Parenting Fails

Mom, You’re not Cool Anymore

That awkward moment when you realize that you have no idea what the hell your kids are talking about. In our electronic world, it’s impossible to monitor all of the sites, blogs, podcasts, vines and whatever these kids are Tumbelring . It’s hard enough to keep up with the hardware let alone the apps and websites that are trending. I’ll stick with my albums but only with my turntable that has a USB port. Hey, I’m a modern carmudgeon, after all.

I grew up in the 70’s and early 80’s with three tv channels that went OFF OF THE AIR at 2am and one or two album orientated radio stations. As sad as it may seem, none of these stations were designed for my demographic. It was a rare, earth shattering moment when I heard what I considered to be an interesting song on the radio. But I listened anyway. Oh sure, I had albums of my music but there is something so wonderful about sharing. It’s nice to share.

Music was a very important part of my young life and when I had kids, I was excited to share that part of my life. I was convinced that I could raise a perfect peace loving punk child with the right soundtrack. I would expose them to music that was part crunchy, part industrial with just enough B-52’s to prevent my children from certain smugness. It didn’t work. Those boring asshats turned out to have the lamest taste ever. Lame, lame, lame!

Ok, so calling my kids lame isn’t nice but it’s not the worst thing. No, the worst thing I did as a parent was to openly mock my 8 year old daughter when she started listening to Delilah’s Love Songs on the radio. If you’re not familliar, Delilah was a silly radio show dedicated to everything I hate about humanity: cuteness, adorable babies and lost loves. In spite of my best efforts, my kids turned out pretty boring. Great students, solid citizens, lovely well mannered folks who were not a bit interested in freaking me out. Where did I go wrong?

Somewhere in the back of my monkey mind, I realize that having a nice and normal kid is THE goal. I made fun of Delilah and Nick Carter and The Wiggles and had the unmitigated nerve to all them stupid when I paid good money to see four of the palest men on the planet sing songs about going to the beach. Really stupid. Amazing, and so much fun but objectively stupid.

All of this is nothing new. I specifically remember my mom telling me that Glenn Miller was way too square for her and that Stan Kenton was good stuff. Really? How did she know I wondered. Now that I’m married to a person with boxes of jazz albums, I know better than to ask. Who has time to listen to a jazz fan explain anything to do with music? Seriously.

As the years have trundled on, my kids and I have had moments of artistic synchronicity which are always surprising and wonderful. But for every Weird Al song we sang along to, there was an episode of Let’s Read Homestuck which I just didn’t get. S’ok. My mom didn’t get Devo, she called them “junk”. Wrong, again Mom!

My mom had lousy taste in music. I still love her. My kids have lousy taste in music but I still love them. It’s the circle of life. Well kinda.


Katie Anderson is a freelance writer and improv theater instructor. Her work has appeared in Alt Daily , HuffPost Parents and Anderson has written comedy for Panties in a Twist: All Female Comedy and a weekly live stage show, Second City This Week in Los Angeles. She is currently working on a practical guide for parents and caregivers of autistic individuals to be published sometime in the next few years (get off her back, it's hard to write a book). Katie holds a BA in Psychology from The Ohio State University. She lives with her academic rock star husband, one of her three kids and two very spoiled cats in Virginia. Follow her on Twitter @ improvperson.

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