Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Hair Bands Still RULE

As many of you know, I am a child of the 80s.  As such, I was (and still am) a huge fan of hair bands.  My apologies to the students in my spin class who are continuously bombarded by the music of Poison, Skid Row, and Motley Crue.  It's not gonna change.  It's what gets me pumped up at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
Now my husband, on the other hand, has a very different set of tastes.  He is into Electronic music (you know, the kind that goes on, and on, and on, and on...and then a new song starts...but  not really) and something he calls "Euro Trance".  I am just stating the facts and will not judge, but I will say that it's not something you will EVER hear out of my car stereo speakers.   Ever.

So occasionally (and usually in jest) he and I have a 'discussion' about the type of music that is appropriate for our two year old daughter to hear.  He plays Mozart and something called Above and Beyond; I play Metallica and Megadeth.  His argument that my type of music is harmful and will 'make her stupid' is ridiculous, and here is why:

1.  Talent.  Argue with me if you will, but, no one can deny that Tommy Lee is an amazing musician.  Forget the piercings and tattoos (I dig it, but it's not for everyone) - that guy can play the hell out some drums.  Most hair band members are great guitar and bass players; some even play the piano (think Motley Crue "Home Sweet Home").  On the other hand, today's music is most often generated by a computer.  Now I will concede that it does require talent to be able to formulate this type of music; however, it does not take the place of raw, God-given, inherent musical abilities.  The guys I am talking about have REAL talent, and how they look on the surface is frankly irrelevant.  They can play, and they can sing.  Well, most of them can.

2.  Nostalgia.  Okay, who doesn't get a little misty-eyed when they think about dancing with their junior high sweetheart to "Never Say Goodbye"? (If you don't know who sings this song, please stop reading b/c you are too young to appreciate my musings).  I hear at least one "yes!" every time I play "You Give Love a Bad Name" in one of my spin classes.  It really can take you back to some memorable (and often) good times in life.  Sometimes hearing just one good hair band song can really make my day.  Seriously.

3.  Setting an Example - both good and bad.  So, believe it or not, Brett Michaels had another life before "Rock of Love" (thanks LA for the quote).  In fact, hair band members make most excellent reality show hosts and guests.  I tuned in every week to watch the antics of an aging Vince Neil (again, if you don't know who this is, stop reading) on MTV's Celebrity Real World.  Most of these guys look ridiculous now as they try to relive their youthful days of unlimited booze, drugs, and easy women.  At the same time, they are an example of how that kind of lifestyle can really catch up with you in the end.  I mean, who wouldn't agree with me that Ozzy is a walking billboard for why you should never do drugs?  Seeing David Lee Roth with fried, bleach blonde hair and a really bad face lift is quite sad to me.  But again, it shows the youth of today that while living in the now is not a bad thing, they should still think of the future repercussions of their actions.  Now Jon Bon Jovi on the other hand with his short, mussed up hair and tight jeans, AWESOME - so it can go the other way as some of these rock icons get better with age.   

So don't be hating on those of us who proudly blast Hair Nation from our XM radios and are in the process of teaching our daughters the words to "Talk Dirty to Me".  She will thank me for it, guaranteed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Perfect Parent...NOT

I am not a conventional parent.  I probably never will be.  It started even before Lucy was born.  I requested a C-Section - yes, voluntarily.  We named her after the infamous Peanuts character who snatched away the football from the ever trusting Charlie Brown.  After she was born, I chose not to breastfeed.  And so far, so good. 

Most folks who know me would agree that I am a perfectionist.  Okay, I'm downright anal and extrememly competitive.  I have to be the best.  At everything.  But for some reason, I do not strive to be the perfect parent.  Why?  Because 1.  No such animal exists and 2.  I would be setting myself up for certain failure should I attempt to attain such a lofty (and ridiculous) goal. 

I don't play by the parent rulebook, if there is such a thing.  Now that being said, what I am about to describe is working for me.  I am by no way encouraging other parents out there to behave as I do.  You will find your own path, and your child will guide you. 

1.  Food.  Lucy eats pretty much whatever she wants.  We give in to most of her food requests.  This often means a dinner of chicken nuggets, cheerios, and ice cream.  Now the good news is that her daycare teachers have opened her eyes to the beauty of fruits and vegetables, so it is not unheard of for her to ask for broccoli and oranges.  The main thing that we try and control is how much of a certain 'treat' she consumes.  I wholeheartedly believe that children should eat a well balanced diet and exercise.  However, I do not believe in such over-the-top dietary restrictions that a child never gets to enjoy the sweeter things in life.  If they don't get them now, I promise you they will find a way to get them when they are older. 

2.  Bedtime.   Doesn't exist at our house.  At least not in the sense of "Lucy is in bed every night by 7:30".  We have more of a range of time during which she goes to sleep.  While she does not usually request going 'night night', the telltale signs of crankiness and eye rubbing are always present when Lucy gets tired.  It's just that these behaviors don't always happen at exactly the same time every evening.  So rather than force her to go down when she does not appear ready, we let her demeanor dictate bedtime to a certain extent.  Rarely does she fight us.  Now - I hope I don't eat my words soon since she is approaching the Terrible Twos...

3.  Music.  Admittedly, there is something a little disturbing about watching your child bob her head to "The Humpty Dance" while riding in the backseat of the car.  But it has happened.  A lot.  In fact it started way back when Lucy was in mommy's oven.  She was continuously bombarded with music from the Hair Nation station on XM.  Motley Crue and Metallica were the source of many lullabys.  And I refuse to change the station even now that she is alert and impressionable.  Frankly, I think musical exposure of any kind is a great thing.  Much to my chagrin, her father's musical tastes are the polar opposite of mine, so she'll be getting her Eurotrance and Classical fix from him.  Ewwww.   Now I am not completely insane in this area of development -- if you listen closely, you might hear me singing along with Lucy during the ABC song or Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  If you're lucky.

4.  TV.  Along the same lines as music, I am not a big believer in restricting what a child watches on TV.  I will not be cancelling my cable or flipping out if Lucy hears a curse word (she hears them anyway) during a show.  As a child, my Friday night lineup was The Incredible Hulk (AWESOME by the way), Dallas, and Falcon Crest - drama/violence followed by two nighttime soaps.  And I turned out relatively okay.  I would prefer that Lucy watch TV under my supervision and ask questions if need be. 

So despite my perfectionistic inclinations in other areas of life, I would actually say that I am a pretty laid back mommy. And again, so far, so good. Lucy is normal. She is healthy. She is happy. Some have even said that she is bright. Well, DUH.