Counterpoint

Once when I was in college and sitting around in the cafeteria lounging after dinner (in that way that is only possible when you are young and your greatest responsibility is an upcoming three-page paper for your Ancient Philosophy class… oh, college) I was part of a conversation in which some friends and I went around the table and decided what type of offspring each of us could possibly produce that would result in the most ironic situation.

The poetry-writing, literary fanatic would have a kid who hated to read, the sisterless, football-talking, feminine-hygiene-topics-make-him-visibly-uncomfortable guy would have five girls and be home alone with his oldest daughter when she got her period for the first time, the rule-following, honest-to-a-fault one (*cough* L *cough*) would have a bully with authority issues, etc. One stab at a guess for me was that I (a vocal performance major) would have a kid who was tone-deaf.

That prediction has not turned out to be true, and in fact, while Noah can sing a tune just fine, Rosie appears at 22 months to be able to match a pitch exactly when singing along with a melody, and later can reproduce it pretty accurately when singing a capella. She is a music junkie, always asking for the radio or a CD or the DVD of kids singing Farmer in the Dell and London Bridge Is Falling Down.

(Also? This is her favorite song. I don’t know what to tell you about that, except that….yeah, I got nothing. Feel free to judge away at my parenting decisions. But for serious, do NOT sing along with this song while she is listening/grooving to it, or someone will get hurt. And it will be you.)

Here’s what the actual irony has turned out to be: Rosie hates it when I sing. Like gets violent hates it. When we’re in the car driving around and I DEIGN to chime in with the lyrics of a song on the radio, the screaming that commences from the backseat is akin to that of a person being forced to get five tetanus shots while sitting in a pit of vipers. For a while I complied with her request that I stop singing, just to get her for the love of God to stop that infernal racket already, but then I had a moment of clarity wherein I remembered that she is not the boss of me (a moment where I only just stopped myself from saying those actual words, because sometimes I am mentally 3 years old) and began singing with cheery gusto whenever the mood struck.

I figure that the hearing loss I am sustaining from these delightful car trips is worth it, so long as she learns the life lesson that you can’t control what is going on around you, because other people are free to do what they choose.

And also that she is totally not the boss of me.

Mostly.

7 comments

1 gmo { 09.03.10 at 6:55 pm }

Your granddad listened to Rosie’s “faorite” song and said, “Well, it appears to be in caps and exclamation points!”

2 alianora { 09.03.10 at 7:00 pm }

Voldemort was yelling “ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE!!” last night as we waited for Earl. I think Rosie’s choice is slightly more hilarious, and she is adorable!

Also, who were the other people involved in this conversation about children? I am curious.

I also noticed you did not say whether either of the children live up to the expectations of L’s kids.

3 Leeann { 09.04.10 at 9:24 pm }

Last summer I was in a cabaret that people paid $25 a pop to attend. I AUDITIONED for it, and was hand plucked from a group of THOUSANDS (hundreds) (maybe 75) vocalists to perform. When I would sing along to the kids’ music in the car, or even sing the actual songs that I was performing for people PAYING ACTUAL MONEY TO HEAR ME SING, my children would plead with me to stop. I hear that Reese Witherspoon had this same problem with her children when she was filming Walk The Line, for which she won an OSCAR. So I guess we’re in good company.

4 Mandi Davis { 09.05.10 at 12:27 pm }

Ha! I nannied for a fantastic boy in Midtown who would say “Mandi, you don’t sing anymore, ok?” anytime I DARED sing in the car.

So far Lily loves music, but hasn’t begun to sing along. If I sing, she likes to crawl up me and try to take the music out of my mouth (she seems to think it originates at my teeth, which should be removed in order to stop the nonsense.)

5 ramblin red { 09.07.10 at 1:01 pm }

I love this. Can SO relate to it too as both my daughter and my son did this. But now my kids like me to sing, so maybe it is just a phase?

6 ramblin red { 09.07.10 at 1:02 pm }

oh, and love the game. My BIL is totally the manly man who now has a house full of estrogen, which makes my hubby grateful that we only have one offspring with double x’s

7 Trish { 09.07.10 at 7:30 pm }

my son is the same way. Now, I’m not a vocal superstar or anything, but I can carry a tune. But he *flips* *out* when I sing along. Fortunately it’s not just me. He also screams at his daycare providers or anyone else who sings “his” songs, so it’s not personal, but it’s still insane.
I’m allowed to sing to him (a cappella) but not along with anything. Sometimes when my husband or I are feeling particularly mean, we put on the Backyardigans and belt out the theme song.

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