Once The Hunger Games movie came out, I started reading the novel (I still haven’t finished). I did get into Downton Abbey… just 3 seasons after the rest of the world. And I’m really hoping this summer I can finally buy a pair of neon skinny jeans. I have started to realize that as a busy mother of 2, I’m gonna fall behind what is hip and trendy. And I think it’s exponential, the older my kids get the farther I will fall behind and the less hip and trendy I will become. It makes sense to me now why, as a teenager, my mom seemed so distant from coolness. Of course she was- when did she have time to stay on top of current events and trends? She was cooking, cleaning, playing, driving, washing, laundering, etc for her two kids. Could this be my fate too?
Probably yes. I believe it is for many moms. That’s one thing I love about the mommy blog community. I feel like other moms share their hip ideas and it is delivered to my inbox or Taptu and I can cling to it. My contributions may not be the hippest or the trendiest, but maybe the other busy mommies won’t notice since they are slowly drifting away from Coolville in the same boat as me.
So today I would like to write about a kid-friendly album that makes my 45 minute commute with my two-year old more entertaining than it should be. I’ve worked around kids my whole life- at a preschool in high school, at a babysitting agency in college, and now as a full-time teacher of elementary students. And I gotta tell you- I really can’t stand to listen to kids songs in my “off” hours. I understand why they are so important to language development and why they are addicting to preschoolers. But on my way home after a full school day there are no wheels on this momma’s bus. Lucky for me, one of my all-time favorite bands started making music FOR KIDS!
Now as I stated earlier, you probably won’t read anything cutting-edge in this blog until my kids are in college. But in 2002, They Might Be Giants released their first kid album entitled, “No!” Back in 2002 I was crashing at my parents’ house waiting to move to Chicago to start my theater career. (Side Note: My theater career only lasted a couple of years- a valuable experience in “finding myself.” I’m sure I’ll delve into that another time). Fast forward 11 (really?!) years to now when I’m married with 2 kiddos. After hearing my sweet little two-year-old’s voice repeat “shake it fast” from the back seat I realized I needed to find some new music fast and “No!” has been one of our favorites.
The songs are simple and often educational. Do you know what a supertaster is? You will after listening to this album. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to take the Bear to NJ to visit “The Edison Museum” one of these days. We also love “Clap your hands” which is composed of 3 lines and a whole lot of movin’ and groovin’ . There’s a cover of the Vic Mizzy’s sidewalk safety song, “In the Middle, In the Middle, In the Middle.” Several of my friends remembered it from childhood. The music has many different flavors: rock, spooky, lullaby, and always fun! Today the whimsical, “Where do they make balloons?” floats gently in and out of my mind unlike the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” I keep squishing out of my mental playlist.
When reading about the history of the album on the band’s wiki I appreciate that they wanted to write music that didn’t “belittle” the children who listen to it. It reminds of the old Muppet shows and movies. Kids love it, but there is a lot of humor and fun that adults can enjoy. Rockin’ out after bath time or sippin’ coffee and dodging cheerios on your commute “No!” brings a splash of quirky into your day!
The history and a description plus links to purchase the album in various formats (CDs, Amazon, and iTunes) can be found at http://tmbw.net/wiki/No!
Do you have any other adult-friendly kids’ music you recommend?