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12:27 p.m. - May 04, 2006
Stop Me Before I Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Again!
Katie and Kristin both love music.

I know, for a fact, that Katie does, of course. She’s always dancing about the house when I play my music, and she has two Sesame Street CDs, a lot of CDs from Brighter Visions and knows the theme songs from her TV shows.

Kristin always seems to perk up when there’s music on. When the theme song for “Go, Diego, Go” starts, she has been seen to move her head to the music.

And while it is cool that they like my music, you know what they like best of all.

Kid’s music.

When I was growing up, I knew the standard kid’s songs.

And in church, there were endless choruses of “Jesus Loves Me” and other songs of that ilk.

Sure, I watched Sesame Street, and had a Sesame Street album, so I knew the basic songs. To this day, I can belt out “I Like Trash” or “It’s Not Easy Being Green” with the best of them. But really, because TV was a one shot deal back in the day, you didn’t have much of an opportunity to listen to kids songs over and over again, unless you had a record player in your room.

And since I was already a rock and roll pre-teen, I concentrated on that music instead of traditional kid’s music.

But now we have new technologies, particularly CDs and DVDs, which allow your children to listen to the music they like over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

It all started for us when Katie was just about two. We had some Baby Einstein videos and she liked them, but it wasn’t something you played over and over again.

But silly proactive parent me decided to buy a Sesame Street DVD, the 25th Musical Celebration. We saw that at a friend’s house and Katie watched it and seemed to like it.

Liz was working at the time, so after I picked Katie up from daycare, we went home and I put that on for her to watch while I did some stuff around the house.

It became an every day thing.

If it was time to eat dinner, she cried, because she wanted to watch “Happy Tappin’ With Elmo”.

If it was time for bath, she cried, because she wanted to watch the medley of Ernie’s Rubber Duckie songs.

If it was time for bed, she cried, because she wanted to see the grand finale one more time.

So every day, sometimes twice a day, we watched and listened to that.

And of course, those darn songs got stuck in my brain.

That led to the purchase of a couple of Sesame Street CDs. The good thing is that it has the all-time classic “Mah Na Mah Na”.

The bad thing is that every other song is ALSO an ear worm.

The worst thing is that instead of listening to my rockin’ tunes in the car, she wants to listen to that CD. So you drive to the store, listening to “The People In Your Neighborhood” for the 12,128th time, and you start thinking of semi-lurid or off-color lyrics for the song, then you feel guilty when you kind of sing them out loud a bit.

So we have the Sesame Street songs all memorized, at least the ones on those CDs and the DVDs. (We now have five or six Sesame Street DVDs. And I can sing to you, right now, the song where Ernie is singing about the letter D and Cookie Monster is trying to follow along by illustrating the things that Ernie is singing about.

Even worse is that the other day “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” came on my iPod and I started singing it as “Little Miss Count Along”.

Katie also gets a CD a month from Brighter Visions, and those are OK for kids but tortuous for music fans like me. They seem to be very hackneyed versions of songs turned into kid’s songs about the certain topic, narrated by an overly cheerful person who tells you exactly what the next song is about, and then the songs are sung in the clearest, most precise manner possible with the perma-cheerfulness that could be described as Neo-Moonie.

She really likes the Dinosaur one…help me.

But what the biggest earworms are kids TV shows, on DVD and the ones we TiVo.

Now Dora and Diego are cool. The theme songs are neat, and we always sing along to those.

Katie was watching “Jack’s Big Music Show” for a while, and that is chock full of Laurie Berkner songs, which are neat. Sometimes Dan Zanes makes an appearance as well, and those songs are interesting as well. I like them, and I think Katie thinks they’re OK.

Noggin also plays songs by her and others in between shows, and those are pretty neat. But while Katie seems to like them, she’s not clamoring for them.

And Katie used to watch Bob the Builder a lot, and I liked that theme song. But again, theme songs are different, it seems.

But the biggest earworms for me were the songs by the Wiggles.

From the age of 2 to 4, Katie wanted to watch the one Wiggles DVD we had almost daily.

Sometimes, she wanted to watch it twice a day.

That means, for about 700 or so days, every day, we heard “Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car” and other of the Wiggles’ greatest hits in our household.

Now the Wiggles have a definite niche, and the songs are fun and funny for kids.

The problem is that they are addictive for kids. There’s something about them. The Wiggles are the crystal meth for the pre-school set.

You play a kid a Wiggles DVD once, and they’re hooked.

And since it’s all about the songs, and they’re so memorable, they just get stuck inside your head, and you can’t get them out.

So for about two years, the damn Captain Feathersword song was in my brain. Go captain go, get out of my skull.

Thankfully, with the advent of Katie going to Montessori school, plus TiVo, plus the times where she is on television probation (yet again, she has no TV until Monday because she used a bad word ‘stupid’ and slammed a door) we weaned her off the Wiggles without having to call for an intervention.

(Can you imagine a Wiggles intervention? “Katie, you need to turn off the Wiggles. You must understand that we can’t go see Henry or Dorothy or even Wags the Dog. And no, Murray’s guitar isn’t around the house. Katie, you need to let go…”)

So right now, there are no Wiggles songs bouncing through our house. Oh, there’s plenty of other music around, and Katie still loves to sing along and dance along. But the Wiggles are in the past for her, for now.

Then, of course, there’s Kristin. She’s 11 months old now, but check back in a year.

I may be going through a Wiggles relapse. And there may not be a cure this time.


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