…(in case you are not a Rihanna fan)
’cause I may be bad, But I’m perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don’t care, I like the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me.
Now, I don’t pay much attention to the songs that kids listen to. Yes, I admit, that is negligent parenting at its best. When they ask me to turn on the radio in the car, I turn it on to their station, heave a sigh of relief that I won’t have to hear ‘she looked at me the wrong way’ or ‘he is reaching out and touching me’ . One day, I heard my kids singing along with this particular song and I almost hit the brakes!!! Sahana, having had the talk on ‘birds and bees’ was either humming the ‘sex’ part or using the word ‘muffin’ instead of ‘sex’! Young Ryan didn’t care, he was screaming ‘Sex in the air…….excite me!’ I felt like a complete failure as a mother. I failed to instill good taste for music in my children! They are grooving to the beat of ‘chains and whips excite me’! They will not grow up as cultured music aficionados. Oh, the sorrow! I quickly changed the station to sports and was accosted by a combined shriek of “Mom….that was like our favorite song! Can you please turn it back???” “No, sorry! My turn to listen to the Orioles update!” I don’t even like the Orioles anymore. They lose almost every single game.
These days they listen to a band called Mindless Behavior. Don’t you love the name? Now that I think about it, I believe they relate to the name of the band ‘Mindless Behavior’ more than their songs, but what do I know? Anyway, this band, Mindless Behavior is made up of four sweet, thirteen year old boys who have extremely fun dance moves. The song that my kids love is ‘Where is Mrs Right? I want to meet her, travel all across the world just to see her….!’ The music video shows a Geography class, the geography teacher pulls down a map to teach the kids about different countries. All of a sudden, our four, young friends feel the need to go to Switzerland, Japan etc to look for Mrs. Right…..at age thirteen!!! My kids have been singing this song non-stop. They sing four lines, and then start from the beginning and sing those four lines again, and again and again and….till I scream “STOP THAT, NOW!!!”. When she sees poor Mom has reached her limit for tolerance, Sahana quickly puts on Yo Yo Ma to calm my nerves. It works.
But my husband doesn’t get to hear the various renditions of this song since he is mostly at work or traveling. So the other day, we were coming back from some sporting activity, the kids started singing the dreaded song of finding Mrs. Right! It would be tough for me to really write down how they sang the song but I will try.
Where is Mrs.Riii I gotta see haaaaa(her)
Travel all acos (across) the wol (world) jus (just) to mee’ (meet) haaa (her)
Get me on a fliii (flight) I gotta see haaaa
Travel all acos the worl’ jus’ to mee haaa.
Travel to LA and maybe to the Bay,
Come to Chi-Town, she mi’ (might) be out the states,
Book a fliii to London, book a fliii to France,
Cawe (Can we) go to Switzerland, cawe (can we) hit Japan?
After hearing mee haaa, see haaa, and the word Japan a few times, Sean, his chest puffed up with fatherly pride, asked me with sweet innocence, ‘Wow, they are singing a Japanese song? Where did they learn that?’ Amidst the cacophony that they themselves were creating, this comment was heard by the singers. Indignation, disbelief! Is daddy for real? A torrent of words like this followed, ‘Dad, what do you mean Japanese? It is a hit song from Mindless behavior, you don’t know anything about modern music…..’ and it went on and on. I sat back, relaxed and let the spouse take the beating! Oh, honey! You need a crash course in modern pop music that your children listen to. Can you please drive them around to their activities….. at least for a week?