‘Oh. My. God! Would you look at her butt?’
These words came from my six-year-old’s mouth last week when she was playing dolls with her little sister.
‘Excuuuuuuuuuse me?’ I had said to her, my mouth nearly on the floor. This was completely out of character for my mild-mannered, sweet angel.
‘Where did you learn that?’
Seeing my reaction, she knew she was in trouble. She really had no idea that what she’d said was offensive. She was simply repeating something she had heard.
‘I heard it on the radio,’ she replied meekly.
The radio. Great. Thanks Sir Mix A lot. I guess I didn’t switch that song off quickly enough.
I suppose I’m lucky, really, that Miss Four didn’t join in with the chorus:
‘I like big butts and I cannot lie. You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung …’
Ever since the CD player in our car broke, we’ve been listening to the radio. To be honest it has been a welcome reprieve from Yo Gabba Gabba, Frozen and Justine. The girls complained at first, but now they love it. Top 40 music is my style and the girls and I spend our car trips to and from school and daycare bopping along to wicked tunes.
There’s rarely any explicit language on the channels we listen to and if there’s a song that involves inappropriate content, I’m quick to change the channel.
There are certain songs that creep in though. They seem innocent enough. The music is catchy and you don’t think too deeply about the lyrics. You’re just enjoying a little escapism as you drive ‘mum’s taxi’, right?
If you have an inquisitive six-year-old like mine, you need to think more carefully about song choice.
We were singing along to Hailee Steinfeld’s Starving recently, when the innocent questions came.
Here’s a snapshot of the chorus in case you’re not familiar with the song.
I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you
Don’t need no butterflies when you give me the whole damn zoo
By the way, by the way, you do things to my body
And I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you.
‘What does she mean tasted you?’ asked Miss Six.
‘How can you taste someone?’
Bam, there it was. Straight to the point. When the girls ask a question, I always attempt to answer it rather than say I don’t know.
‘Okay, um. Well …’ I said.
‘You know when people who love each other have a big sloppy kiss …
*My internal voice at this stage was screaming at me. Shut up! Shut up! Retreat! Retreat! This is not the right answer*
‘Well, sometimes you can get a little taste of the other person.’
Awkward, awkward, awkward.
As soon as I said this I was kicking myself. If I’d had a chance to think about it more I would have said something along the lines of:
‘Well, you see this young lady was happily going about her life until she met a young man. They fell in love and she became happier than she’s ever been. She realised that her life prior to meeting this young man had been missing something. She was ‘starving’, you see, and didn’t realise it until this man fulfilled her in ways she’s never been fulfilled before.’
I don’t know which answer would have been worse. I’m clearly not qualified for this gig.
We’ve now opted for creating playlists for the girls that have all of the fun music of before, but no inappropriate content. We’re steering away from explicit language, sex, drugs and anything that can put me under pressure from an inquisitive six-year-old.
These are just some of the kid-friendly songs on our list:
Can’t stop the feeling – Justin Timberlake. As soon as Can’t stop the feeling comes on the radio, the girls squeal, ‘Justinnnnn!’
S Club Party – S Club 7 *Because there ain’t no party, like an S Club party*
Which kid-friendly songs would you add to the list? Do you pay much attention to what music your kids listen to?
Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.