Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
I’ve made a conscious decision not to get Roy hooked on music I find annoying. I’ve heard too many horror stories about parents being held hostage to grating cartoonish singsongs in the car because the only other choice was “screaming toddler,” demanding aforementioned songs.
We got a head start in this department thanks to my brother. He’s a music aficionado, and when Roy was born, B.J. gave him an iPod loaded with great kiddish music. Compilations such as The Bottle Let Me Down, Greasy Kid Stuff and Home Schooled; Rockabye Baby‘s lullaby renditions of albums by bands such as Nirvana, Radiohead and Led Zeppelin; and albums crafted specifically for kids by artists such as They Might Be Giants and, our favorite, Elizabeth Mitchell (of the indie rock band Ida).
While Roy digs all of the above, his first real band crush was Wilco. Clint and I bought the latest CD, The Whole Love, and listened to it way too often in preparation for the concert. Pretty much constantly. Roy loved it. He couldn’t stand the silence between songs. As soon as one song finished, he’d pipe up from the back seat: “More Wilco, Mommy?” Oh, there was always more Wilco, I tell you. Always more Wilco.
Then one day, while Wilco was playing in the car, Roy began crying. Sobbing. When I asked him what was wrong, he kept repeating something that sounded to me like champagne. Now, it’s not unfathomable that any child of mine would, at the age of 1, cry for champagne. Not unfathomable, but still. Unlikely. He kept repeating it, and finally a light bulb went off: Not champagne. John Prine. Our marathon listening session had left the poor kid completely Wilco-ed out. He’d currently prefer the musical stylings of John Prine, thank you very much.
Clint’s a big JP fan and had obviously introduced his music to the boy. The Missing Years was waiting in the changer, and when I turned it on, the crying stopped. Now, nearly every time we get in the car, the request comes: “John Prine, please?” If I sing along? “No, Mommy. Let John Prine say it.” In the silence between songs, “More John Prine,” or, my favorite, “Please, Mommy. I need more John Prine.”
We’ve got a John Prine addict. I’ll take it over condescending puppet-voiced baby bubblegum any day. Here’s how we start our drive to daycare each morning:
Any other tolerable child-friendly recommendations? What does your kid dig?