Archive for October, 2006

Kid's Music


So.  After making breakfast for everyone this morning, I go back into my room to get dressed, realize that it's 8:30 am and I've been up for at least an hour and it's Sunday.  I consider putting everyone in gear and going to church, but my bed looks really warm and inviting.  I crawl back under the covers with the dogs and prepare myself for inquiring "mommy?" calls from the other room.  I doze, half asleep but listening to the events in the other room.   This is a self-preservation strategy I learned once Dillon started to walk and could join me in my bed at his whim.  Basically I have gotten a thick little toddler-head pounded into my nose enough times to realize that I shouldn't sleep when the kids are awake.  

NPR is on in the kitchen, the kids are in the playroom, and Chuck is either in the playroom with them or on the couch, I can't tell which.  But then the kids start singing, at first quietly enough that I can't make it out, but then it's discernable: "londy londy, lon-dee!"  and I realize my children are singing an incredibly inappropriate song by the Black Eyed Peas token chick, Fergie.   Her song, "London Bridge" is one of those totally-catchy earworm songs that I kind of like (yeah, I know, it's terrible!) and so don't always turn off when it comes on the radio.

I have a pretty low tolerance for violent, misogynistic, or just exceptionally stupid stuff ("Does Your Chain Hang Low?"), but I don't censor too much music from my kids.  Hence, Dillon sings along with "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Blister in the Sun," and that vein of music, despite their lyrics about drug use, etc.  I think I turned off "Hits from The Bong" the other day when he was in the car, but it wasn't a terribly high priority.  Both Chuck and I make an effort not to play any music with swear words or other words we wouldn't necessarily want to say in front of his teacher, in it, but we don't much edit for content.  

Still, it always makes me think twice about this philosophy when I hear Dillon sing something that you probably don't want to hear a five-year-old sing.  "When I'm walking I strut my stuff / man I'm so strung out / I'm high as a kite…"  You get the idea.

But at the same time, the benefit is a love of a variety of different types of music, from Punk Rock to World Music to Funk to Ska to Motown to Musicals.  And we have a larger playlist than just the typical Sesame Street/Dan Zanes/They Might Be Giants short list of kids' music I don't hate.   

And it is fantastically cute to hear him sing and dance to "The Big Payback" by James Brown, which Dillon will often say is his favorite song.  "Get Down / With My Girlfriend / That Ain't Right!"  

I'm just wondering how the "Flogging Molly" t-shirt is received at school… 



Happy Friday the Thirteenth , everyone!  I am not a supersticious person, so I've mostly been going about my business, but two very interesting things have happened to me today that I want to share.  (No, it wasn't watching CinderElmo, though I have to say that both Oliver Platt and Kathy Najimy's performances were spectacular. Not to mention Bert & Ernie as the Town Tinkers.)

Earlier today Rose and I visited the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, where we met three other moms who have adopted children from Ethiopia and one who was in the process still.  I was a little unsure of what to expect, you never really know from meeting people online what they will be like in person, but I had a really nice time.  I particularly connected with one woman, who I have quite a bit in common with, includung a women's studies degree from UW-Madison.  I was worried because we went during the time Rose would normally be napping, but she had a great time, too!  She is at that stage where she doesn't really play directly with other kids, but rather is doing the "parallel play" thing where she plays next to the other kids.  But they were all so cute together!

The other notable thing that happened was that a few weeks ago, Charles and I hired a private detective in Ethiopia to find out a bit more about Rose's birth family.  An agency that was recommended by other folks on the adoption forum I visit online.  And today we got some information.  It's Rose's story, so I'm not going to share it all on a public website, but many of the details we were told by our adoption agency were confirmed, but one huge difference showed up: her name.  

One of the reasons we decided to change Rose's name was because we were kind of suspicious about her name to begin with.  The name we were told was hers, Bizunesh, was, coincidentally, the same name as the person who did her intake at the Care Center.  And it is an Amharic name, and Rose's people did not speak Amharic.  It's also common for the Care Center folks to change or give names if they don't know the child's name.  So we didn't feel like we'd be erasing her past to change this name that we weren't sure was hers anyway. 

Her given name was Birhannesh Desalegn Ersimo.  

Pretty amazing.  I can't really describe all of my thoughts right now.  We also now have pictures of her uncle and cousins and the house she was born in.

Go with the flow…


A friend of mine told me the other day that one of his goals is to be as good of a dad as my mom is a mom.  She knows a lot about all things nature-related, and is a good source of advice on a lot of stuff, though she doesn't push it on me unless I ask.  My kids pretty much like her more than me.  But I'm cool with that…

Dillon said the other day, "Grandma and Mary Ann's house is the most fun.  They are the coolest."  

Me: <desperately seeking approval from my five-year-old> "But, I'm the coolest too, right?'

Dillon: "Um… No."

Me: "Why are they the coolest?"

Dillon: "Because Grandma asks me what I want to do, and then we do it."

Me: <sad> Oh.

Dillon: "Okay, you can be the coolest too, mom."

So, I know that my mom has the luxury of having time that she totally blocks off with Dillon, where she doesn't have to do anything else because she doesn't have him the other hours in the day or week or whatever.  And I'm not mad that she's cooler than me.  

But I've been trying to take a page from her book, and go with the flow of play in the house.  Obviously, there are times when an immediate situation needs to be addressed, but there are times when that stuff can wait, too.  So today we had a lovely afternoon flying to the moon in the beanbag chair (two kids, one 'grownup', and two dogs in one over-capacity-beanbag-rocket-ship).

Who's your daddy?


So, we've been playing a familiar scene around our house lately.  Or, rather, Charles and Rose are.   "Battle of the Wills at the Dinner Table: Parts I, II, III, etc."  

The other night Charles takes a stance that I can't support (and I tell him quietly as I see him painting himself into a corner).  Namely, that Rose must try her mashed potatoes.  Now, don't get me wrong.  It is entirely ridiculous that she would NOT like mashed potatoes, as she LOVES every other conceivable kind of potato.  However, I was a kid with an iron will about food, and as the Picky Eating Champion of the World from 1977-1990, I can pretty much tell you that the way to get kids to expand their culinary horizons is NOT the tried-and-true "you'll sit there until you eat it" stance that many parents (including my dear husband) take.

I also have fond memories of Dillon "the-vegetarian-who-doesn't-eat-vegetables" Collins during the years he was two through four, so I am pretty sure Rose will just grow out of it.  

So I excuse myself, 'cause I sure as heck am not going to sit there for hours and watch Rose not eat her food.  And I start the dishes and watch the scene play out at a distance.

Charles: Try it, you'll like mashed potatoes.

Rose: No.

Charles: Just like boiled potatoes and french fries, your favorite!

Rose: No.

Charles: (going over the edge) You are going to try this because I am the daddy and I say so!

Rose: I'm the daddy.

Charles: ?

Rose: I'm the daddy.

Charles: No, I'M the daddy.  You're the baby.

Rose: I'm the daddy.

This goes on for a few more minutes which Dillon and I think are seriously hilarious, before Charles pokes a fingerfull or mashed potatoes into Rose's cheek and calls it a night.