Krissy Mac has three kids ages 6, 3 1/2, and 1 1/2. If she did a tequila shot for every time she said “No,” “Stop” or “Why isn’t anyone listening to me?” she’d be one happy lady. Instead, she spends her days trying to avoid meltdowns–her own. She writes about the completely uncontrolled chaos that is her life at www.whoneedsanap.me.
I would love to be able to tell you something super cool about myself like “I started listening to Led Zeppelin when I was 2 years old,” or “When the other 12-year-old girls had posters of the Coreys (the 80s…some of you remember. The rest of you… Google it), I had one of Bob Dylan.”
Unfortunately, those would be lies.
This is more than a bit embarrassing but… my very first musical purchase was a record called Original TV Soundtrack: The Jetsons. It included the greatest hit, “Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah” which made it well-worth the $6.99 that I spent on it.
There are other vague memories of music standouts throughout my childhood. I remember hearing the Styx album come out of my brother’s bedroom when I was eight. And listening to the Steve Miller Band in high school, while driving down to the Jersey Shore (this was pre-Snooki, but unfortunately not pre-Aqua Net). Once there, the Pretty in Pink soundtrack played on repeat. High school mix tapes included U2, Madonna, Sting, Peter Gabriel and it was Jersey, so of course, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen were on the playlists, long before they were ever called playlists.
Then I went to college and my horizons expanded a bit more into classic rock including Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead. And it was 1993 when I first heard Phish. And started going to Phish shows. (Many, many Phish shows, but that’s another post entirely.)
In my most recent years, I have settled on a non-offensive mix of what some call adult alternative, classic rock, and jam band.
But in those same years, I have also had three kids. You can see where this is going, right?
When our first kid was born, we were those parents who said, “Our kids are going to listen to our music! None of that kiddie crap.” (Who’s nodding their head right now?) That really worked for a little while. Like most parents, we swayed our babies to the tunes of Bob Marley and The Beatles.
But guess what… those babies grow up. And they learn to talk. And they learn to say stuff like, “We don’t like this grown-up music! We want kids’ music… like the Backyardigans songs!”
So you can see the problem. They want The Chipettes. We want… anything remotely listenable. You know who wins?
POP. Katy Perry. Justin Bieber. One Direction. You get it.
The point is, I have become a [reluctant] fan of pop music because it’s far more palatable to me than a lot of the stuff that’s out there… because that is The Compromise.
I have added Radio Disney and Z100 to my Sirius XM radio’s favorites… because that is The Compromise.
I know all the words to Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepsen (but c’mon who doesn’t?)… because that is The Compromise.
I am a true fan of Taylor Swift… because that is The Compromise. (And also because Mean is a really good song.)
Don’t get me wrong; we still try to expose our kids to “good” music. We sneak in Neil Young, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, and Van Morrison whenever we can. But the dance parties in our kitchen are all about the Top 40.
So be it. Because as grateful as I am to Tasha, Uniqua, Austin, Pablo and Tyrone for all the babysitting they’ve done for me over the years, and I get that you may feel differently about this, but I’ll take Katy Perry over the Backyardigans soundtrack any day.
What’s your parental pop culture compromise?