When my son realized I had his dance class music on my iPod, he started asking for it all the time.

Then he started asking about the lyrics.

“Are they saying shit?”

“Yes.”

“Can we say that?”

“When we are singing the song.”

“Really? Let’s go back to that spot in the song. I want to sing it.”

I explained that in other parts of the world, saying shit is not the huge deal that it is in the country.

“Everyone says it?”

“Well. Not six-year-olds.”

“When I can drive?”

“Yeah. When you can drive and you’re in that area of the country.”

“How will I know if we’re in that area?”

“Someone will say, ‘Yo yo bro, how’s your shit goin’?'”

The kids die laughing.

We listen to the song more.

They ask what it means to say, “Beats so big I’m steppin’ on Leprechauns.”

And they point out the song sheds light on Lucky Charms.

And I’m starting to think the car might be more educational than I realized.

6 replies
  1. Liobov
    Liobov says:

    Oh my God what an annoying song! You should get mother of the year award just for putting up with it several times in a row. ;)

    But seriously a car is a great educational place. It’s an environment that you control, a place the kids can’t escape and is relatively free from other distractions. Use it to play audio books, to talk or to watch downloaded video on your laptop. If you have a wireless internet stick then the world is their oyster.

    On another note, growing up I had an hour and a half commute to my school. I was riding subway and bus a total 3 hours a day, five days of the week for 6 years. And when I think about it, I don’t remember it being tedious. It was just a part of my day. I was reading, listening to music and audio books, doing homework, eating snack and daydreaming. Same things I would have done being home. Kids are great at adapting. And I thing that they are more vulnerable to other peoples moods than to practical burdens. If you act as the time in the car is fun and valuable they will see and remember it that way too.

    Later in my life I was able to take higher paying jobs and live cheaply and more comfortably further away from work simply because I wasn’t getting tired from the commute the way my peers were. Everybody is different but you might be teaching your kids a skill that will come very handy later in life.

  2. Claire
    Claire says:

    I think it’s great that you are showing us your teachable moments, whatever they may be.

    Songs are great. One of the distinct moments I recall with my son was using One Republic’s “Apologize.” We print out lyrics from songs; a recent one was Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

  3. Brian C Brandes
    Brian C Brandes says:

    In pure anecdote, I can admit that I believe that your car rides are without a doubt a much closer to a place of learning and positives than the nebulous feelings clawing at the edge of pysche. That is to say, don’t fret, you’re not subjecting your children sitting in the back to stagnation and festering waste; long frequent car rides worked well for me.

    Around age 5 my parents were happily divorced. By age 8, my dad moved to NJ about 2.5 hours away. Every weekend up until college, my dad would come up, and fairly often we’d make the trek to his house, meaning we’d put 2.5 hours in the car Friday night, and 2.5 hours in the car Sunday evening.

    For me, without even knowing it, it was a great time for unstructured learning. We’d play silly car games, like our version of Jeopardy (Named, Jeff-r-ey, after my dad). Everyone would play host from time to time and choose the categories.

    But we’d do even more than that, play pseduo-dungeons and dragons, computer trivia, discuss civil war battles, movies we saw, talk about hypothetical historical situations, or anything really… one memory in particular that stands out was hearing my brother give like a 10th grade biology level lecture on the human digestive system which was just purely fascinating to me and my dad, even at the age.

    And if we weren’t talking, I had my little ninjas and action toys in the back to entertain me too. Making up rescue stories, using my imagination and playing is good thing too. Sure there was occasional boredom, but it just forced me tap into my own imagination instead.

    So, while I can kinda see where you’d think these car rides might be bad because they’re choked full of physical idleness, but if you have the same fear for lack of mental stimulation, I feel it’s misplaced. My point is, the car rides were redoubtably a great time to bond with my dad, brother, and learn stuff while playing. It was a good thing for me. I’m pretty sure you can make it a good thing for your kids.

  4. karelys
    karelys says:

    love that song! used to do the biceps part of weight lifting class to that song. pretty awesome not gonna lie.

    and i think it’s great that your kids learn when using curse words is appropiate!

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