An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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?

  • Brilliant. Definitely one for future boyfriends.

  • Bailey O’Rourke

    Your little girl is sooo beautiful! I love her hair.
    And your baby is pretty damn cute too!

  • go, leta!!!

  • Thank the LAWD my husband plays “our” music for the kids. I’d rip my eardrums out if I had to listen to that shit all the time.

    They dig stuff like The Ramones, Jay Reatard, The Dutchess and The Duke, The Reigning Sound, Harlan T Bobo, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, The Detroit Cobras, Electric Six. Hopefully they don’t turn out too warped.

  • Heather

    The best part was you singing. Hilarious.

  • I don’t care how uncool it is….the Coldplay concert was freaking AWESOME.

    And Leta’s got moves – I think she might be a better dancer than me.

  • ‘Becca

    Ahhhh…Leta, too? AWESOME. The Cheat loves that song, only he calls it “Bells Are Ringing.” Between that and “Oven The Tiger” by Survivor, there’s simply no room for “Wheels on the Bus.”

    Thank god.

  • rmm

    What a sweet video of Leta and her dad. She’s so into it!

    Now this girl has a couple of years on Leta but have you see this little girl dance? Crazy.

  • Chris Martin would be proud.

  • My

    You should listen to this then:

  • Did children’s music exist when we were little? (I mean in the way it does now.). I grew up listening to Linda Ronstadt and Hall and Oates. Leta is light years ahead of me!

  • Michelle

    Leta is adorable. Just in case you were not aware. And I’ve never listened to kid’s music either. The thought of it makes my ears bleed. My 4 year old daughter’s favorite song is “I Want To Hold Your Hand” from the Across the Universe soundtrack. She sings along with it every morning on the way to school. It rocks:

  • Kate

    This is such a cute video! If she isn’t already in dance, you should think about it. I wish that I had taken lessons and was a more confident dancer today!

  • robyn

    Holy crap I love your family.

  • KellyKjellberg

    too cute! i love to see little ones dancing! they are just enjoying themselves, not worried about anyone else!

  • i will get this cryptic post thing you have going on. every time i go to post, i forget to hit the publish post. i don’t know, perhaps i am just a tard. then again it is friday and by fridays i am ready to sometimes put my head through a wall.

    i just wanted to say, although it might be naieve, i think that if this blog gig you’ve got going on runs dry, your family has a very promising future as a cover band. i mean with leta and jon’s sweet dance moves and your voice you could go platinum, forget being #26. that voice, unbelievable.

    i also find it ironic that we both referenced so you think you can dance today. although mine animated this time around, children dancing is extrememly entertaining. wait? or is that just to us?

    have a great weekend.

  • I really don’t know what I like most about this: Leta dancing, Jon dancing, their dramatic move at the end or Leta’s “again”.

    She has quite a good sense of rythm for her age, by the way, she really does!

  • Geri

    Such a great age — before the magic is gone and concrete thinking sets in, right? My kidlette used to dance like no one was watching in her Little Mermaid bathing suit in front of family friends even! I miss those days.

    Coldplay! They didn’t win the Grammy for nothin’! C’mon, they are WAY COOL.

    We went to see Coldplay in Irvine and it was one of the best shows ever. My daughter (18 soon) declared Chris Martin the best performer ever after. He’s up there, but I told her she hasn’t seen Mick Jagger and the Stones with all his running around on stage.

    We’ve been on a rock n roll education program since the kidlette was born. She could identify the Beatles when she was 3, and her first concert was Dave Matthews and Trey Anastasio at Staples Center. Next stop . . . Katy Perry at the Santa Barbara Bowl next week. YAY.

  • Seriously? When my daughter was oh, around 5-6 months or so, we had to keep Coldplay in the car at all times. Why? Because “Green Eyes” would AUTOMATICALLY stop any sort of outburst while she was shackled into her carseat. Not ANY Coldplay song, that specific song. It was like a mute button for my baby. Thank you, Chris Martin. I never would have made it to the grocery without you.
    P.S. That baby has turned into a 3-year old that LIVES for the Pixies. She wasn’t scarred, after all.

  • Absolutely required viewing when her date for the Senior Prom arrives on your doorstep.

  • You are SO going to get to meet Gwyneth for that.

  • Sandra in BC

    No kid music here either. Unless it was on a Wiggles DVD that we got as a gift. Never occurred to me to introduce it.

    As far as my kids are concerned, Gnarles Barkley and Black Eyed Pease ARE kids music, and This *SHIP* is Bananas..B.A.N.A.N.A.S….

  • Adrienne

    My sister insisted on eating peanut butter and jelly every day for lunch. So I would make her peanut butter, and make my brother and me more varied sandwiches.
    One day she was peeking over the cutting board as I made us salami, and prepared to make her peanut butter. And with tears in her eyes and voice quavering she asked, “how come you always make me eat peanut butter?”

  • Katy

    As it should be.

  • Okay, CHUCK! Chuck is friggin’ awesome in this. And I love Jon’s white-man moves.

  • Oh my gosh, that is so great!

    I was wondering where she got her moves from, but then I saw your husband. I was waiting for them both to show jazz hands.

  • I have the same rule about kids music and my four year old has the same obsession with “Viva la Vida”. I think she likes a particular tempo, since her loves are more song-specific than band-specific. The exception is the Ramones, which she is just crazy for, perhaps because most of their songs have the right tempo. So far she seems to have undying love for all of the Carolina Liar she has ever heard. And she seems to like Airborne Toxic Event. I mean, really, she tells people to be quiet when she likes a song, asks me to turn up the radio in the car, and has been driven to tears when people talk over songs she likes.

