With nearly zero ability to reference current pop culture and no older siblings to show her the way, I'm afraid Samantha may suffer from a complete lack of knowledge of the language of her peers. She's still in the stage where she doesn't care what clothing I put on her in the morning. The only songs she knows are Twinkle Twinkle and ABC. The only things she watches on TV are Arthur, Backyardigans, Curious George... Music? Clueless. I listen to the news on the radio mostly, sprinkled in with random 80s new wave classics. Steve listens to classic punk rock and ska. Timeless? Absolutely. But for our generations only.
Friday night I got to re-live a teen dream and see one of my post-punk pop, costume-clad, alternateen idols perform in concert in Philadelphia. Adam Ant. Ask anyone under the age of 37 if they've ever heard of him, and they likely will look at you blankly, waiting for explanation of this person with a strange name. Seriously, I've tried it several times over the last few weeks! And as I started to get more and more depressed, I stopped telling people who I was going to Philly to see. Save that for my high school and college friends. And while it was worth the 30-year wait to see him (omg, he was soooo good, if not a bit winded between songs...he's super old now...), sadly, that's a prime example of the limitations of my own frame of reference for music.
And that will not help Samantha to fit in with her peers in the least.
To (ahem) toot my own horn, however, I have spent a lot of time lately listening to pop stations on the radio, just enough time to familiarize myself and to make my ears bleed. And I can actually tell the difference between Justin Timberlake and Rihanna (both of whom I feel both horrified and elated to say I actually like). I'm trying, I really am! But I don't expose her to it nearly enough (even with a cutesy Hello Kitty radio tuned in to said pop station perched on a shelf in her room, within reach), and Samantha really couldn't care less anyway (the radio is largely left untouched, and the reception in her room sucks). We are also big
How do I make her care? How do I help pave the way for her to become accepted by her peers, to enjoy the kinds of things other kids in the mainstream of life like?
Wait...she's only 6... But that being said, I know of plenty of 6 year olds who enjoy listening to and singing pop music, demand to wear particular clothes, watch shows like American Idol on TV, have mad childhood crushes on handsome (or, in the case of my 6-year-old-self, not necessarily handsome, just older) boys/men. cough cough...Justin Bieber, anyone?
Okay, so maybe I'm not so hard-pressed to push the issue after all. Alterna-mom and Alterna-dad may still be turning out Alterna-kid eventually, just because it's the natural order of things. But for my wee little one to announce that she's into an old geezer's music, like Adam Ant, over a modern girl's assimilation into present-day, social acceptablity, might be too isolating for a girl like her. I don't know. We'll have to see when we get there. And in the meantime, I'd be happy to have her even express interest in the old geezer stuff! Something! please! anything!!!
I bought my first Donna Summer album at age 8. Followed shortly thereafter by Shawn Cassidy and Donny & Marie. I'm reasonably certain my exposure to pop culture began with my schoolmates and TV. But how are the younger kids being exposed these days (unless their mothers are secretly dancing around to the Biebster...)? How do I teach her these things of which I know nothing?
Here are some videos for those of you over the age of 37 who did not spend the 80s listening to Bryan Adams, Phil Collins or Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam... Enjoy!