Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Sign of the Times

I'm sure many of you are familiar with any one of the many toy animals, dolls, and even flowers that, when a certain button is pushed, erupt into some silly wiggle of a dance to an equally silly song. I have seen flowers dancing to "Here Comes The Sun", Teddy Bears gyrating to "Jailhouse Rock" and even a groundhog strut to the entire soundtrack of Caddyshack. Most of these really annoy me, unless I am watching them through my daughter's eyes.

She absolutely cracks up at our little chicken that does, of course, the chicken dance. She howls as it shimmies, and then tries to mimic his moves. In any other situation, I would be heading for the nearest woodchipper with the smug little chicken tight in my grip after only a few plays. But watching her with it makes it a completely different experience....and that is the case with so many things that I get to enjoy through her eyes, in spite of myself.

While at a recent playgroup, another one of the these cacophonic toys presented itself. This particular one was a collection of penguins, poised and ready to harmonize. Before I could roll my eyes at its discovery, I saw the eager faces of the three toddlers ready to dance along with its music.

And then it happened. Someone pushed the button and a song I never expected to hear out of the mouths of penguins (thanks to Happy Feet, I do expect penguins to burst into song), let alone anything having to do with children.

My mind flashbacked to the late 90s when I donned flannel, I listened to music by groups other than Lori Burkner, and I danced in a club that didn't have brightly colored floor mats and cubbies for my shoes.

The song was "Jump Around" by House of Pain.

That's right. The same song that contains the line:
"I'll serve your a@* like John MacEnroe / If your girl steps up, I'm smacking the ho".

Poetry, I know. Of course, that particular lyric was omitted from this rendition, I simply could not compartamentalize these two worlds that suddenly found themselves colliding. What did this mean? How can I come to terms with my identity then versus now? How can I reinvent my musical history?

And then came the clear as day: I had to dance.

And dance I did.

Every move from my yesteryear came out. Amid a small sea of toddlers (and to the amusement of two adults who have become more than accustomed to my antics), I "cabbage patched" and "kid and played". Heavy D had nothing on me, nor did anyone who'd never admit to ever appearing on The Grind. I was in my element and my daughter could not have enjoyed it more.

And after five minutes, I was sweaty, breathless, and in need of water.


Samantha said...

Awesome. :) It only gets better. Wait until your 4 year-old is requesting Pink or Lily Allen. ;)

Melissa said...

Thank you for clarifying that line! I never really understood why House of Pain mentioned John McEnroe in the song. I just figured they threw his name in because it rhymed with a garden tool.