Sunday, October 16, 2011

Best Dad Evar's Safe Haven

Today, Best Dad Evar is driving back from the grocery store, the rear compartment of the sporty little car that doesn’t belong to him filled with bags of frozen fish sticks, Dora-themed yogurt, and caffeine-delivery systems for the grownups. The children are in the rear seats making a racket. The younger child is singing along loudly with the song playing through the car’s speakers, while the older child scowls and growls, “Daddy, tell her to stop!”
Best Dad Evar is trying hard to ignore them both, but failing. He sighs loudly. You might call it a “huff”.
“Stop what?” He rolls his eyes toward the older one, who’s within his line of sight if he simply turns his head a bit.
“Tell her to stop singing!” The knitted brow and pout of the oldest one tell him clearly that this … is … serious!

“Why should I tell her to stop singing?”
“Because she doesn’t get the words right and it’s annoying!”
When they reach the next stoplight, Best Dad turns completely around in his seat and in a syrupy-sweet voice, asks the younger child, “Please honey, could you be a little quieter? Your singing is bothering your sister.”
The younger child is downcast as she agrees, “Okay, Daddy.” She shoots a look filled with daggers at her older sister. You can almost see what she’s thinking, she always gets her way.

“How does she know this song, anyway?” Best Dad Evar asks open-endedly, but knowing that the older child will quickly answer if she knows, which she usually does.
“This song plays all the time when we’re in the car.”
“Really? How did that song get on here?”
“It’s your Ipod, Daddy.” Says the sassy seven year-old. “Don’t you know how it got on there?” She doesn’t say this in a mean way, but it’s obvious Best Dad is distressed to find that he doesn’t know how the song came to be on his machine.

Best Dad changes the subject quickly, asking the younger child about the song, “You know the words to this song, little one?”
“Yes, Daddy, I like that song!” She shouts agreeably. The older one rolls her eyes again.
The family arrives home and the children tumble out of the car quickly. They run up the driveway and thump through the front door. “Mommy!!” they both shout as the door crashes into the wall of the entryway, further compromising the sheet rock that stays nicely out of view only when the front door is open.

Best Dad Evar stays in the driver’s seat of his brother’s car a moment longer. It’s a rare opportunity to collect himself, which he doesn’t want to miss.
“I’ve always thought of the car as a safe haven to sing your heart out if that’s what you want to do.” He says to himself, but as if he knows someone might be listening and might want to talk with him. “I’m not embarrassed if someone else sees me singing and I would like for my kids to feel free to sing in the car themselves.” He pauses a moment to see if his personal narrator will reply. Or is it the voice in his head? He’s still not quite sure.
Sure enough, “Well surely your kids will believe the car is a place they can feel free to sing.” The narrator replies with a tinge of hope, “But maybe not while they’re in the car together.” Best Dad Evar nods knowingly and chuckles softly. Then his thoughts shift again and his brow knits.

“You look puzzled, Best Dad Evar.” The narrator’s voice asks from somewhere inside the cockpit. (That’s what they call the area around the driver in these newer cars because it is loaded with gauges and control panels like some newfangled jumbo jet).
“I barely know that song.”
“What song, Best Dad?”
“The one my daughter was singing along with. I guess it’s called ‘Listen to Me’.”
“The Buddy Holly song?”
“Yeah, that one.”
“Isn’t it on your Ipod?”
“I guess so. I just didn’t know I had it on there.” His brows are furrowed now.
“Do you keep your Ipod set to genius?”
“I must have. But I still can’t figure how it chose that song.”
“What song did it start out with?” the narrator asks helpfully, trying to unravel the mystery.
Best Dad’s head slumps back until it contacts the headrest and he laughs ruefully. “I don’t remember!”


Jo said...

Best Dad isn't alone with the iPod thing! Bless his heart. <3

Annemarie said...

best dad, my children programmed my ipod. I ended up with music I will never listen to. I guess I need the manual

Joyce Lansky said...

Showers are good safe havens for singing too.


Cherie said...

I know all the songs on my iPod... and most of them are not fit for children's consumption... special folder for those ones. Hahahaha. But then there is a folder of older music that my 8-year-old sings along with. He learned that from me and I am thankful to you for the reminder. :D

angelaparsonmyers said...

My car has a nice little compartment for an ipod so I could hear the music through the speakers, but I don't own an ipod. And most of my music is instrumental. Still, you'll occasionally see the old lady disguised as a normal grandmother singing loudly to "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," or some other really old song. It's my safe haven too.

Anonymous said...

I love to sing in the car. I'm sure that my husband loves that I love to sing in the car, too. ;O

Laura Rogers said...

I just had to giggle when I read this because:
Yesterday and every day before that for years I sing in my safe haven car and people next to me just gaze at me. I love singing in the car. Great post, one that we can all understand.

The Host said...

I listen to my iPod on random. A lot. Since the arrival of the child, there's far more kids music on there than I care to admit. When I catch myself humming "Simple Simon" I know I've been distracting myself with toddler tunes.

Would you believe me if I said I used to be cool?

Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

I don't even have an ipod - you must be pretty cool!

Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ said...

It IS unlikely that I could figure out how to use an ipod, so I don't have one. But singing in the car? You betcha! My new Tahoe has Sirius radio, which is something I never thought I would want. Why pay for radio when you already have one? <---was always my position until recently. The first time I listened to 5 XM, I was hooked. Now I sing all the songs from my youth - gleefully!

Jenn said...

I always thought cars and singing went together!! Great post :)

Langley Cornwell said...

Good post. I belt it out in the car, my second favorite place is the shower.

Kathy said...

LOL I have to laugh at this one because you describe my son and daughter in the back seat to a tee. LOLOLOLOL