There was a time in my life when work meant tracking paper, updating spreadsheets and spending hours and days trading voicemails about schedules and payroll, and things that make me bald.
Memories of management, coupled with 1-2 hours of nightly dishwashing and hi chair cleaning have left me with a profound appreciation for the job that only needs to be done once. Or once in a great while.
Which is one of the many reasons I love my job now – when the remote control sheep doesn’t work, you fix it, or replace it, and it’s done.
Applying this philosophy to parenting would make for a disaster of Bundy proportions (I’m thinking Ted, not Al, though either illustrates the point). but nonetheless I do appreciate it when it so rarely happens. Toilet training will by no means be a linear process; there will be progress, regress, all kindsa gress. Same goes for sleeping in his own bed, getting ready for school, and trying to get him to move out in 18 years (we can hope, but really).
Some developmental milestones are one-timers, though. Solid foods – though he still may nurse for comfort, there was no going back after the man had watermelon. And here’s a threshold of walking beyond which you don’t need to hover behind him with a crash pad and a catcher’s mitt. Some things do only need to be done once.
Musical taste, I find, does not fall into this category. There are no toys in the house that play stupid little songs, no CD’s of Disney hits for kids, no Barney on the TV. Out of the gate I’d sing Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Wilco, maybe some Old Crow Medicine Show as I held him. The playlist we’d dance to sleep with had the Jackson 5, the Ramones, and yes, even L.L. Cool J (it never took more than twice through ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ for babies to drift off).
But our daily routine now involves watching videos on the laptop. He gets to pick, and sometimes we watch Sesame Street, sometimes Shaun the Sheep or other quality programming, but he’ll go on these binges of cheap CGI nursery rhymes – This Old Man, Wheels On The Bus, or even stranger ones from South Asia about pigs getting hit by trains. Not kidding. For days this will be all he wants to watch.
Okay, he’s 2, I get that. And fully grown ‘adults’ make poor music choice. How else will Toby Kieth pay for all his trucks? But man, I thought I laid a foundation there. I thought maybe the Beatles, or the Beach Boys would be as poppy as it got before he got into school. How wrong I was.
Something tells me it will get worse before it gets better.
How early is too early to start on Metallica?