Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Screwing Up My Kids

by Robison Wells

Holly, my four-year-old daughter, has always been taller than average, topping the charts at the doctor's office. So, despite the fact that she's only four, I've been trying to get her interested in basketball. My wife, who played volleyball in high school, has been trying to influence Holly in that direction. But whenever we ask her what she'd prefer, basketball or volleyball, Holly excitedly shrieks "I'm gonna be a cheerleader!"

She's a girly girl, in spite of everything I do.

Holly’s very interested in My Little Ponies and she very much enjoys it when we play together, which I probably don’t need to tell you is not a particularly masculine activity. And when we play, she always claims the more macho ponies—-Minty and Kimono-—and leaves me with Sparkleworks and Rainbow Dash. And then we brush their hair. My wife thinks it’s hilarious. (I do get some degree of revenge, though: When Holly wants to act out her favorite Disney movies, she’s always the princess, and I’m the prince, and my wife’s either Maleficent or Ursula the Sea Witch.)

But I can’t even get Holly to watch cool cartoons. When there’s a choice between Transformers and Secret Slumber Party, we’ll inevitably go for the latter. I once rented Disney’s The Black Cauldron, just to offset the number of princess-related movies in the house, and Holly hid behind the couch, afraid to watch.

But I’m starting to find common ground where we can both have fun, or in other words, I’m corrupting her.

One of my video games has an Army Painter feature. Before you start the game, you can customize the look of your troops, changing their insignias and camouflage. Trying to get Holly involved I let her paint her own army, and I’m sure the enemy had never before witnessed such a fearsome foe: hot pink Space Marines, with purple guns. Their helmets were red, Holly told me, because that’s the color of Ariel’s hair.

Likewise, I’ve tried to get her to play Madden Football with me on the Nintendo, but she’s only interested in choosing teams over and over and over, never playing—she likes to compare the mascots and the colors of the uniforms.

However, I recently scored a major victory. I get really sick of Holly's music (mostly Disney soundtracks and--thanks to my wife--Celine Freaking Dion). I often try to introduce Holly to some really high quality music, usually with mediocre results: the only Beatles song she likes is Octopus's Garden (because it talks about an octopus); she kinda likes Bob Marley's Buffalo Soldier. But nothing compares with my new attempt: she can't get enough of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit. She loves it. And there exists no weirder sixties drug song anywhere. All I had to do was explain the Alice in Wonderland connection, and she was hooked. Addicted, you might say.

Poor parenting? Maybe. Maybe I shouldn't push her into so quickly into pop culture. Then again, maybe she shouldn't have gotten me so addicted to My Little Ponies. If you'll excuse me, I have hair to brush.


At 11/21/2006 2:54 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

You know, I just realized that this is similar to Sariah's last post. The difference, I guess, is that I'm screwing my kids up on purpose.

At 11/21/2006 4:19 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Which surprises none of us, Rob.

At 11/22/2006 6:11 PM, Blogger FHL said...

You should considering getting one of these, if you really want to get her to listen to your music (and they're kinda funky for adults, too):

Rockabye Lullaby

They're instrumental compositions that are done with really odd instruments such that it sounds kinda like a kid's music box.

Here's a nice sample (I don't know if this is going to work)
Stairway to Heaven

I've been listening to Lullaby Pink Floyd today, and if you think their normal stuff is trippy, well...

At 11/24/2006 10:26 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

My 3 year old alternates between her favorites--the Soundtrack from Wicked and Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest hits


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