I’m not going to lie, over the course of the last five years I’ve become a bit of a kiddie-rock enthusiast. I’m not all that proud of this (how do you go from Social Distortion to The Dirty Sock Funtime Band and not feel at least a little sad for yourself??), but there it is. I get more excited than my kids do when we go to shows. It’s a little concerning.
I’ve always been big into music – of all genres and eras – so it wasn’t that much of a jump for me to dive into some of the more kid-specific music when Kaleb came along. Even if some of it does make me want to stab myself in the ears with a fork (think “There’s a party in my tummy! So yummy! So yummy yummy!). Now, don’t go thinking when I was pregnant with Kaleb I went on a kiddie rock band hunt. Just the opposite. My kid was going to know Frank Sinatra and Jack Johnson as far as I was concerned. The kiddie rock kind of found me. When Kaleb was born we were a Noggin family (now known as Nick Jr) all the way. No PBS or Disney here. We were all about Moose A. Moose and Zee the Bird (if you don’t know them, you missed out. I miss the stupid moose).
At 10am every day they would play Jack’s Big Music Show. I loved this show. I had every episode on the DVR, and we watched them over and over again (okay. I will admit that there’s a groundhog day episode featuring Jon Stewart – also where I first saw the Steve Burns video posted a few weeks ago – that still makes me laugh. A lot. It’s my favorite episode ever). Because this show was all about music. And they’d play these little music videos, featuring these kiddie rock bands, and I got hooked. Laurie Berkner being first and foremost on our list of absolute favorites.
Five years later I still love this woman. She’s saved me so many times, I’d kiss her if I could. I’m not even remotely kidding right now. There have been so many times over the course of my children’s little lives that walking around the grocery store belting out “Let’s Go Swimming” has salvaged my shopping trip. It’s helped us get through doctor’s appointments and long waiting lines. She’s put them to sleep (Winter Lullaby is seriously my favorite soothing song of all time), helped them get rid of some of their restless energy, and given us countless happy, laughing, singing memories.
Last year I paid an outrageous amount of money for tickets and drove Kaleb to Tampa just to see her live – because she’s pretty much never down south (even while reading this I can pretty much promise Daddy is still shaking his head in that “you are completely insane” manner of his). It was worth it. The look on Kaleb’s face when Laurie Berkner walked out on that stage will be with me for the rest of my life. I cried. Right there, on the spot, I cried like a baby. Hell, I could cry now thinking about it again. That look of pure awe, wonder, and absolutely unrestricted joy is one of the things I hold on to when we have rough days. If you want an example of his reaction you can see a video here – he’s completely concentrated until the song ends, and then the song ends and his reaction had me crying all over again.
Aside from his reactions, the best part of the show was having at least five other full grown adults admit they were there because they wanted to see her more than the kids did. At least I’m not alone in my crazy!
Every time a show comes to town, or close enough for me to justify, I try as hard as I can to take them. Last October was Mason’s first “real” show (we’d seen Jake & the Neverland Pirate Band at Downtown Disney, but it was an outdoor thing you just kind of walked up to and watched). Daddy and I loaded the kids up and drove to Savannah. Yes, Georgia. I drove my children out of state for The Fresh Beat Band. I also got backstage passes and a photo op with them. True, I was more excited about this than anyone else in my family.
But it was awesome. And worth every single second. Kaleb got to give the band a card he’d made for them and had been carrying around with him everywhere. Mason didn’t care all that much – he more or less just wanted the balloons. But I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
We’re musical people. Just about every show the kids watch is centered on music. Music is pumped through the house on cleaning days. And sometimes when I just want to preoccupy them enough to be able to cook without tripping on a child, I’ll break out the kiddie rock. This happened last night – and it had me cracking up. All three of the kids dancing around, spinning, and laughing to the music. It’s also a bit of a double bonus, because one of the Laurie Berkner DVD’s we have features Moose and Zee as the hosts – and Mason is absolutely enthralled every time they come on “stage”.
Actually, the reason we are now Disney Jr. people is because Nick Jr. got rid of Moose and Zee. I was mad. That moose was the one thing that would keep my insane child still for five minutes at a time. I boycotted. Look kids! There’s a show about pirates! And they sing! And our Jake obsession was born.
I do recognize that this is completely absurd. I am plenty aware that my obsession with the kiddie rock is probably unhealthy and I should probably seek treatment. But considering right now I’m sitting here watching Mason mimic the dance moves of Laurie Berkner I can’t help it. On top of it all I’m sitting here thinking “Look at those motor skills! Jumping off the ground – great! Keep it up buddy! Shake that little booty!” I watch him stomp like a dinosaur, buzz like a bee, swim like a fish, and exercise all of these little body parts that so often aren’t thought about.
I could probably keep going. I could probably sit here and justify my love for this kid-centric music all day. But the truth is, I love that I get to enjoy something my kids enjoy so thoroughly. I don’t want to smash my head through the tv. I don’t want to jump up and down on the CD’s (again, Daddy may have a different view of this, as he’s not so much a fan), or shove cotton in my ears. I don’t mind getting the songs stuck in my head because I can sing them to my kids and make them laugh. Now, I’m not even sure what the point of this whole thing was, except I’m sitting here watching Mason pretend to have a pig on his head and it’s delightfully entertaining.
I guess maybe I just wanted to share that all kid’s music isn’t that bad.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my favorite song (The Cat Came Back) just came on and I have to go dance with my kid.