When you are thinking about becoming – or about to become – a parent, people are full of advice. Everyone talks ad nauseam about the joys of a newborn. The more honest ones also mention the trials and tribulations. What nobody tells you, though, is that the true torture is the music. Sure, the same songs from the baby swing or the infant soother can get tiring and very stuck in your head, but I am not talking about the infant and toddler years. It is in preschool that the ruthless battering begins.
Now, in our household, we have managed to avoid the high-pitched squeaky characters that might just drive some parents straight over the edge. We have been very careful in choosing to what characters our sons are exposed. That said, our older son is very selective in his CD library and I have no shame in telling you that he is the master of the radio in my car. He is even kind enough to allow me the traffic report in the morning prior to issuing the day’s demands.
For the past, oh forever now, we have had a steady rotation of the Muppets’ Greatest Hits, Sesame Street’s Greatest Hits, and books on CD. By “books,” by the way, I mean “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Toy Story.” Last night at dinner, I heard him singing to himself and asked what he was singing. He sung a bit louder, “Bless your soul, you’ve got your head in the clouds…rumor has it.” Yes, at some point, when I still had some say over the musical selection for our commute, the kid loved Adele…well, one song by Adele. I sprang into action and told him that we would most definitely listen to that song again in the morning. I could hardly contain myself with the giddiness I felt due to the prospect of hearing a song on an adult CD. Yes, I have heard the song – over and over and over again – many times, but it was a chance to break free. I quickly learned the next morning, however, that in the few months since last listening to said Adele song, some things have changed.
“Mommy, who is the stranger? Why is she a stranger?”
“Mommy, what is a rumor? What does the rumor have?”
“Mommy, why is she leaving?”
“Mommy, what words is she whispering? Mommy, we do not say, ‘Crazy.’”
With each question, I paused the song and attempted an honest answer that will not scar his developing psyche. The toughest in concept was explaining why she was leaving, so I went with, “Her friend lied to her, so she did not trust him anymore.” This seemed a fortuitous moment to drive home all of the conversations we have been having lately about telling the trust and maintaining trust in relationships. The toughest to explain overall, though, was explaining what the rumor has.
“Well, you now (in theory) understand what a rumor is. People just say, ‘Rumor has it,’ when they want to say that people are talking about something specific.” The little sponge I call my son then proceeded to dissect every single phrase of my response.
Often, when met with the incessant “whys,” I eventually end with “Because God made it/him/her that way.” When questioning the English language, however, the conversation’s end cannot be that simple. It seems that I should cut my losses and return to Kermit and Big Bird. I will definitely not be tuning to the Top 40 station any time soon to hear about how sexy someone knows he is or other lyrics that might need to explain how love is a drug. So, if you see me driving down the street, alternating between “rocking out” to Fozzie Bear and pulling out a few strands of hair, you will understand. Whole truth be told, though, I actually love it when he says, “Oh, Mommy! We know this one,” or, “Oh, Mommy! This is our song!!!” I have too much hair anyway.