I don't know about you, my friends, but there are some days when I just cannot take one more second of that infamous Kid Music. You know what I'm talking about, oh yes you do; the repetitious and insidious melodies that you hear on a continuous loop while you are trying to fall asleep at night.
We've tried to "fix" the problem of Kid Music by listening to some really great Music for Children (notice the subtle difference, my friends). Justin Roberts and Tom Chapin are two of our favorites. With smart lyrics, complex harmonies, tender messages, and the occasional homage to adult hits, you really can't go wrong with these guys.
Still . . . sometimes I just want to rock out to my music. The problem, as you all know, is the appropriateness of this music. Don't get me wrong: I'm not blasting death metal and gangsta rap in the old minivan. Heck, I'm usually not even listening to pop radio stations. I am talking about pop music from my adolescence, or, as some radio stations call them, oldies! (I don't know how music from the '80's can be considered an oldie, but I guess that is a discussion for another day)
Even with very tame songs, there are often adult themes that my especially precocious daughter never fails to hear. I don't particularly want to be explaining breaking-up, making it, or the morning after kind of themes to my child. It's my job to protect her from that as long as I can, especially in this culture.
But in my effort to separate the musical wheat from the chaff, I've noticed that there are some really fun songs out there. Songs that really get the kids singing and dancing (We've Got The Beat, anyone?) How do you let the kids listen to the good ones and leave the more mature ones for a later date?
Here's my solution: I went old-school and made my own mixes for the kids. Sort of like the mixed tapes I used to make for my friends and Rob, only now I'm stepping up my game with cds. I went through my music collection and culled the songs that I knew both the children and I would approve. I downloaded them to the computer, and then let the kids decide their own playlists. I burned each of them a cd that I feel comfortable having them listen to in the house, car, or in their rooms. As an added bonus, I don't want to pierce my own eardrums when they ask to listen to their cd.
With the advent of iPods and all those other fancy-schmancy gadgets, I'm sure this method could be simplified, but as we all know, I'm deficient in most of these areas. Feel free to up the technology factor if you are capable of doing so. The bottom line?: Kid music that is also music to my ears - well, it works for me.