In compiling my (as always) *thorough* inventory of the human race, I have been able to discern two categories of parent.
First is the parent whose identity seems to be completely encapsulated in their baby/child. EVERYTHING is geared towards their young. Weekend outings are limited to going exclusively to kids’ museums, Chuck E. Cheese’s, and baby birthday parties featuring clowns whose humor is likely lost on both adult and youth spectators. Mac and cheese, chicken fingers, and crustless peanut butter sandwiches are not only featured on the wee one’s plate but also on mom’s (what kind of wine would you pair with Goldfish crackers?). Facebook status updates that once chronicled one’s witty comments on the suckiness of their jobs or the awesomeness of their trip to Estonia now concern the baby’s barfing or getting together with other spawners to take the kids to the latest community-organized
spend-a-thon Craft Fest.
Then there are parents who seem to retain some of their adulthood upon introducing a baby into the fold. This is the kind of parent I want to be because I can’t handle the prospect that Barney time slots could possibly become pertinent to mine and Bebe’s daily routines. In our home, there will be no separately prepared meals for the elders and the youth because monochromatic children’s food is downright depressing and insulting to all who feel the need to consume it.
Believe it or not, I really don’t have any aggression towards kids’ culture. When I worked at a fairly hoity-toity restaurant a few years back, I used to watch Caillou before I went in for my shift because I found that its slow pace relaxed me and made me realize that the whiners and snobs who I would be dealing with that evening were, like Caillou, probably miserable from their youth and deserving of the same patience that anyone would give freely to a cranky four-year-old.
The stimulus that I will provide Bebe will (hopefully) be fun, cool, and not insulting to my baby’s intelligence. In her recent post Shiny Happy People, Jessica from booshy got me thinking about what babies hear (both in utero and, err, out utero) and how what the parents dish out trumps almost all other stimuli that the baby will receive from now until the kid learns of the existence of Tiger Beat. So in providing the soundtrack for our baby’s life, I think we can do better than The Waffles, or Wuggles, or Wiggles, or whatever the name of that musical group is.
At the same time, even though “Jeremy” is technically about a child, I don’t think I’ll be piping that into the nursery just yet.
So what’s the happy medium?
I have a few suggestions:
Every time the baby hears this song, I will remind him that his ultra-cool mom and dad have even been to Iceland. It will doubtlessly be annoying for the baby but it will hopefully remind him that his parents were cool way back when.
“Mommy, what’s ‘November Rain'”? I can field that question.
The ultimate shiny, happy medium. It kind of makes me sad that, despite the fact that REM hasn’t been too awesome since I was in 7th grade, Bebe will be born into a world where they don’t really exist anymore.
Now, the burning question: what would you put on your baby’s playlist? What should the kiddies be hearing?