Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How I Retired the Rolling Stones

Obsession with Mick Jagger's fabuliciousness is entirely understandable to me. I mean, Mick is either someone you dig as a chick or you find too feminine to like. For my part, I like pretty men with a pillowy lip fawning and leaping thinly in their pants. He's my type. But when Crabtot asked, at three years old, for a pic of Mick to put on her bedside table, it gave me pause.

Disclaimer: I am not one of those parents who is actively training her kid in hipness. I'm not a mom who clamped an iPod to Baby's ears to give her her first taste of the new Belle and Sebastian album, or used a delicate Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach ballad to induce sleep. I am not one who works at making her kid rock hard. Rock hardly is more the case in our home, given that we haven't seen any music since I attended a German punk band concert with Crabtot in utero.

So, no, I'm not giving her a cheeky angled mullet haircut and buying her drumsticks for Christmas. I didn't use an Iggy Pop mix during her last birthday party's session of musical statues. And when she tinkles on her toy piano, I don't whip out Nick Cave's gentler work to help her plinky-plonk more stylishly.


I do I like grownups' music and I see no reason to play Australian-accented renditions of "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" around the house just because there is a child occupying it. So Crabtot does hear a bit of this and that. And since her dad is quite into esoteric Rolling Stones movies, she has seen a bit of Mick and co. in her time. None of which has bothered me. Until this weekend.

Crabhubby and I alternate wake-up-with-tot times on the w/end. And on Saturday (his wake-up day) I was treated to "Jumping Jack Flash" pounding from the TV. You see, Crabhubby has a new arcane Stones flick from the 60s, where they set up a 2-day "rock 'n roll circus," in which a bunch of tripped out audience members in inexplicable yellow plastic ponchos watch ringmaster Mick Jagger & his even-then barely-standing cohorts intro a lineup of acts that include Marianne Faithfull and a duo called Dirty Mac, which it turns out is John Lennon & Yoko Ono.

"Look at Keith!" my little one said to me as I stumbled out of my room for coffee on Saturday, unable to sleep on account of the din. "Keith's wearing pink!" Thus ensued a dialogue between Crabtot and her dad, with the names Keith, Mick and fergodssake, Charlie Watts, effortlessly falling from Crabtot's lips like the names of old friends. Which, in a way, they are.

Since she was quite small, Crabtot has sat with her dad when he watches Stones videos. She easily recognizes Mick Jagger anytime she's ever seen him, because she's seen him often. Keith's a bit trickier. When she saw his mug in the new Vuitton luggage print ad, she asked, "Is that a person?" A fair enough question when the man looks like the leather luggage he's trying to sell.

But Crabtot's Mick-mania has accelerated beyond my comfort zone with the advent of this circus video. She wants to watch it all the time now. All. The. Time. And having at first humored a daily dose or three of cuts from Rock 'n Roll Circus, I've banned it.

"Please," she begged me yesterday morning. "Just have one more Mick!"
"Just one Marianne?" she wheedled.

I made the mistake of allowing the quiet Marianne Faithfull ballad instead of the Mick stuff. But then Crabtot wanted to watch Marianne over and over and over again. And this morning, when dressing in a fairy ballgown, she exclaimed with delight that she looked "just like Marianne!" And it is not a good thing, I don't think, when your child models herself after Marianne Faithfull. Not that she isn't a kickass and beautiful lady. Or that it isn't great that she's still making good music in spite of the Hep C and the drugs and the chain-smoking and, well, Mick Jagger and all.

Anyhoo, as of today, 1pm PST, Rock 'n Roll Circus is rock 'n roll history in this house. A TV diet of spindly gyrating Mick-hips, combined with a request for the man's mug to be in a frame on her nightstand (not to mention the Marianne dress-up dreams) makes me think Crabtot needs to take a break. And if I have to watch "Sympathy for the Devil" one more time I think I might go mad.

Still, I can't help being impressed by Jagger's power to cast a spell, seemingly without limit or end or age restriction (his or his fans'). I just wish I could properly describe the look on Crabtot's face when she sees Mick Jagger. She laughs uproariously and hurls herself around on the floor. She giggles at him fondly and shakes her head as though he is someone in the family goofing off the way he always does, that funny old Mick. But it is the dreamy adoration when Mick appears in close-up—his lips a trampoline, his hair the dark perfect girly shaggy lid I can never quite perfect—that Crabtot truly radiates contentment. She curls up in her chair, smiles, and won't budge until it's over. Then she sits up and asks for more Mick. And Mick again, please. At first it was a gas (gas gas). But the joke has worn stale and so today I did what Mick has yet to do: I retired him.

