Thursday, November 03, 2011

Don't touch that dial!

I'm probably not the first to observe this, but something I've noticed about parenting is that when it comes to your child's development, you are in a perpetual state of being nostalgic for the easier past ("the past" being anything from 1 week to 1 month ago - one's memory doesn't stretch back further than that) while simultaneously looking forward to an easier future. You can't wait for your baby to learn how to crawl, and once she does, you immediately yearn for the days when you didn't have to inspect the carpet at a micro-level to make sure there's nothing nays and swallowable down there. You eagerly await their first steps, and then freak out because all of the furniture has to be wrapped in cotton lest they bump their heads. And finally, you yearn for them to talk, because then you get a peak into the soul that has been co-habitating with you for the last year or so.

 Sana has been learning to talk these last few months, and for the most part, it's great. She's funny, not too demanding, and as reasonable as a two year old can be - she seems to accept our explanations of why she can't have OBJECT X right now, but she can have it later. Which is great, especially as often, when later comes, she's forgotten she wanted it. The drawback is that while we have been enjoying making ourselves understood, we can no longer pretend that we don't understand what she wants.

 For a long time, the only way Sana was able to express that she wanted to listen to music was to yell "Yay! Yay!!! YAY!!!!!" at increasing volume until we gave her something to Yay about (the cheer became synonymous with music from the weekly live bands at our local farmer's market, where Sana learned that one applauds at the end of a song. She makes no distinction between pre-recorded and live music when according this courtesy). When in the car, "Yay!" means Raffi (a Canadian children's singer). I am deeply, violently, sick of Raffi. So, after a certain point I started interpreting "Yay!" as a request for music in general, not her music in particular. In this way, I was able to avoid having to listen to "The Numbers Rumba" or any songs in which duck sounds were a key element for weeks at a time, bringing them out only when Sana was in a particularly foul mood.

 Unfortunately, Sana somehow learned Raffi's name. God knows, I've never said it, but somehow she must have got on the Internet while I was sleeping and figured it out. So, the other day, she started yelling "Yay!" and I put on some commercial rock station, and she said: "No Dada! No radio! Raffi! No radio! Bad girl Dada!" That was a message as clear as day, sadly, however confusing it was for my gender identity. Feigning ignorance of her wishes cannot save me now.

While I'm desperately trying to turn her into a hipster (Arcade Fire - that's happy music, right? Adele?) I fear that my own car is going to become a roving sanctuary for Justin Bieber, just as I remember my Dad grimacing through my older sister's affection for Michael Jackson and Boy George. The only way to save her is to encourage her to become as near as possible to the pop-culture illiterate I was.

 I'm not much of a car guy, but perhaps someone can tell me - is there any currently manufactured model in which there is no radio or CD player at all?

1 comment:

Travis said...

The biggest problem I had with talking is that it gives the impression that the little person doing it has some semblance of a rational mind. Hey, they're talking, right? They must have it more or less together.

Much pointless frustration ensued.