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Taking a stand against kids' music

Special to The Baltimore Sun

From SKK: Guest blogger Oren Miller joins Homefront today, with an inaugural post about the kids' music in his life -- or the lack thereof:

I remember those first few months: A happy couple watching TV in bed, while our infant baby was sitting on the bed with us, staring back at us without judgment from the throne of his Boppy pillow. "I could get used to that," I thought. "Kids change everything? Well, if by everything, they all meant have more time to catch up on TV, then yes, kids do change everything!"

Then one day, my wife and I were watching "Dexter." Just as the infant serial killer was experiencing a flashback to his toddler years, specifically remembering sitting in a pool of blood, we looked back in horror at our no-longer-innocent baby who was now facing the TV, and realized kids indeed changed everything.

Showtime made way for Sprout. Dexter politely let Elmo take over. True Blood for Dora. Even MSNBC for Boots.

But even then--even after letting a tiny creature be in charge of the TV remote, I still had one card left, and I keep that card close to my heart, like it's the only thing that keeps it beating its own rhythm: I will not listen to kids' music.

See, if music is the soundtrack of my life, I refuse to let the wheels on the bus define my early fatherhood years. Don't get me wrong, I know kids love singing about buses and about itsy-bitsy spiders, but they also love singing about Yoshimi and the robots.

Sure there were some trials and errors. I couldn't get too hipstery: Daniel Johnston was boring and Neutral Milk Hotel was weird. And Tom Waits "sounds like a burp." But show me a kid who doesn't like "Hey Jude." Show me a kid who doesn't dance to Otis Redding's "The Match Game."

The Wiggles look like a fun bunch, with their costumes and all. And Dan Zanes and Raffi--well, I've never heard any of their stuff, but I'm sure their songs are catchy and full of little life-lessons. I did get to see videos of Laurie Berkner, and they were colorful and fun. She seems like a really nice person, and if I go out and need a babysitter, she'll be the first one I call. She can put her jammies on and sing to my kids about parties and dinosaurs.

But when I come back home, I'll plug my phone to the speakers and listen to my own music. If the soundtrack of my life is currently one of the Sisyphean struggle against the loss of my identity, then so be it. At least it's rocking.

Oren is a stay-at-home-dad who writes about fatherhood in A Blogger and a Father. He lives in Baltimore with a wife, two kids, and a sleepy old Pit Bull.

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