  • Jan

    The whole time I listened to “When I Ruled the World” while watching Leta dance, another song was tugging at my memory. I finally have it now: Wonder whether Leta would like “Life in a Northern Town”? (The original mid-1980s Dream Academy version, not the watered down whiny version by Sugarland.) It’s got a similar sound and has similar dance-ability.

  • No kids’ music here, either. One of my daughter’s favorite songs for ages was the Stones’ “Paint it Black.” Right now she’s on a mixture of Journey, Fleetwood Mac and Christina Aguilera. Oh, and Beyonce. And Pink. And the Beatles. Okay, mostly, it dates her parents, but still – NO kid music!!

  • Love the dance party atmosphere! I listened to Motown obsessively in the car for like 4 years of my schooling. I Ain’t too proud to beg.

  • There’s nothing quite like a kid who’s just free, not worried about being in PJs or friends or being seen, just free and moving. Great video, thanks for sharing the moment.

  • Alyssa

    If my husband is EVER willing to dance with our child on camera like Jon did with Leta, knowing there is a chance it will end up on the interwebs… I will die happy.

    Round of applause for Jon.

  • I’m pretty sure that’s EXACTLY what Chris Martin looks like when he’s singing this song.

    Also, Leta is a way better dancer than me.

  • Awesome! Leta dances just like Chris Martin.

    P.S. Just for laughs, you should know that my Captcha verification words are Pandit Goldstein. That’s totally going to be the name of the lead character when I write my novel.

  • iamthanu

    I remember singing “Band on the Run” in the backseat until my mother turned around and pleaded for me to stop. I remember being very offended that she did not like my acapella style . . . I was singing from memory and was maybe four years old.

    And I danced for hours to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” sung by Karen Carpenter. I had no idea what the song was about, only that the lady was very sad. My father taught me how to use the headphones very quickly.

    I think I turned out alright. Even if my mother didn’t know what “Afternoon Delight” was about. I certainly didn’t.

  • amy j.

    We totally enjoyed this…my oldest first said about Chuck a) that’s a chocolate lab, then she said, b) whose that old guy in the yellow shirt? (I shit you not, lol) c) Leta’s hair is longer than Ruby’s, wow d) who is that weird women singing? she’s horrible (lol) d) is this Coldplay? (LOL…ha, ha, she’s seven…so in your face Leta 😉

    We didn’t forbid ours from kiddie music..we were just very selective, They Might Be Giants and Dan Zanes etc. They listen to our music all the time and had a Ramones shirt as babies. We have music nights where we play stuff for them…GosGos, Michael Jackson, Sex Pistols, Johnny Cash…we play it loud and we dance our asses off. They now request certain people…ie The Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, Norah Jones…whatever.

    My most favorite thing about it is that they LOVE music, which I did too at their age. Only thing, my seven year old is going to see the Jonas Brothers next week…a parent’s powers only goes so far Heather, unfortunately.

  • Amelia

    Is your husband wearing manpris? House manpris?

  • I am also one of those parents who avoided kids’ music in order to preserve my own sanity. The result is that my child has a fondness for Lenny Kravitz and was once heard to sing the chorus of a certain Eric Clapton song about a dangerously addictive white powder. Where did he sing that chorus, you ask? In the 2nd grade during recess. At prep school.

    You can’t make this up.

  • Anonymous

    That was awesome! She is one great kid!

  • Funny, as I sit here reading this post what do I hear scream at me through the TV speakers….river, forest, yellow valley. Say it with us, say it louder, you can do it. Twitch.

  • Michelle

    Seeing Neko Case in November and I cannot wait. Deep Red Bells love it!

    If you’re looking for a next phase of music for Leta (and yourself) I highly recommend The Innocence Mission, Birds of my neighborhood. You will never ever get sick of this CD, it’s lyrically wonderful, full of childhood and memories. Move onto Glow and Bright As Yellow after your intense love of ‘Birds’ sways you to hear more of this great music…

    Trust me!

  • Rachel

    She’s got the rhythm! Jon too, that is HOT. 😉

  • Kat

    Her piano hands are fantastic!

  • Angie

    Where did Leta learn to dance like Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil (they are an Aussie band in case you haven’t heard of them). You should google a vid of one of their shows and compare Leta’s performance!

  • Meredith

    We are having a boy in January and my husband has already stated that he will teach him all about “the classics.” And I’m all, “yes, Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber.” And he’s all, “No, The Stones, The Beatles, Grateful Dead, etc.” Plus, we have been downloading vintage Sesame Street and The Muppets albums. Stuff we listened to when we were kids. Which, sadly I guess, is considered vintage!


  • Dude! Are you sure Chris Martin isn’t her daddy? And Jon is (obviously) her OTHER daddy? I’m not sure where you fall in this equation…

  • Kim

    Wait a minute!!!! What about the “Be A Friend” Song??? I’ve had that one seared in my brain since I watched Leta singing it!!! Thanks a lot.

  • Jackie


  • laura

    My niece & nephew, Jaedan & Aedan, hate coming to Aunt Lola & Uncle Yimmy (because they can’t say Laura & Jimmy) house because we do not get Noggin on the television, and I’ve put a block on anything with that rhymes with “dick-a-lodeon”. I can’t handle that shit, which is why I don’t have kids.

    Leta cracks me up, I love that kid!

    I also love that my “captcha” words are “ala sarcasm”.

  • yummymama

    that was flipping hysterical. what did the baby think?

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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