A conversation between my seven-year-old and I in the car the other day:
S: Mama! [most of our conversations start out this way] In after care yesterday, J. asked us what music group or singer we liked best.
C: And you said?
S: The Scissor Sisters, of course!
C: Excellent choice!! [How cool is it that she did NOT say Hannah Montana??? The Scissors Sisters provided the soundtrack to daughter's last birthday party activities of freeze dance and leader dance. Along with the pitchers of cosmos I provided to the other moms to prevent them from abandoning me, a rocking time was had by all.]
S: And next he asked what is our favorite song by them. But I couldn't think of any of the song names.
C: We can work on that! [Envisioning a nifty little set of flashcards I could make. It didn't work for crap with the alphabet, but that was several years ago. I'm game for another try.]
S: Well I just told him my favorite line from my favorite song.
[Oh God, I thought. My somewhat permissive style of parenting looked like it was about to swing around and smack me in the face. Her favorite song is "I Can't Decide," a catchy little diddy about someone who is conflicted about a relationship, as in "I can't decide whether you should live or die." There's one line that even I decided was not appropriate for young ears, and so when we played the cd in the car, I would zap the volume for just this one line: "Fuck and kiss you both at the same time [Smells like something I've forgotten / Curled up died and now it's rotten]." But then one time I must have been executing some complicated traffic maneuver and let the line go. By this time, of course, daughter's curiosity was through the ceiling (duh), so she was delighted to finally hear it and now often bellows it out as she sings along. And I sort of reasoned that of all the things I want to teach my daughter, censorship is not one of them. The word is in the world, and we should be able to deal with it appropriately, which is total bullshit because there are all sorts of things that I attempt to censor from her world, including the fairly large categories of television, fast food, and gum. (We're loosening up a little on the viewing: she gets videos on the weekends, and I'm going down in the gum battle.) But now I had visions of her reporting this as her favorite line to the after care supervisor and all the bright shiny faces of her schoolmates, who of course would immediately report it to the parents ("Sophie gets to use the F word! But only when she's singing! Cause it's ART!"). Goddamn.]
C: Oh God, you didn't . . . Not that one.
S: You know the one I like best! "Oh I could throw you in a lake or feed you poisoned birthday cake"! [Of course! Kids are more interested in birthday cake than fucking! I knew that!]
C: REALLY EXCELLENT CHOICE!!! [After which I breathed a huge sigh of relief, rolled down the windows, turned up the volume.] Rock on, honey.
Epilogue: The poor Scissor Sisters—how horrified do you think they would be at being indexed along with "being mom"???