the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Roman Cavalry choirs are singing

This may seem like child abuse to a certain fraction of you, but we don’t let Leta listen to music geared toward kids. Or I guess I should say we haven’t ever introduced it to her because we were afraid it would induce seizures and/or homicidal behavior in her parents. We get enough of the repetitive, seep-into-your-brain-and-rot-it-from-the-inside-out tunes in the television shows she watches. DORA I’M LOOKING DIRECTLY AT YOU.

If I say the word VAMANOS! I think I will trigger an unwelcome twitch in a certain percentage of you who have had to watch hour after hour of that little kid running around with her wretched monkey and talking map AND OH HEY I NEED THERAPY.

So she’s growing up listening to our music, and that means she hears a lot of Radiohead and Boards of Canada and lately a lot of Neko Case. And I recently purchased and am constantly playing the fantastic new Dinosaur Jr. album Farm, but she’s always going NO NO NO, THE OTHER SONG, THE OTHER SONG. And people, do you have any idea how many times we have had to listen to the other song? I don’t even have to break out my superpower here, you know the one, where I tear off my button-up shirt to reveal a golden H on my chest that stands for HYPERBOLE! And I run around labeling things THE ABSOLUTE WORST or THE BEST THAT EVER WAS and when I have to wait on the phone for customer support for ten whole minutes I’m all THEY MADE ME WAIT SO LONG I DIED FROM DEHYDRATION.

That kid loves Coldplay, specifically “Viva La Vida” and we listen to it all the time, every day. We’re listening to it right now. It is her favorite song, no other song compares, and she cannot stop her body from moving to its rhythm. Exhibit A, the child in her pajamas:

I know in some circles it is patently uncool to like Coldplay, and well, those certain circles can suck it. In fact I would have to say GIVE ME AN EFFING BREAK, and please go shave your ironic mustache. I grew up listening to Anne Murray, ABBA, and the Bee Gees, so I would say she’s already ahead of me. My only wish is that we can at some point move on to another song. I know, I know, it’s about as likely as her looking up from her bowl of black beans at dinner and saying, “This again?

  • Jax

    2009/08/21 at 3:44 pm

    I love ABBA. And Bee Gees. Rock on.

  • shelley

    2009/08/21 at 3:47 pm

    Love it! We dance to that song at our house too!

  • Milla

    2009/08/21 at 3:48 pm

    i cannot wait to see how Leta handles this entry when she sees it as a teenager.

  • Victoria

    2009/08/21 at 3:48 pm

    It’s an awesome song, and that was the best dance ever! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    2009/08/21 at 3:50 pm

    Love it, she is adorable!! I personally love Chuck’s angst-ridden pacing in the background.

  • Amy

    2009/08/21 at 3:51 pm

    She is so cool!
    I love when kids get so into music.
    They can strip away all the crap and just enjoy!

  • Amanda

    2009/08/21 at 3:51 pm

    It’s really fun to see you all interact like that. And She totally can dance. And you can totally sing.

  • Chantal

    2009/08/21 at 3:51 pm

    That is too precious for words. Loved the ending bit with father and daughter.

  • Kirsten A

    2009/08/21 at 3:53 pm

    I love the photo below of you and the baby. She is really starting to look like Leta.

    I am not into the kid’s music either. Even the awesome bands who now do kids music. Although I do have a fond spot for Pete Seeger. How could you not? Anyhow my kids listen to what I listen to. Right now we are listening to She and Him by Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I love cranking the volume and singing along to torch songs with my kids!

  • Carla

    2009/08/21 at 3:53 pm

    She actually dances in a manner quite similar to the front man of Cold Play, Chris Martin.

    Music shouldn’t make your ears bleed. And lots of kids music makes my ears bleed.

    Except “They Might Be Giants.” That doesn’t make my ears bleed.

  • Rose

    2009/08/21 at 3:53 pm

    That’s a budding musician….you can see her hear and react to every instrument. Next time could see more of Daddy’s dancing?

  • Anonymous

    2009/08/21 at 3:55 pm

    LOVE Leta! LOVE Chuck! LOVE it! My 3 year old son has a current mild obsession with the Arctic Monkeys, Led Zepellin and Jay Z… Eclectic? Yes. The exact same way I was brought up? Yes. It reminds me of my Dad sitting us down to make us listen to The Dark Side of the Moon…

    And one more thing – Dora drives me mad!

    Love from London.

  • doug

    2009/08/21 at 3:56 pm

    awesome! and I happen to be wearing the shirt I bought at the Coldplay concert, so…

  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    2009/08/21 at 3:56 pm

    I’d love to see Leta’s interpretation of “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

    I second the They Might Be Giants recommendation, also.

  • S

    2009/08/21 at 3:57 pm


    Parachutes will always be one of my favorite albums, I don’t care who knows it, even millions of Dooce readers.

  • Lori

    2009/08/21 at 3:57 pm

    Kid’s got moves.

  • Anne

    2009/08/21 at 3:58 pm

    This is so great!

  • S

    2009/08/21 at 3:59 pm

    P.S. Don’t knock the Bee Gees.

  • Nancy

    2009/08/21 at 4:00 pm

    Haha I bet she learned her dance moves from the hubby. Very cute (:

  • Fosterhood

    2009/08/21 at 4:01 pm

    Now we know where she gets the air keyboard dance moves!

  • Josey

    2009/08/21 at 4:01 pm

    Oh Wondrous Being of Light and Splendor…your daughter rocks!! I’ve just stumbled across your blog and am extremely addicted already. Love it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  • Mariah

    2009/08/21 at 4:01 pm

    That daughter of yours is freakin awesome!

  • Megan

    2009/08/21 at 4:01 pm

    So cute..she’s got the flailing arms when dancing!

  • Camp Run-A-muk

    2009/08/21 at 4:02 pm

    We do let our boys listen to some children’s music but only what WE approve…we love They Might Be Giants. However we mix it up with current music like you; also huge fans of Viva La Vida. My boys favorite song is by Nelly… You know the one about “lighting up the Cocoa Puffs?” NOT “light it up and take a puff” What sweet innocence…

  • Nat W

    2009/08/21 at 4:03 pm

    That song is awesome, I don’t care what anyone says. Also, Leta dances about as well as I do…maybe better.

  • lonek8

    2009/08/21 at 4:03 pm

    great video! I also don’t do specifically “children’s” music because it is so aggravating. I listen to regular radio and because I have fairly poppy taste in music my kids like it too. There are some songs they prefer over others, and we listen to those ALOT, but in general, other than downloading the clean versions (which I don’t even remember to do half the time) I don’t make concessions on the music we listen to. Also, because Dora is on the channel with commercials we don’t ever watch it. At least that is my excuse. the real reason is I might have to sell my children if watching that show is a requirement of mommyhood.

  • Valancy Jane

    2009/08/21 at 4:03 pm

    Huh. I was listening to that song a moment ago, and I’m eating a late lunch of black beans right now, for the fifth day in a row.

    Sadly I am not in my pajamas right now, dancing in my kitchen. I would rather be.

  • Kirsten

    2009/08/21 at 4:04 pm

    Oh, Dooce. I love this so much, yet it makes me kind of sad at the same time. She will hate you for this like I hate my parents for showing my now fiance the time I danced the macarena in my underwear. I was 10 though, clearly old enough to know better.

    Cute pj’s too!

  • Mandi

    2009/08/21 at 4:05 pm

    Adorable video! We don’t do kids music here either. Besides what my mom brings over and gets my kids insanely attached to and now it’s a rule they can only listen to it with their grandma and everyone hates me, the mean no-fun no-kids music mom. I’m over it. My three year old son loves Kid Rock and Jay-Z. Innapropriate? Maybe, but at least my ears don’t bleed.

  • erika

    2009/08/21 at 4:05 pm

    You should get Leta some old Muppet Show episodes. My 6-year-old loves herself some Mr. Leo Sayer…and some Mr. Alice Cooper!

