I remember in the months leading up to Leta’s birth dreading the thought of having to listen to music geared toward young children and worrying that the car stereo would inevitably be hijacked by the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid. I’d been in cars with friends where we had to yell our conversation over a zany, manic version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” because if we tried to listen to something else the kids in the back seat would suffer brain damage from doing that crying thing where they hold their breath between screams, sometimes a little too long, and you’re just waiting for that blood vessel in their forehead to pop and spray toddler gore all over the leather interior.
But it hasn’t been a problem with Leta, maybe because we’ve been really careful about not introducing her to music targeted directly at her age group. In fact, she often tells us to turn up the volume when we’re listening to our music, and particularly loves the following Radiohead song which she refers to as “The Na Nay Nu Song.” (that will make sense at about the 3:13 mark)
One of her favorite songs is “Young Folks” by Peter, Bjorn and John (embedding was disabled for this video), and in the past we have been able to cure her grumpy moods just by blasting it really loud and dancing with her in the kitchen. But she has recently grown weary of it, and in the last week she rediscovered a toy princess CD player that she had been given by GOD KNOWS WHO, probably my mother. Usually if I’m ever looking to lay the blame on someone when something goes wrong with Leta it’s a pretty safe assumption that my mother had something to do with it. She’s the one who introduced Leta to Barney, to ice cream, to plastic baby dolls that look like they’ve been embalmed.
A couple of weeks ago my mother took her for the evening, and when they returned Leta was carrying a purse full of trash including an empty Calvin Klein Obsession perfume bottle. WTF?! Have I ever typed those three letters on this website? I don’t remember ever doing so, but it was a total impulse just now thinking about my mother giving Leta something so absurd. And she was all, now Heather, don’t worry, it’s empty! And I was all, I KNOW. AND THAT IS WHY LETA IS SCREAMING RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE IT DOESN’T WORK ANYMORE. Am I seriously the only one who thinks these scenarios through to their logical conclusions? Because you can’t just go around giving Leta once dangerous items that have been rendered harmless as she is now keen to the fact that their value is directly tied to WHAT COULD HAVE GONE WRONG. Give her a dead grenade and she will throw a tantrum about how she now doesn’t have anything she can use to blow up the neighbor’s garage.
So she’s got this really annoying toy CD player, and now it’s the only thing she wants to dance to and we’re groaning and wincing in pain. But we’re indulging her because she’s pretty damn adorable, and this is the first musical torture she’s put us through. I know, I know, parents of teenagers are all YOU JUST WAIT, and I’m well aware that it’s coming. I was one of those teenagers, and I hope my parents can forgive me for New Kids on the Block. In the meantime, it’s mostly Beck and this in our house right now: