the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Radio killed the wonderful music app star

I have recently given up listening to my own music when I’m driving with the girls in the car because of the incessant gloat bleating that erupts from the backseat. Not that they hate my music. In fact, they love most of the music I love, they just think the radio is such a novelty. The radio. That horrible place where people talk over your favorite songs and commercials about tires last more than six years.

I’m indulging the fact that they like modern pop music, and that’s fine because I like a lot of it myself. Except for that one Imagine Dragons song that makes me turn the whole sound system off immediately. My reflexes are good, but If I’m not fast enough and it gets to the chorus— “Radioactive!” —I have to break out an EpiPen and jab it in my thigh.

They both have their favorite stations, and sometimes I’m playing referee while driving which is almost as dangerous as any other form of distracted driving. Because Marlo never relents willingly and as she’s screaming about the fact that Leta got to listen to more songs on her station, I’m daydreaming about taking a nap in the oven.

Both of them lose their minds during long commercial breaks and as much as I hate those commercials myself I was put on this earth as their mother to teach them all about consequences. If they don’t want to listen to some really good music on a technologically advanced app that does not ever interrupt a string of songs with someone screaming about the upcoming county fair for four straight minutes, then they are damn well going to listen to the commercials SO HELP ME GOD. You want the radio, YOU GET THE RADIO.


Last week I had just picked up Leta from a play date when she asked if she could have a turn listening to her favorite station. We’d been listening to Marlo’s station on the drive over there, so I said yes, switched stations, and braced for the windshield to crack underneath the vibrations of Marlo’s howling. Instead, she began singing along almost immediately:

“I’ve got the moves lah shagga, I’ve got the moves lah shagga…”

Leta joined in the singing with a little more accuracy, emphasizing “like Jagger” to give Marlo a hint, and pretty soon all three of us were dancing in our seats and bobbing our heads. It’s a catchy song. Not my favorite, but it’s fun. Toward the end of the song I suddenly remembered a tweet I once featured in my weekly roundups from a guy named Matthew whom I follow on twitter and Instagram. Once the song was over I turned the stereo down and whipped my head momentarily toward the backseat.

“Hey, Leta,” I said, a huge grin on my face.

She turned her head from looking out the window to catch my gaze.

“My cat has moves like jaguar.” I still think that is one of my most favorite tweets, and I snorted as I laughed out loud.

She sat there in total silence and just blinked at me.

“GET IT? Like JAGUAR,” I explained.


“Because a jaguar is a cat and a cat—”

“We don’t even have a cat, mom.”

“That’s not the point! Jaguar sounds like—”

“Where did you even hear that?” she asked making a face that looked like she was smelling trash.

Where did I even hear that. Well, look who is all grown up and can’t feign a giggle at the pun I read on the Internet. I reached for the volume dial on the stereo without even answering her and hoped to god there’d be a commercial for tampons blaring.

  • b.fez

    2014/06/11 at 4:33 pm

    Two words: XM Radio.

  • housepea

    2014/06/11 at 5:22 pm

    XM is just as bad about talking over the music. I don’t understand why they have to talk RIGHT UP until the singer starts singing. As far as I’m concerned, the song starts when the music starts, and they need to zip it. But I agree, at least there aren’t as many commercials.

  • Katie

    2014/06/11 at 7:55 pm

    So hilarious! I’m gonna Puma pants! (So wish I could take credit for that 🙂 )

  • Laura

    2014/06/12 at 5:17 am

    When I was a kid, the big fight between my sister and me was who got to ride shotgun. We would fight over it every day relentlessly. My genius mother came up with a system where we picked odd and even days, so one of us always got the front seat if the date was an odd number, and the other always got the front seat if the date was an even number. She had us pick whether we were odds and evens and I was the youngest so I wasn’t smart enough (yet!) to realize that there were more odd dates than evens, so my sister got evens. I also wasn’t smart enough to complain though, and the fighting over the front seat immediately stopped.

  • watercat

    2014/06/12 at 5:26 am

    My mother did something similar, except there were 3 of us, so she would just assign us a “day” that rotated through the calendar. On our “day” we got to ride shotgun, pick the radio station, and had to wipe the table, stove, and counters after every meal.

  • dc

    2014/06/12 at 8:14 am

    “Hitting the post.” ahhh fond memories.

  • Audrey

    2014/06/12 at 8:41 am

    For the first few months this song was out I thought it was “I got the move black jaga”. Yes, I thought the song was about that mythical black jaguar and its’ amazing dance moves…

  • Heather Armstrong

    2014/06/12 at 8:48 am

    Your mom is awesome.

  • Jo D

    2014/06/12 at 8:49 am

    I thought the song was “I’ve got the moves, Mick Jagger” as if it’s being sung to Mick

  • Harboredinca

    2014/06/13 at 10:57 am

    I also have two daughters and no control of anything anymore. I cannot stand whining, so, I worked out a lop sided chore chart. They alternate every other week doing the most or the most difficult chore. During that week they are designated “special helper”, table setter, paper towel fetcher, dog walker, grocery bagger etc….While in status as ” special helper” you get to sit where you want, listen to the station you want, pick what television station to watch, who showers first etc. It has eliminated my need to nap in the oven.

  • Julieme Wood

    2014/06/13 at 2:20 pm

    Looooooooooooooooooooove this post!!!!

  • Julieme Wood

    2014/06/13 at 2:22 pm

    Day dreaming of taking a nap in the oven is exactly the way I would like to express my feelings. I just can’t make the connection from brain to mouth as well as you. Nice one!

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.

read more