In late months I have been known as the mother of a newborn but let’s not forget that I am equally invested as the mother of a teenager (13) and a preteen (12). And with teenagers came the highjacking of radio waves and other music-playing implements i.e. my iPod.
When the kids’ music started to appear on my iPod I saw the additions to my playlists as a window into my children’s mind. If I tell you that my daughter listens to Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson and that my son listens to a heteroclite mix of Barry Manilow, The Beatles, Survivor and the Arrogant Worms mixed in with full-length episodes of Mythbusters, you can get a decent outline of their personalities. At first I enjoyed listening to Taylor Swift and remembering why Thank God! I’m no longer the girl from White Horse and Teardrops on my guitar. And I have to admit that when my kids nicknamed their dark-eyed baby sister “Black-eyed pea” I found it quite endearing. Unfortunately, things never stay manageable for long and soon enough, my children had also taken over – in addition to my iPod — the car radio, my laptop and my iTunes card.
Parents, if you never listen to whatever local radio station kids listen to in your area, you must get a reality check. At first, I thought my ears were playing tricks on me, or maybe I didn’t quite get today’s slang: “Wait a minute here! Did Lady Gaga just say ‘Don’t think too much just bust that stick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick’?? She did? Oh. My. Goodness.”
Thankfully, my children were no more eager to listen to Lady Gaga’s ravings about – ahem – disco sticks in the company of their mother than I was. They quickly learned to change the channel within the first two beats of any song with a less-than-family-rated content. That’s until they sorta’ realized that if mom didn’t get the x-rated content in a song, then maybe it would be okay to keep quiet about it and leave the radio on, if you know what I mean. And that’s why we have been listening to Britney Spears’ latest offering for the last two months.
Parents, what is wrong with Britney’s latest ditty I ask you? Check out the lyrics and tell me if you figured it out on your own or if you needed the help of a savvy teenager. You are not allowed to google “what’s wrong with Britney Spears’ lyrics” (Caveat: this may not work if you a have a home schooled or private religious schooled child who has never been exposed to profanity. I envy you by the way.)
My question for today: I have a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old who love to sing that song. They don’t know what they are singing. Should I tell them and ask them to stop singing, thus highlighting profanity they didn’t know about; not tell them the profanity part but ask them to stop singing – which may amount to asking you not to think about a pink elephant — or should I ignore it altogether and wait for the next catchy top 20 hit, knowing that Britney’s song, like all the other, will soon fade into oblivion?