Friday, May 15, 2009

The Sound of Silence is Not an Option

I used to like to rock out to music when I was in the car. I'd sing, I'd maybe even dance a little (moving my shoulders or arms a bit, which is as close as I ever get to dancing anytime, anywhere).

But now that is not my status quo. If I am in the car alone, I am often listening to talk radio or one of my downloaded podcasts. Or nothing. Sometimes I listen to nothing. Because if I am not alone in the car, silence is not an option.

If I try to listen to "my music" or "my news," there is a lot of whining. If I try to take in the beautiful sound of silence, I hear complaining and/or sibling strife.

My solution is to load up the CD deck with children's music.

Ever since Amanda was about two years old, I've been living with this compromise. For a brief period a few years ago, she was old enough to be flexible and Kyle wasn't yet old enough to care, but now we're right back in.

Since I'm going to be listening to kids' tunes, I try to choose ones that don't annoy me. Recently in the height of Kyle's Thomas phase, he acquired a CD. So I listened to little British kids over and over again singing about Thomas and his friends.

It's my choice, and I still believe it's better than the alternative. Some of you fight for your right to party, and that's okay too. But for those of you seeking out some songs for the road, here are some of our favorites:

  • They Might Be Giants -- Anything by TMBG. We love these. I've given them as gifts and other people love them too. If you buy the CD instead of downloading them (at least these amazon versions), you get a bonus DVD which is fun. I had almost forgotten about their first kids' CD No!, but I'm busting it out of the archives, where it will join Here Come the ABCs [CD/DVD Combo] and Here Come The 123s [CD/DVD]. Amanda has outgrown kids' tunes and has less tolerance than me, but she's still a fan of TMBG. I would even listen to it even when my kids weren't in the car (that is if I didn't know that it would be in constant rotation the next time Kyle was in the car).

  • Baby Loves Hip Hop Presents The Dino-5--This is fun, and has the added bonus (or annoyance, depending on how you look at it) of a story woven into the songs. The message about friendship and being kind comes through loud and strong, too.

  • Broadway tunes -- This is a great compromise for me! The kids will listen to some of my favorites, such as Wicked, Mary Poppins, or Les Miserables (in smaller doses than their favorites, of course).

  • And finally -- Kyle's new favorite (which annoys Amanda, but I find to be quite tolerable) is Ziggy Marley's Family Time CD. If you click the link, you can preview a video of one of the songs and read my review over at 5 Minutes for Giveaways, where you can enter to win one of 5 copies through May 29.

When the kids were really young (two), Wee Sing Bible Songs, but we've moved on, and I'm sure I've missed some other great ones.

Any suggestions that would appeal to a preschooler, and his big sis (and wouldn't completely annoy their mother)?


morninglight mama said...

We adore TMBG as well. You know I gotta give a shout-out to the BNL kids' CD- Snacktime. All my kids love it, and it's palatable music for adults, too. :)

Cindy said...

We're HUGE Shrek fans and our current fav is Now That's What I Call Shrek! In fact, we were rocking to it pretty good yesterdau, especially All Star and Funkytown!

eastsidemommy said...

Great song suggestions! I know these might get cheesy, but we love our Disney soundtracks! It is okay with me and the kids like it too, so it works out in my car.

Karla E said...

Jennifer, Yuck! I say get them hooked on Classic Rock as soon as you can. Thankfully, the boys have liked my music since Nick was about 2...actually, I don't think Nick ever listened to Kid Music...Matt probably only listened to it it because I was foolish enough to buy all the "kid" CDs...first kid and all.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Yeah... I had a couple years where C. liked my music and L. wasn't into music. But now, the 6-CD changer is all Veggie Tales, and I keep a couple Wee Sing and Cedarmont Kids CDs around for when he wants variety. He does like TMBG, but at the moment is not "into" them.

However, every great once in a while, L. asks for "Mommy music" -- I always happily pull out my iPod and plug it in. :)