I’m Driving, So I Get To Pick the Music. (You’ll Thank Me Someday)

Most Moms spend hours upon hours carting their kids to this activity or that appointment. As soon as the child is born, you might as well face it: you and your husband have not only just become parents, but you’ve also become Chauffeurs.

Although I never judged or criticized, I could never figure out my friends who listened to all “kids music”–all the time–while they are driving. I got enough of it (and even enjoyed some of it, in moderation) from the television. While my friends lamented the umpteenth Barney CD or whatever other adorable soundtrack to their kids’ lives they purchased and had on a constant loop, I always laughed and (even feeling like a “mean” mom) said, “I listen to what I like. The kids get used to it!”

That’s not to say I never, ever indulged in a little automotive kiddie music. I had a couple of choice cassettes (pre-CD player!) that I didn’t mind at all. In fact, I really liked them! One of them was my absolute and all time favorite collection of kids’ music from 1992ish until about 1996: it was the soundtrack to the show “Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego”, featuring Rockapella (LOVE THEM):

The music is still available today: click here if you want it. The songs are catchy, and can make a trip to the grocery store seem like a trip to Disney World instead! Okay, maybe that’s over-stating. But I do tend towards having a dramatic flair at times, so just humor me.

Anyway, the point of my post was not to suddenly become a Rockapella groupie or anything, so let me move on.

I forget what I was talking about.

Oh yes, “kids’ music” vs. “mom music”.

So, when I would exclaim disbelief to my friends when they wouldn’t turn on our local Top 40 station because Johnny was in the backseat singing about Sally the Camel, they would say, “Well…what do YOU listen to??” My answer? “Anything I want to. Depends on the mood.”

The fifteen-year-old grew up on ’80’s tunes, and I believe it is because of Thomas Dolby that he is so knowledgable about science.

Katrina and the Waves gave him a positive attitude.

Tommy Tutone helped him develop his memory skills.

The Dream Academy taught him about life in places outside of his backyard.

Twisted Sister taught him about standing up for what he believes in.

Heck, it’s possible that Nena made him want to learn the German language.

As the kids have grown up, they developed a great appreciation for music, much greater than what I had at their age. Eventually my husband introduced them to rock and heavy metal. Aunt Julie introduced them to so many groups and genres I wouldn’t even try to list them. Would it be the same if I had only played the kids’ music in the car, rather than something beyond their age and understanding at the time? I don’t know.

What I do know is, I am so happy that Sally the Camel stayed in someone else’s car, God love her.

Ride, Sally, ride. (Boom boom boom boom!)


  • Jen and an N

    Yes! Me too!! No kiddie musak in my car. Sometimes I feel guilty because my kids don’t know who Laurie Berkner is and that must make me a bad mom….but they do know David Bowie and the Cranberries and the Police and Pink Floyd and the list goes on and on.

    I hope I don’t musically scar my children.

  • Melisa

    Hey Jen,
    I am absolutely CERTAIN that you’re not musically scarring your children. Learning Bowie, the Cranberries, et al is important stuff that will last them way longer than Barney and the Wiggles.

    How many high schoolers do you see, walking around singing “I love you …you love me…”?? 🙂

  • Taj

    I completely loved this post!

    A few people were mortified when I not only bought my 7 year old an MP3 player but we filled it with NON kid music. (She adores Depeche Mode and Haddaway!)

    Pfft…I am so horrible for allowing my kid to explore her appreciation for music.

    And I enjoyed Rockapella…and I didn’t even have a kid back then.

  • Melisa

    JulieJulesJudyTootie: Yes! I forgot about that tape. That was a good one too.

    Taj: Nothing like a 7-year-old bopping her head to the side while “What is Love?” plays…probably just like her mama!

    Kat: Great description! Bleeding ears! I love it! (And I’m sure you CAN relate: I bet you might be able to write a post or two about being in someone’s car who only plays kids music for their kids…that’s even worse!)

  • Patty

    I worked at Kay Bee Toys when I was in high school & college…Kiddie Music…NEVER in my car. I cringe at the thought!! I don’t have kids but my rule has always been “He who drives controls the music!”