So I’m getting ready to turn things down for the night, you know the routine: shut off the lights, turn off the TV, make sure nothing is “on” in the kitchen, when my little DJ. takes his headphones off and says, “Ma, you gotta listen to this song. It is so cool...”.
Ooh! An invitation to listen. This is a rarity.
He puts the YouTube video back up and I slide the headphones on.
I already know, before the music even starts, that I am not going to be happy with his choice of music.
I see on the monitor before me a picture of Lil’ Wayne.
The music starts and I hear ‘Six foot seven foot eight foot bunch!’
I listened for about 10 seconds before I slid them off and said, “That’s just awful. Why would you do that to me?”
“Ma, that song is so cool!”
He shut down the computer and followed me down the hall as I closed closet doors and turned off the bathroom light.
“Six foot seven foot eight foot bunch!” he recited as we made our way toward the back, emphasizing “bunch.”
I went into the narrow passageway of the master bathroom and got ready to wash my face and brush my teeth.
He was still there beside me, making up his little dance to the only lyrics he seemed to remember.
I said, “Six foot seven foot eight foot bunch...do you know where that comes from?”
He sang it again, purposely ignoring me.
“It comes from ‘The Banana Boat Song’ which was made popular by Harry Belafonte in the late ’50’s. You know... ‘The Day O’ song?”
He stopped and looked at me like kids do when they feel their happiness being stripped away from them.
It was that “Oh God, she’s gonna give me a history lesson here” look.
As I smeared the cold cream on my face, I tried to recall as many of the lyrics as I could from elementary school.
I started singing it, trying to do my best Belafonte impression.
I got a few lines out before The Kid just got a completely blank look on his face.
“And if you remember,” I added, “the song became popular again when it was featured in the movie ‘Beetlejuice’.”
He rolled his eyes.
Being the kind of mother I am, who does goofy things to diffuse a tense situation, I strutted back and forth in front of the sink like an ostrich, singing, ‘Six foot seven foot eight foot bunch!’, even had my arms tucked under like wings.
He smirked and turned away, saying, “Thanks, mom. Thanks a lot.”
I had taken out the joy out of his favorite new song.
I had replaced that picture of Lil Wayne in his head with one of me, strutting in the bathroom like an ostrich with cold cream on my face.
After cleaning myself up, I walked into the bedroom to find him propped up against the pillows, his arms folded tightly across his chest, pretending to watch “Dog the Bounty Hunter.”
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
He shook his head and said, “You don’t get it.”
“I don’t get what?”
“I like that song because it’s cool! Then you have to come in and ruin it for me.”
“Awww, son. I’m sorry. But you know, having that little bit of trivia is something that I bet no one under the age of 30 is aware of.
You should be glad your mom is old enough to clue you in some things that happened during the last century. I’m like a walking time machine! How many other moms with kids your age can say that?”
Again, I got an eye roll.
He didn’t stay mad at me for too long, he never does.
After he fell asleep, I went back out and put the computer on.
I slid the headphones back on and found a video that displayed the lyrics. There is no way on God’s green earth you can understand what’s coming out of Lil Wayne’s mouth unless you have the lyrics displayed.
Does his mother know what a potty mouth he has?
I looked under my “history” button and noticed The Kid had not looked at a video with the lyrics.
I think I might have listened for a full minute before I took the headphones back off, dismayed that he’d been listening to such vile baloney.
I was glad that all he was able to understand was the “six foot seven foot eight foot bunch.” The rest of it was extremely graphic.
Not to mention pointless and stupid.
I get that he likes the beat and the “music,” but that is one song I will erase from his memory completely.
I will insist he listen to the song “Fireflies” by Owl City.
Only because I know how much he hates it.