There was a fair bit of wailing when I confiscated Rock 'n Roll Circus. But we mothers know that pain is just part of a learning experience that, in the long term, will help our children live with life's difficulties and disappointments. After I retired the DVD to the top shelf, I hugged Crabtot as she wailed. And I murmured wise words first uttered by a mouth much bigger than mine: —say it with me— "You can't always get what you want."

Anyone else's kid have a rock star/shalebritay crush?


Karen Stead Baigrie said...

In our house it is surf movies that Dad entertains the small ones to on his alloted early AMs. My boys (and now I) are well versed in the language of Kelly Slater and the big blonde guy who surfs huge waves. I am now, holding out for them to become pro-surfers so I can spend my golden years following them around the world as they surf the pro-circuit and I lie on the beach.

kim said...

ah, my son, my little four year old. He is a ladies man. He cares not which lovely lady graces the screen, but, as he reminds me daily..."I only love the Beautiful ones Mummy". Whe he sees Eva Longoria he literally sighs. He flutters his eyelashes, smiles quietly, and SIGHS! He has also recently learned how to wink seductively...thats fun to watch in the grocery line I tell you. so much for all my "Beauty on the inside" talks.

Anonymous said...

At 2 my wee daughter really would sing AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" while dancing around in a head-banger manner. Too funny.

From: Supkay (still to lazy to retrieve my password and log-on)

Inky Ink Inc. said...

Easy solution: Try showing Crabtot 'Gimme Shelter.' Or, if you really want to get serious, trot out some of Crabhub's Stones concert videos of more recent vintage. More akin to 'Night of the Living Dead' than classic 'Rock n' Roll Circus' era Mick & co. And no matter how you look at it, a crush on Mick ain't so bad. Better than Marilyn Manson. Or Mariah Carey for that matter.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a huge Rolling Stones fan and when my kids were 7 and 4 they could belt out all of the words to "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." Heh...it was cute, but sort of embarassing when they would do it in public.

Anonymous said...

It's Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Who, Queen, and the Police around my house. I'll never forget my sweet girl, three years old, dressed in a prairie-style white flannel nightgown imitating Roger Daltrey. She used a jumprope as a mic, swinging it with as much panache as an aging rocker. I was simultaneously bursting with pride and horror.

Anonymous said...

hahaha! i did a similar post and it was amazing how many people left me comments telling me which children's music i should check out. AHH! my post was about hating children's music! as for my kid, 3, he LOVES alicia keys, johnny cash, buck owens, (although no matter how many times i tell him, he still thinks buck owens is johnny cash). he also loves outkast which i made the mistake of continuing to play in the car well after i probably should have stopped. my musical tastes are diverse and my son likes most of it. i too, find no need for aussie guys singing Head, shoulders... the only exception to kids music in my house in They Might Be Giants. but then again, i've been listening to them for a lot longer than they have been kid's music! the kiddo also loves to sing "always look on the bright side of life" from monty python. i love it.

tonypark said...

Toot toot chugga chugga, big red lips.

Far better to be able to identify the Pink Stone rather than the Pink Wiggle, I say.

Anonymous said...

Mr. MK is a dead ringer for Hugh Laurie so Georgia quite loves to watch House, totally inappropriate, but when you're not feeling well ...

Even worse, my kids think George W. Bush looks just like my Dad, so they're quite happy to listen to him spew rubbish as well.

Sigh ... the election can't come soon enough.

Lela said...

Like Mamawho, we've got a lot of Queen around the house. It's lovely to watch the 8 and 10 year old singing about fat bottom girls. It was even funnier a few years ago... I wouldn't say I've banned 'kid music', but we don't have any. It's nice to be the one with the wallet. The thing is that good music is good music, why do they need their own?

What I love now is that kids are getting into this classic rock via Guitar Hero. This morning during carpool to science day camp, one of the kids is like - oooh, I LOVE Barracuda!