  • Anonymous

    2009/08/21 at 4:05 pm

    That was darling!

    I only hate Coldplay when they speak aloud in a non-singing way. And Gwyneth and her GOOP.

  • Rachael D.

    2009/08/21 at 4:06 pm

    When the music moves you, nobody can blame you!

  • Molly

    2009/08/21 at 4:07 pm

    Leta is cooler than me and she is only 5. I kind of pity her classmates.

  • Lola

    2009/08/21 at 4:07 pm

    I grew up listening to Anne Murray. 30 years ago I was Leta but only Anne Murray was playing in the background. Shhh I still love her. My kids are growing up listening to todays “Anne Murray.” We listen to music everyday. My oldest son was barely in school when he got his own ipod and could name off every song he did and didn’t want on it. I love to watch them “rock it out” with their air guitars and drums like Leta so wonderfully show-cased for us today! GO LETA!!

  • Maura

    2009/08/21 at 4:07 pm

    Huh. I can’t comment on the Dora thing, since I’m kidless, but I can thank you from the bottom of my heart for telling me what that part of the lyrics says. I could never quite catch it and, as that’s the only Coldplay song I truly enjoy, it was bothersome.

    Dance on, Leta! 🙂

  • Mary

    2009/08/21 at 4:08 pm

    How dare Chuck be so bold as to walk through her big number…lol…Oh, that Leta…She cracks me up!

  • karmen coon van derven

    2009/08/21 at 4:08 pm

    that’s just some good shit, dooce.
    the girl can move!

  • Alex

    2009/08/21 at 4:09 pm

    Awesome moves Leta!! I wish I could dance like you!

  • Lori

    2009/08/21 at 4:09 pm

    She can totally dance! Quite a style that girl has… Rock on Leta.

  • ElleTark

    2009/08/21 at 4:10 pm

    Heather, your singing is phenomenal, and I actually thought that Jon’s skinny white calves were yours at first, and I thought, “God, those are some long-assed shorts.” Props to the family dancing…this is how everyone should grow up.

  • chacha

    2009/08/21 at 4:11 pm

    Yes, they can suck it if they don’t like Coldplay. Leta already has good music taste (my repeat Coldplay song is “Strawberry Swing”).

  • Aidan's Mommy

    2009/08/21 at 4:14 pm

    That is just about the CUTEST thing I have ever seen! Especially when she crouches down with her hands on her thighs and springs up with umpt!

    Priceless for the senior slide show!

  • Juliet

    2009/08/21 at 4:14 pm

    a kid/family after my own heart. i grew up listening to “adult” music–rod stewart, abba, the bee gees, anne murray, johnny cash, the carter family, carly simon, etc. that exposure led to years of clarinet playing, which wasn’t necessarily “cool”, but i wouldn’t trade for anything (i think every child should know/learn how to read music). you’re raising a (possible) future musician, music critic, artist, and/or dancer. kudos! and the family that listens to music together stays together, i say.

  • steph

    2009/08/21 at 4:14 pm

    I love Coldplay and I’m tired of the Coldplay hate. They used to sell a shirt for kids that says “My mum loves Coldplay” on the back but I couldn’t find it!

  • Julie

    2009/08/21 at 4:15 pm

    Maybe she will grow up to be a Rock Star and make gazillions of dollars so she can put you in a good old folks home. Wishful thinking, maybe?

    BTW…she kind of dances like Chris Martin. That’s awesome!

  • Jennifer

    2009/08/21 at 4:17 pm

    Chuck is TOTALLY Photobombing in this.

    Why else would he walk by more than once?

  • Meganithappen

    2009/08/21 at 4:17 pm

    Um, that basically made my day.

  • Liz

    2009/08/21 at 4:19 pm

    I love the Western twang you threw on the Coldplay lyrics lol.

  • Corey

    2009/08/21 at 4:22 pm

    This is just absolutely adorable! Love it – especially the ending!

  • Rachel

    2009/08/21 at 4:22 pm

    That was fantastic -totally made my day. I love how she lip synchs to it while dancing!

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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