That’s right. Jay has been cursed. It started out innocently – as these things often do.
I have to give a bit of background here. Jay and I are not pop and hip kind of people. We are too cool for that (right). We stopped paying attention to popular culture sometime in the 1990s. How two people who are so totally clueless about such things found each other can only be explained by divine intervention. And he is worse than I am. At least I have heard of some of the people who make what passes for news in this country, even if only by reading the headlines of the entertainment section on msnbc.com. Jay, however, is completely clueless – he watches less TV than I do and is even pickier about what he will watch. If it is not Boardwalk Empire, Treme, Tosh.0, The Walking Dead or The Daily Show, chances are he has never heard of it, much less seen it.
Neither of us have ever seen an episode of American Idol or Dancing with the Stars – and we like it that way. In fact, I would bet that out of the top 10 rated shows on TV, I watch only 4 and have heard of the rest and Jay has not seen any of them and has only heard of 4. Hold on, lemme check. Oh, was I wrong! I only watch 3 of last week’s top 20 (for Jay that would be 1 – House – and he only watches it because I do). [On a side note, what the hell are you people out there watching?!?!?! Holy bad TV, Batman! Here is the list http://www.wchstv.com/newsroom/nielsen.shtml Lame, lame, lame.] I do have to give a shout out to http://thehopefulcynic.wordpress.com/ for keeping me up to date on such things as The Bachelor and the Friday girl without me actually having to watch such unpleasantness.
Ok, now to the point of this post. I think it has only been in the last month that Jay has ever heard of Justin Beiber. He has also managed to avoid knowing who Katy Perry is and other such pop phenoms, although you would have to be under a rock in the US to not know who Miley Cyrus or Lindsay Lohan is. Unfortunately.
Anyway, today Jay inadvertently posted a status update which may come back to haunt us. Here is how it went down:
Jay (status update): “I accidentally heard a Justin Bieber song and for a split second questioned my place on this Earth. But I think I’m okay now.”
MP (comment): ohhhh now u did it….. u are destined to have a little teeny bop girl who loves justin beiber!!! hahahahaha
Marnie (comment): Please, oh, please, take that back, M! Remember, you are not just hexing him when you say such things!! *flings salt over left shoulder and begins to mutter counter-hexing spell*
MP (comment): Heehee he did it! I have been to the wiggles, cheetah girls, miley cyrus, jonas brothers and yes….. justin bieber… i will just say that they do sell beer at all of the above and chucky cheese too :o) Tiger Beat and Bop…. here comes Jay and Marnie :o)
Oh, dear God, who are the Cheetah Girls and Tiger Beat and Bop?! Nevermind. I am completely sure I do not want to know. Ever.
Now, another thing you have to understand, is that I am all about selective viewing for kids. Some parents look at it as whether or not the content is acceptable for the children. I totally agree with parental controls, but I take it a step further. I look at it as whether or not it is acceptable for the children and the adults. Yes. I admit it. I will censor what my child watches by criteria that includes whether or not I can stand it. Ezra does not know that the Wiggles or Barney exist, at least as far as I know. He may have seen them at his dad’s (but I doubt it), but they have never been on a TV in our house. There are some that I don’t like, but I will allow them if they don’t actually make my head explode. For example, I don’t care for the Thomas the Train videos. I like the toys, but the videos suck. However, I will allow Ezra to watch them on occasion when I am feeling generous, but only in his room (yes, the three year old has a TV in his room. In my defense, however, it is only hooked up to a DVD player and he is only allowed to watch things I don’t want to hear in there – like Thomas – or ones he is wearing out – like Ice Age for the 3 millionth time last night). If he asked for Barney, I would simply say, “We don’t have Barney at Mommy’s house” and turn on something else. Ditto for The Wiggles (seriously, they give me the creeps. I find them very disturbing). My brother drove his two boys from Dothan to Atlanta for a day trip to take them to see The Wiggles in concert. I would not do it if it were happening next door and I was paid $50 to show up. Nope. Not going to happen. Selfish? Maybe. But really, people, do the kids need this stuff? Is it in anyway necessary for them? Is it wrong of me to deny my child entertainment that I cannot abide? Hell, no. Selfish a bit, but not wrong. And I will not apologize for it.
Now, I have a couple of kids which means I have actually said the words, “Well, my kid will never _________.” It also means I have eaten those words without so much as a glass of water with which to wash them down. I understand that as a parent there are things you will do or say that you will never imagine yourself saying (or, in some cases, never admit to saying). So I do know that at some point that Ezra and this baby will go to school and will learn of the existence of things I would rather them not know about. For now, I am dodging that bullet. However, there will come a day when someone at school will introduce them to something that makes my skin crawl and bounces up and down on my very last nerve. At that point, I will have a decision to make. It will come down to weighing my aversion against my child’s pleasure.
There are things you will do for your children that you never imagined. Some of those things go way beyond the easy choices, like whether or not you would jump out in front of a car or literally give them your heart. Some of those choices mean that you will have to do what MP above did. Sit though Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers in concert (and she earned a special dispensation from God for it, too, I’ll bet). It may be birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese, or suppressing your fear of clowns and when a clown magician shows up at the school function you signed up to chaperone (that’ll teach you to read the fine print, now won’t it?). Or any of the hundreds of horrible things you will be forced to do for them. But you can draw the line. You do not have to do them all.
But it will also mean that you will be able to see the unmitigated joy in her little face when you sit down to a private tea party and she is dressed up as the fairy princess you know she is. It may be sitting through Transformers when you found it lame, but watching him come out of the theater with a glint in his eye and a whole new repertoire of sound effects. It may be taking her and her 3 best friends to a teeny bop concert for her birthday and having nothing to show for it but a huge hole in your bank account, a pounding headache and the knowledge that you will never get back those 3 tedious hours – but then you look over and see her absolute delight and the pain dissipates immediately. It may be that his snake gives you the heebie geebies every time you walk into his room or that his bug collection totally grosses you out. It may be something I cannot even fathom here at least 5 years removed from any of these things, but it will be something. And you will love him or her even more at the end of it because they allowed you to see something you could only appreciate through their little eyes.
However, Barney and the Wiggles are still out, Sponge Bob is on probation and, while snakes may be possible, lizards are just not gonna happen (ask Greta – she has been trying that one for years with no luck). Why? Because I am the mom and I said so – and, in my house, that will be enough.
P.S. Jay, being the male and therefore responsible for the sex of this child, will be the one going to all girl teeny bop concerts. He has way more experience at concerts than me, anyway. If he plays his cards right and has a good deal of luck, maybe he can blow past the Beiber of the day and have the kids turned on to Phish.