While I may be terrible at art, I consider myself to be a pretty good singer– maybe not “SURPRISE! THIS FRUMPY MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN’S AUDITION BROUGHT GWEN STEFANI TO TEARS!” good, but definitely karaoke-contest-second-place-winner good. I once made a hippie cry with my rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee,” if that counts for anything.
Growing up, I remember having sing-along with my mom in her car– we would always do harmonies together, because even as a child, I had the deep man voice of Barry White. My mom is a great singer and has great taste in music (apart from her unfortunate but mercifully brief love affair with a cassingle of “Achy Breaky Heart”), so I learned a lot from singing with her. I hoped to have the same experience with my own kids so that they, too, could suffer through many isolated years of only knowing music created decades before they were born until they were in their early 20s and knowing about the Beatles suddenly became extremely cool.
So it pains me the vehemence with which my daughters demand that I stop singing whenever we’re in the car together.
Addie, at least, will concede that some of my musical choices are on point– she loves the song “All Together Now,” and I’m slowly working on introducing Elton John into the mix (she thinks “Honky Cat” is about an actual cat, so that seemed like a good jumping off point). But as soon as I start trying to sing along, I am informed that my services are not needed. Apparently, my attempts to join in the fun are an impediment to her own artistic process, which appears to involve a lot of sweeping arm gestures and misheard lyrics.
Rosie is even more terse– even one sung note for a song earns me a disdainful “Dop, mama.” As if my rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is literally paining her.
I think they’ll appreciate it one day, when they realize how much more of the wide musical world they’ve been exposed to. And also what a badass I look like when I perform my soulful rendition of Adele’s “Hello.”
Because you see, Rosie. I can’t dop. And I can’t be dopped.