Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Laurie Berkner vs. Natalie Merchant - or maybe both?

Car rides with toddlers can be ear splitting, nauseating and exhausting. Before Ella was born my husband and I went on a road trip with my husband's family. The kids are sweet, and so much fun to be around always - but were not lovers of the car. I sat in the way back of their mini van in the hot Florida heat sandwiched between two other people. Their 4 year old (hes 11 now) was not a fan of this car ride. He was crying, wailing, unhappy to his core. My brother-in-law, the master builder that he is jerry rigged a small TV between the two front seats. For 5 hours we heard and watched some version of Barney. It quieted that unhappy 4 year-old into a peaceful state, with dancing dinosaurs and strangely dressed pre-teens singing feel good songs. I locked this memory away and thought, my kids are going to listen to MY music. My car, no wait my house will definitely be a NO BARNEY zone. Oh, how I wish I was right.

Flash forward 7 years later to my 3 year old, Ella hopping in the car happily and then she lowers the boom -"I want Laurie Berkner Mommy". Today's version of Barney...no dinosaur, much easier on the ears but still painful nonetheless.

How did I get here?
I was a lover of Pink Floyd, Dave Matthews Band, Guster, Dispatch, Jack Johnson, my list goes on. I was a music buff. Here is where my Mommy Mantra has to come into play. We take turns with the radio, I'll painfully sit through hearing the same songs a few times in a row and then I'll say Mommy's turn! Today I popped in my Mumford and Son's CD - amazing. I get half way through the song and I hear in the back - "Excuse me, my turn Mom!"
Ella's latest thing is to say excuse me 500 times, until you stop, make eye contact and really listen. Needless to say you can't do this while driving, so usually I cave and switch it back to one her her CDs. Not today, I really was in a groove. Then I heard it, "How about Natalie Merchant?"


I hear it again, "Excuse me Mom, how about Natalie Merchant?"
The clouds parted, the angels sang, I had done my job as a music buff. I had created a child with great taste in music! She then suggests "Slip sliding away"? (Paul Simon) I could not believe my ears. I switched on Natalie Merchant and looked in my rearview mirror as Ella sat back peacefully in her car seat. Na na na na na na na

Mommy Mantra Moment - Make your kids an incredible Part of your life, not your WHOLE life.

Im posting what my kids eat for dinner every night. I want to try to inspire people to think outside the box in feeding your kiddos. From when Ella was a tiny baby we fed her everything, basically we'd cook what we like to eat and chop it up. Tonight I tried my hand again at a Tyler Florence recipe - Chicken Francaise with roasted brussel sprouts and spaghetti. Ella ate more brussel sprouts than both my husband and I and I looked over to see Lily inhaling the yummy sprouts. Ella got ice cream again tonight - she was happy.


  1. I am definitely guilty of giving in to Abigail's demands in the car. I'd rather listen to the sound of one of her movies or music than her whining and/or crying. However, we are making some progress and working on compromise. The other day she started asking to hear "Kesney Chenny". I'm so proud :)

  2. I LOVE it! Go Abigail, and Susan ( :

  3. I must say I have a 3 year old "Black Eyed Pea" in my backseat...BOOM BOOM POW!! (just make sure you have the edited version)

  4. My poor two only get to listen to my music in the house at dinner time. I make them dance with me but they love to freestyle. Our latest and greatest music is a German cd that is part calypso, part I-don't-know-what. I picture palm trees swaying to the beat and that gets us through the blah winter.
    Your comment about 'thinking outside the box' with dinners brings to mind my dinner mantra, 'feed outside the box'. Well, except for plain pasta.

  5. Love "Feed outside the box"! Great Mantra. who doesn't love a little plain pizza once a week or twice and how about pizza bagels ( : I live in NY, pizza is a mainstay.

  6. Saw your post on Feb 08 babies. Nice blog!
    Alex, my Feb 08 kid, loves Michale Jackson and Simon and Garfunkel (The Fighter is a hit...Li Le Li..."Mommy it's not good to lie") :)
    We don't listen a lot in the car, but I guess I should have a good mix cd to put in. He also likes Sara Bareilles (sp?) lately.

    I completely agree with your philosophy. My kids are a fabulous part of my life, but I am still me and I refuse to get rid of what makes me 'me' in order to be what others think is a 'better parent'. I think my kids are happier and better for it, and so are we (my husband and I). Wish I'd come to this conclusion earlier on in parenthood, but we learn lessons when they hit us, I guess.

    Keep blogging! You inspired me a bit to get back into my blog. I am LAZY about writing!

  7. I remember when you were little- your dad and I always played our music- no kids' songs in our car! You and JD would sing along to Yes, Billy Joel, etc... We all enjoyed the car rides- until you all got older and wanted your own music... I'm glad Ella is enjoying your music- I never liked those Barney songs.

  8. Julie - Ella still calls Julie's house, the go crazy dance party house - I wonder if it will be known as that when they are 16/17?? I can see our girls getting into all kinds of trouble. Boom Boom Pow!

    Jess - So happy I inspired someone! Alex sounds like a cool kid, love his taste in music. Hope you will follow along! Get back to writing! Id love to follow your blog.

    <3 Mom!!! I only remember car rides with music blasting - Led Zeppelin, Journey, Billy Joel, Phil Colins - you and Dad made sure I had a "boom box" in my bedroom as long as I can remember. Counting Crows was my very first CD ever. You are the best.