Claire has recently discovered what she calls “aesthetic music”. I love that term! This is music that sounds cool and you can just chill to, as far as I can tell. Apparently, most of the time the genre of music involves a light electronic sound plus ukulele.
I’m not sure if aesthetic music is officially an official “thing” or just a term that Claire came up with. Claire says that her friend Olivia is into aesthetic music as well.
Molly’s loves pop music, and she decided to put together a playlist of all her favorite songs. Many of the songs are from the movie Trolls. She seems love Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. Although Claire and I rag on her a little bit about those choices, it is a fine, lively pop playlist, and I’m proud of Molly for patiently organizing it in her mind.
Another fun thing to do when the weather is cold is to go to the music store. Molly loved the kids-sized drums and the tiny pink guitar, while Claire was into the keyboards. Molly wants the drums for Christmas, but she’ll have to settle for using my less-fun electronic drums set.
A few days ago, Claire and Molly were discussing rock n’ roll versus pop music. Molly said some song from a Disney movie was rock n’ roll, and Claire no, that was pop. Then Claire said, “This is rock n’ roll…” and proceeded to ad lib a weird song about someone named “Timmy Bob Bob”. The song had with power chords (yes, very rock n’ roll) and a chorus of “I love you, I love you!”.
The song just killed me, and Claire repeated it many more time over the next few days. I eventually caught one on video so you can enjoy it too.
There has not yet been any explanation for the name “Timmy Bob Bob”, and no, it is not “Jimmy Bob Bob”, says Claire.
Molly is at that age now where she is trying to figure out what in the world is real and what is made up. Tonight she asked if lava is real. Why yes. Yes, it is. Reflecting on this fact some more, it seemed strange that lava is real. I mean really… super hot molten rock that oozes out of mountains and cannot be stopped by anything? If you fall into it, you die? That is a ridiculous comic book idea, right? That can’t be real.
On the drive home from school, Molly asked if Bob Dylan was real. Molly is not typically a music fan, unless it’s from Frozen or another Disney movie, but she asked to hear “that Mr. Tambourine Man thing”. She asked who was singing it, and I said Bob Dylan. “Is Bob Dylan real?” Yes, of course he’s real. Jeez, he’s Bob Dylan! But then again, he is singing a song just like Elsa from Frozen, and Elsa is not real. “Is Mr. Tambourine Man real?” No, Mr. Tambourine is not real. He’s just sort of a character, or an idea, or something. Jeez.
And consider Elsa from Frozen. Of course she’s not real, she from a movie, silly! What about Winter the dolphin from the movie A Dolphin Tale? Oh yeah, she’s real. We saw her in person. Whaaaaa?
This must be terribly confusing for a kid. It seems so arbitrary. Dinosaurs are real, or at least they were real, but now they’re gone. So you’ll never actually see one. Oh yeah, and nobody even knew they existed until 150 years ago. This is pretty clear, right?
Claire had some questions about dinosaurs back around this age too. Nowadays, Claire and I are talking a lot about other mysterious real things, especially atoms and molecules. The big question is “How many atoms are in a ___?”, where the blank might be a muffin, a speck of cinnamon on the muffin, a dog, or the world. The answer is always the same: “Too many to count.” At her request, I looked up how many atoms are in the world. The answer was roughly 133,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Claire was not impressed. That did not look like such a big number after all. I tried to explain to her why that was a bigger number than you could possibly ever wrap your head around. Her eyes glazed over. Then it was back to discussing My Little Pony.
Claire has been going on a field trip every Friday for summer camp. She has hit the zoo, parks, museums, a restaurant kitchen, and even a recording studio. But all the parents were the most excited about this week’s field trip to the Austin City Limits theater, which in just the next few weeks will host the likes of Crosby Still & Nash, Tony Bennett, Norah Jones, and the Go-Go’s.
At the ACL theater, apparently the kids got a back-stage tour and a short performance by an unnamed guitarist who played a few silly songs, including a mixed up version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, like “Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you pizza.” And then all the kids wold roar that he got the words wrong. It sounded pretty funny.
Today when Claire was in one of her occasional sour moods in the car on the way home from school, we were discussing different kinds of music to put on to maybe cheer things up. Kid’s music? Beach Boys? An audiobook? Rock & roll?
Claire did not like the rock & roll idea at all. “I hate rock & roll!” she proclaimed. “It’s the worst kind of music there is! I hate rock stars too!” She then paused to add, “And I hate movie stars!”
Yeah! Eat it, Bono!
Once she got that out of her system, she was calm and relaxed, and we drove home a little more happy but with no music.
Oh so ironic… that was such a “rock & roll” way for Claire to work out her emotions. Take down the man! Yell it out! I think she might have slammed a guitar into an amplifier if she didn’t hate rock & roll so much.
Claire likes to sing her own little songs about different people now. She’ll pick a person and sing a little song. Sometimes it even sounds pretty good. Normally her songs go like this one about Muffin.
“Muffin is a wonderful doggy, Muffin is a wonderful doggy, so wonderful, Muffin, Muffin, Muffin.”
She doesn’t sing it to any tune I can readily identify, but it might be inspired by “Frere Jacques”. She adapts this same format to the people in her life, like, “Grammy is a wonderful lady…”
One day Kit and I were driving to dinner with Claire, and she started singing a different variation, about our jobs. “Mommy is a doctor, Mommy is a doctor.” Then she started singing, “Daddy is a ….” After a long pause she sort of mumbled something quietly to herself, like “Daddy is a …. mrpahpahpah”. She couldn’t figure out what I was besides a daddy! After a few more seconds, Claire found another way out of the conundrum. “Daddy is a … handsome guy!” (Later, she changed it to “office guy”)
Thanks for compliment, Claire, but for future reference I am a “systems analyst”. Don’t worry, I don’t know what it means either, but it seems to have something to do with computers.
In the continuing theme of moving to Texas, I have put together a “Texas Tour” playlist on my iPod, completely made of songs about Texas places. Kit originally had the basic idea to do a Texas mix, but it turned into a fun little project for me. Most of the songs are pretty mellow, and we listen to it sometimes during bath time. The playlist features things like Patsy Cline singing “San Antonio Rose” and Arlo Guthrie singing “Streets of Laredo”. Claire does not react much to those particular songs, but she seems to enjoy “Galveston”, of which we have on old Gordon Calcotte country/surf version and a nice newer alt rock version by some band called Sparklehorse. Claire will sometimes say, “Let’s sing about Galveston!” She also seems to enjoy the Lightnin’ Hopkins blues song, “Goin’ to Dallas”, of which she will sometimes say, “That was a good one” when it is finished. Then again, these are two of my favorites, so maybe she is just tuning into that.
But Claire’s real favorite music is The Countdown Kids and their renditions of toddler classics like “Old McDonald Had a Farm”, “The Wheels on the Bus”, and “Frere Jaques”. She tries to sing along and occasionally clap. The Countdown Kids helped make the six-hour car trip back from Florida back to Atlanta in December more bearable by just keeping Claire occupied for a couple of hours. She also seems to like The Wiggles, who sometimes accidentally appears on our TV after Calliou or Curious George, but Kit and I try to avoid them just because they are kind of creepy and annoying.
Claire can even sing a couple of songs somewhat successfully all by herself, such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. It’s just so sweet to see her sing; she concentrates real hard to remember the words, and she gets a big smile on her face when she finishes the song.