I try to expose my kids to all types of music. In the age of internet radio, it’s so easy to pick a genre and see what happens. On any given day, my kitchen may be filled with the sounds of rock, bluegrass, jazz, reggae, classical, or music from regions all over the world. Still, I do get requests for music that fits firmly into the category of American kid music.
The upside is that the lyrics of American kid music are safe for little ones and seem to pacify my toddler on his rowdiest of days. The downside is this stuff can be really tough for adults to listen to day in and day out. Many of the songs are repetitive with overly-charismatic singers chuckling every few seconds. You also find compilations of children singing regular pop music, which drives me bananas. It’s edited for content, but I still feel uneasy when I hear a little girl singing Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle.” Or, if your children are like mine, they get hooked on a movie soundtrack (for us it’s Cars and Cars 2). I don’t care if it has pop music mixed in with the movie score. There is a limit on the number of times I can listen to “”Route 66” or Finn McMissile’s theme music.
Thankfully, in recent years there has been a swell of great kid music in the US. These are songs geared towards children but made intentionally to be fun for all ages. Members of bands whose genre is not kid music have become parents and released kid friendly albums that they would want to hear. The variety is amazing, and you no longer have decide between Barney or Raffi (no offense to Raffi…the man works hard and children love him. It’s just nice to have more options).
Here is a list of my top 10 favorite kid songs:
“Frogs” by Caspar Babypants: From the President of the USA front man Chris Ballew, this song is good fun. And if you get to see him live at one of his kid shows, he often ends with this while jumping off of something.
“Why Does the Sun Shine?” by They Might Be Giants: In the thick of the dark, gray Pacific Northwest winters, this high power rock song gets us all up dancing and thinking of brighter days to come.
“See You on the Moon” by Great Lake Swimmers: This song brings you back to daydreaming about what you may want to be when you grow up. I’m still trying to figure it out, so I always catch myself humming along.
“I’m Me” by Charlie Hope: A wonderful self-affirmation song, celebrating the limitless power of each individual.
“We’re Going to be Friends”: Take your pick of the original version by The White Stripes or Jack Johnson’s cover. Invoking nostalgia, this song perfectly captures the feeling of heading out for the start of school year and making that special connection with someone.
“The Disappointing Pancake” by Lisa Loeb: Sometimes you can’t do the things you set out to do, but your story isn’t over, as shown in this tale of an inedible pancake that made an impact in other ways. The point is to keep looking for your talents. We all have them.
“Bad Day” by Barenaked Ladies: A ballad of sorts about a kid who feels rejected and is bumming out in his room until his dad gives him a pep talk. Kid music is usually “up.” I like that this explores the naturalness of feeling low, and I like that it’s the dad who comes in to make an emotional connection.
“When One Became Two” by The Verve Pipe: Tracing a family through various stages, this song makes you ponder the days that have passed and the days still to come. They start with a union between two people, cover the birth of twins plus a few more, and end with the announcement of the grandchildren. I choke up every time.
“Where’s the Music?” by Medeski, Martin & Wood: This is just a straight up, ripping jazz song.
“Conjunction Junction” from Schoolhouse Rock: As an American who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 1980’s, I have to pull out some Schoolhouse Rock. You can’t beat a groovy grammar lesson.
Of course, nothing’s better for me than when my sons perform their own concerts. Jingle Bells is a crowd favorite any time of the year.
What type of music fills your home? How do you find music that the whole family can enjoy?
This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Tara B. of Washington (State) USA.
Credit of the righteous photo goes to the author.
It’s 8.27pm on the day this post is due and I have a dozen excuses for why I wasn’t going to make the deadline. But the biggest excuse is probably that I’m a mum and plans went astray and that none of those excuses will cut it with the audience and contributors on World Mom Blogs – because most of us are mums with our own daily battles to overcome.
I will tell you my excuses though, because it proves we never stop being mums, we never stop worrying about our children and sometimes they continue to drive us crazy with frustration, regardless of how old they are.
My twenty four year old son was a difficult teenager and never really got on with his step-dad, he’s been out of home for 8 years. He and his fiancé separated 18 months ago, with a baby in the mix to further complicate things. To say the last 18 months have been difficult for him to adjust to her leaving would be an understatement. His uncle on his dad’s side committed suicide last year and he took that badly too.
All of this drama in his life culminated in him getting evicted from his house early this year, and it’s been downhill since then. He moved in with his new girlfriend’s parents a few weeks ago and let’s suffice to say a whole series of drama and problems and stressing about his situation ended up with him losing his job.
Yes I’m now almost totally grey from stress and worry. Don’t be misled in thinking that once they move out and have their own families that the worry stops. This boy of mine has always been hard work, I love him to pieces but I continue to want to strangle him some days.
