Children’s Songs You Can Stand to Listen To

Some people are irritated by very specific things: nails on chalkboards, a supervisor’s voice, forks on a ceramic plate, or animals chewing with their mouth open.

For me, it’s children singing.

Now, now, now -don’t get up in arms and start defending anyone. Don’t ask me whether I’m a good mother, cringing whenever my offspring try to carry a tune. That’s not it at all. My real hate is when children sing what they ought not to.

Don’t believe me? Go listen to that devil’s creation: Kid’s Bop. Oh, wait. It’s spelled “Kidz Bop.”

Children singing off-key and innocently to pop songs would be my eternal torment. Actually -eternal torment would be facing a mundane chore like piles of laundry or dishes; and when I am literally folding the last sock or washing the last pan, something dumps another hour’s worth of work in front of me.

Wait a minute…

So, getting back to children doing terribly irritating things, I thought I’d save anyone else the trouble of torture by providing a list of songs geared toward young children that will not drive you completely batty (er… more completely batty).

1. Caspar Babypants
Did you ever listen to “Peaches,” “Lump,” or “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by The Presidents of the United States of America? If not, do yourself a solid and check them out. “Peaches,” alone is worth watching; I do so with my offspring frequently. Weird Al even parodied “Lump” with a song titled “Gump.”

That lead singer, whatshisname (Chris Ballew) went on to produce and sing a whole crapload of songs once he settled down and made mini hims. I like a lot of them; they’re cute, catchy, and have good lyrical and musical aspects.

2. Banaphone
This is an oldie but a goodie. I can’t allow the kiddos to replay this one as often as Babypants, but it’s still fun.

They also like the video, so win-win.

3. They Might Be Giants, for kids
TMBG has clever songs for all ages. The singer’s a bit nasally, but their lyrics are educational. Admittedly, we listen to much of the Apollo 18 soundtrack with our children as well; but those aren’t specifically for a younger audience (say, like when I mute that tiny cuss word at the start of “I Palindrome I”).

I respect a band that tries to keep things scientifically accurate. Like, releasing a new sun song when they felt the old one was misinforming.

4. Lots of classical pieces
My nerdy childhood was spent listening to the classical station on the radio and trying to be a snob of a higher degree. I listen to a wide variety of music now; and, by proximity, so do my children.

Still, music of this sort has the following advantages: clean, enlightening, traditional, timeless, and the YouTube videos don’t usually have some animated character dancing around and causing listeners to just stare at a screen.

5. Instrumental covers of awesome songs
Yes, the originals are better. For all the benefits I outlined above (like, no swearing or questionable video content), I will sometimes put these on to play while we’re cleaning the house.

And yes, these are not geared toward kids. It’s my list, though, so I make the rules.

6. Super Simple Songs
Now here’s a company who knows its audience. These are NOT songs to play if you don’t want small children staring at a screen, so maybe play it from computer speakers with the monitor turned off?

For a good half-hour or hour of needing to use the bathroom and text and adult, I am in favor of playing them as-is.

Super Simple Songs are almost annoying. I certainly wouldn’t pick them for an eternal playlist, but I will listen to quite a few without tearing my ears off my head.

7. Parry Gripp
If you have children, you have probably heard of “It’s Raining Tacos.” Don’t worry -I’m not going to suggest you listen to Parry Gripp all day long. I merely threw it on here because they’re fun, my spawn enjoy many of them, and I liked them back before they were annoying cool.

In fact, “Mr. Raisin Toast” was the first of theirs we listened to.

8. The Muppets
Again, these fall into the “watch it, too” category. But, you know -Sesame Street. Nostalgia. Subtle humor that doesn’t involve farting (always a plus when one has all boys, like me).

That’s about all I can remember for tonight. Besides these, do YOU have any to suggest? Don’t be shy; we’re always open to new songs and artists.

 

Originally posted at my main writing site.

Whose Vacation IS This?

I’m writing today’s post from the comfort of a crowded, loud room in which the children are happily watching hours and hours of cartoons. My temperamental laptop is shoved among a pile of food I just spent two hours shopping for. I keep getting interrupted every 30 seconds to break up a fight or acknowledge a, “Hey, Mom! Look at that!”

We’re on vacation.

Well, some of us are.

I heard, once, that a family vacation is never a vacation for the parents. Frankly, while I’m in The Mom Years, no vacation is a vacation for me. I know because my husband and I saved up a lot of money and went on one of those romantic island vacations this year, and I still followed my usual routine.

You know what routine I’m talking about.

Pre-Vacation: Pack, pack, pack, plan, plan, plan, CLEAN. None of those steps involve actually packing my things nor planning activities just for me.

Day 1: Driving or flying. This means no sleep, sore muscles, and extra fat from all the car snacks. On top of that, the kids all fall asleep and then wake up completely wired.

Day 2 or 4 or 22: Attempting to do all sorts of fun activities so that memories are made and families are bonded and our bank account is left gasping on the shore.

All the Days: At least one child or spouse has a meltdown over all the bonding and activities.

At Least Once Every Three Days: Mom has a sobbing meltdown and determines to take a vacation with only herself.

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I don’t know about other moms, but even that resolution doesn’t work for me. The few times I’ve had a few hours completely to myself, I’ve spent them thinking, Child A would just love this store. Then I buy things for the little monsters. Or I mentally plan how they could all come along to that place and have memories, bonding, and money-spending fun together with me.

Guess I’ll never learn.

Now it’s time for lunch.

Aaand I forgot to buy ketchup.