Christina M. Currie
Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig The fact that I have two little minds to mold is both a blessing and a burden.
A burden because it's a huge responsibility, and when you mess it up, you can't hide that fact, nor can you shift the blame. A blessing because, well, who doesn't love the idea of having miniature models of perfection that reflect your style and values.
OK, so it doesn't exactly work like that. Nature, nurture. Who knows? The bottom line is your kids are going to be themselves despite your best efforts (or your worst), despite their genetic code and despite the fact you expected differently.
I like to think this is one of those cases where you hope for the best only to realize the result has far exceeded anything you can imagine.
I haven't managed to impart a single iota of rhythm on either of my girls, but I have managed (by force) to get them to not only appreciate music, but the kind of music I like.
The first time we got in the car and 7-year-old Katie requested a song by The Cure, I was thrilled.
A little piece of me, coming out in them.
We shared other favorites and before long, they were leaving their own headphones off to hear what came out of mine, which naturally inspired me to pull out a CD with a good beat. Should've known better.
Among some great songs on my dance mix, is "I'm Bossy," a song that appealed to Katie immediately (should've known) and even impressed 5-year-old Nikki.
At first, it was amusing. Forty-seven times later, I learned that I hated the song and would gladly drive into a fence to avoid hearing it one more time.
Then inspiration hit. I found a Disney Princess mp3 player that was the perfect solution to my problem. I downloaded all of Katie's favorite songs onto it and presented it to her for her birthday.
It was a beautiful thing the way her expression went from confused to ecstatic when she learned that she not only had "I'm Bossy," but at one touch of a button could play it over and over and over and over.
At this point, I'm thinking I'm pretty amazing and am figuratively and literally patting myself on the back.
We climb into the car, Katie wearing her new magic music machine and me nodding in self-satisfaction.
Then, Katie turns on the music and does exactly what mommy does - starts to sing. Loudly and off key (yep, just like mom).
Of course, she's 7, so she thinks that in "I Wanna Talk About Me," Toby Keith is singing, "we talk about your clothes and the run in your nose" and that the fun part of "I'm Bossy," is "got diamonds on my neck got diamonds on my grlllaarg."
I traded redundancy - though professionally done - for an artist who's just fine slurring her way through the words she doesn't know and making up the rest.
I have to be honest, it's pretty cute. Katie's shy, so she won't often sing out loud.
This way, she doesn't even know she's signing out loud.
Of course, she can't hear herself talk, either, so she bellows when she tries to tell me about last night's "sure terrible, but I kind of liked it" dream.
We're working on volume control. And the wonder of the "pause" button.
We're also working our way through another little glitch in my plan - I can hear her, but she can't hear me.
I'm sure this is payback for all the road trips when they slipped off their headphones and were stuck listening to me belt out the tunes coming from my own mp3 player. But in my defense, I'm pretty sure I got all the words right. That makes up for loud and off key, right?
I know I shouldn't be surprised that, when I finally find a method of hearing my daughter sing, I discover she's tone deaf.
OK, maybe I need to give the genetic code a little more credit.
Hey, that means I may be able to pass the buck on this "little minds to mold" thing after all.