Work got crazy last Wednesday for me with a co-worker taking a sudden 5-week sick leave. I was immediately thrown into a Corporate Property Management role with no knowledge whatsoever of what I was doing. Massive workloads and plenty of stress – are you feeling sorry for me yet?
Thursday morning my son rings to say he and his girlfriend are having problems and can he come home. No money, no job and nowhere to live. Add in a stepfather who wasn’t keen on him coming home given their past history and I was worrying myself stupid. Grandson joined the mix for the weekend, so it was: hubby and I, eldest son, 18-year-old son and his girlfriend, 15-year-old son and 2 year old grandson squished into a 3-bedroom house.
It’s been a tough week, I’m tired, I’m strung out and I suddenly wish for the years long ago when the greatest stress my boys provided was them wrestling on the floor or fist fighting. Once upon a time I longed for them to get older and look after themselves.
Being a mum and caring and worrying – that never ends.
So while my excuses are valid to me they don’t really cut it for not doing something I said I would do – we all have drama to deal with, we’re mums and we battle on.
Coming home to live with mum had its rules, I told son to doorknock businesses with resume in hand until he found a job. No sitting on his butt claiming unemployment benefits in this house. Mum is always right, he got a call today and starts a new job tomorrow. He’s also gone to stay with his dad from tonight until he can find a new house – dad’s got more room for him.
So the week from hell has a happy result.
So my advice to all of you: enjoy the sibling rivalry, the battles, and the sleepless nights – because once you’re the mother of teenagers or adults, then you can throw grandchildren and partners in to further complicate the motherhood journey.
As much as I want to throw my boys in their rooms and tell them to pull their heads in and behave themselves, it’s not that easy anymore. How I wish it was.
Do your kids ever drive you crazy? What’s your biggest battle with them these days? What advice would you pass on to other mothers?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Fiona from Inspiration to Dream of Adelaide, South Australia.
The photograph used in this post is credited to the author.
Ana Gaby’s son, Evan, climbing yet another tall structure.
“Boys will be boys” people say when they see my two-year-old run around wild and try to jump off the steps or throw sand on his head or when he decides the restaurant table is the perfect race track. Yes, “boys will be boys” I’ve realized, the problem is I don’t really know what boys are like. I learn a new lesson on boyhood everyday as I breeze or trudge through the journey of motherhood.
I grew up surrounded by estrogen. I was an only child until the age of seven and before that I attended an all-girls school and visited with my female cousins often. When my sister was born, my mom, my sister and I created a very special bond that keeps getting tighter despite the distance and space between us. My sister and I grew up in a fluffy, pink bubble where the worst tragedy that could happen in our eyes was related to ice-cream staining our dresses, or our best friend not being allowed to come over for a sleepover.
I was not used to the dirt, rowdiness, sounds and smells that little boys bring into the picture. Nobody told me about the bleeding noses they would give me (product of accidental head butts), or the sore toes (victims of Tonka road accidents), and the fact that I might find dirt and sand in the most bizarre places in my boy’s anatomy. I was not aware of the physicality that entails chasing mothering a very energetic little boy and the taxing toll it would take on my back let alone my manicure. (more…)
He is relaxed, his head lolling slightly on my shoulder, mouth open just so, tired eyes finally closed.
I feel his weight, comfortable in my arms, all 15 pounds of soft baby and fuzzy hair, warmly nestled where he should be.
I listen to his gentle breathing, slowing, as he falls into deeper sleep. Only then, do I dare lower him into his crib, tucking him under the linen swaddle blanket.
I watch my almost-4-month old sleep for a few more minutes, willing him fervently to stay asleep. Quietly, I creep out.
Already, I miss his solid babyness in my now empty arms.
I joked once that with two children now, my arms will never truly be empty.
That is my truth, and a reality I love.
For no sooner do I lay the baby down for his nap, my toddler comes barreling into me, throws his arms around my neck and I’m surprised at how big he seems. (more…)
Some would say it was the perfect way to go.
It was a sunny South African day, and my aunt Ann was doing what she loved most – walking her dogs down the quiet country road she lived on. A car approaching from the distance set in motion a chain of events that led to Ann falling and striking her head on a rock. She never knew what hit her. She was dead by the time her body came to rest on the ground.
There was no pain, no languishing in a hospital bed with tearful family members keeping vigil, no questions about whether or not to keep the life support going.
As merciful as Ann’s death was, it was a terrible shock to those of us left behind. When my mother called me with the news, I felt as if all of the breath had been sucked right out of me. It was the last thing I had (more…)