Growing up Iowa you take a lot of road trips. Really, you have no choice. You lack imagination enough to imagine going some place interesting. Why go to Hawaii when you can see the world's largest ball of twine? My parents were no exception. Usually we went to a fishing cabin or to see family. We have been to Paul Bunyan Land many many times (how sad is it that I almost cried when I saw that it is closed? I need to double up on anti-depressants stat). We went to Boot Hill Days in Dodge City, Kansas. In other words, we racked up a lot of mileage in the back of my parents' station wagon and then a van.
My father becomes a fascist dictator in the car. He expected his giggly daughters to somehow be quiet and get along (dear GOD was he on crack). Also, he never wanted to stop. Y'all I still can't walk past a bathroom without using it. How on earth did he think I was going to go seven hours in the car without peeing?
And we definitely did not get control of the radio. I can turn on the oldies station today and sing along to every fucking song. When the stupid Time Life comes on I have to sing along. I feel compelled by something much deeper than DNA. I think I regress back into childhood and become a first grader poking her sister in the stomach when her mom wasn't looking.
We learned every song in my parents' Song of Sixties collection tapes. We learned the entire catalog for the Beatles and the Beach Boys.
Did we listen even once to something my sister and I wanted? HELL NO. Our pleas for Bon Jovi were ignored. Our polite requests for Madonna brutally rebuffed. My dad guarded the radio with a billy club and a smile and after a while we learned to like it. Out of self defense I suppose.
This is why I do not understand why parents are bitching about children's music. Don't they control the radios in their cars? Obviously I do not have kids and perhaps people are willing to listen to the Wiggles on repeat just to shut their kids up. But I have to admit, my dad's strategy of forcing us to listen to his music essentially until we liked it was effective. I mean you only have to hear a family of four singing along to Lou Christie's "Lightning Striking" once to understand that.
Maybe the solution is to just not play children's music at all? Screw "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and put on the Ramones? I would rather have to meeting at the preschool because my kid was signing "I Wanna Be Sedated" than listen to Barney.
Actually I think I would feel accomplished.