So I was just thinking about how my former thirty-minute commute to and from work used to be the best hour of my day. Exactly two stoplights and two stop signs, me and my coffee, whittling down my reading list one audio-book at a time. Or there were the days of reconnecting with my ex-boyfriend, NPR. I feel bad that I seem to have ended things without much closure. Now, when I tune in, usually right after dropping off the girls at school, I just feel like we’re strangers. I’ve been gone for so long I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in Africa right now.


Though I might be in the car the same amount of time every day, it is anything but relaxing or enlightening. Between fielding one hundred and one questions a minute, retrieving whatever garbage toy has once again landed outside the grasp of the 5-point harness, or quelching the inevitable Mom, she’s breathing my air argument, I’ve found that it is just easier to drown everything out with music. Unfortunately, because iPods have basically replaced CDs and my 2004 Hyundai is not equipped with a universal Apple jack, we do a lot of listening to the radio.

And at the risk of exposing myself to ridicule from high school friends and shame-shame eyes from the church moms, I make the following confession: Katy Perry has fully replaced K-Love and conservative talk radio on my list of acceptable car listening. In fact, dare I say it, I’ve never been a fan of Top-40 radio until now. It’s like in the past two years, pop has actually become auditorally digestible. And delicious.

Unfortunately, the result might be the creation of two teeny-bopper-monsters. Both of my children now request songs and artists by name, and sing and dance in the backseat like little thirteen year olds. Sometimes it is cute. Sometimes I have to suppress a shudder. But generally, I’m fully in favor of impromptu Lady Gaga inspired dance parties, even if they are from the backseat of the car.

Right now, Carter’s favorite song is “Oh-Ah Kisses.” Some of you might know it by its more common name, Pumped Up Kicks, by Foster the People. Here’s a little sampling of Eliott/Carter song lyric translation:

All the other kids with oh-ah kisses, and around and around, faster than my solen.
All the other kids who want that kisses, and around and around, faster than my father.

Yesterday Eliott announced from the backseat, “Turn it up Mommy, it’s the whistling part. I like this part. Oh, now they’re whistling and singing at the same time, so I get to choose.” And what did she choose, you ask? Well, because Eliott cannot yet whistle, she formed her own version of “whistling and singing at the same time,” which is one of those adorable sounds that will probably make me run the car off a cliff one day.

How To Survive Riding in the Car with Kids

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