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“I like every music, Mom”

[caption id="attachment_2495" align="aligncenter" width="602"] My husband and I are huge concert goers—and we went to plenty during my pregnancy, including the awesome Gathering of the Vibes festival. These are some of the tickets, now in my son's baby book, from that beautiful 9-month period.[/caption] “I like every music, Mom.” Those were the words I heard from the backseat of the car on Tuesday on our way home from the grocery store. My 2-year-old has become the radio czar in our car, letting us know clearly when we can and cannot play music—and which songs we should stop at when scanning the various Sirius stations from the front seat. He’s my backseat DJ. Stubbornly scorning kiddie music from my son’s birth, I let all the children’s CDs I’d been given stack up in a pile high (read: out of reach) on his bookshelf while I regularly selected music from my own library. I nixed songs I thought were inappropriate (we didn’t listen to much Jay-Z or Pearl Jam, for instance) but was still able to indulge my own tastes while having fun with my son (so, Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild, followed by his surprisingly ingratiating ukulele endeavor, came into play when I was missing Pearl Jam). I just rediscovered my “V Playlist” on the iPod that has taken permanent residence on the Bose in my son’s room (so much for using it for workouts). For any parents, like me, who grew up on classic rock in the ’70s through grunge and pop in the ’90s and whose tastes run the gamut to anything but house and techno, here are some of the songs that survived both my son’s and my discretion—in other words, songs I liked enough that I could handle the repetition that comes with a toddler saying “again!” at will; and that he liked enough to dance and sing to without tiring or losing his oh-so-wide smile (and, I admit, a few kid-specific songs made the cut):  

Toddler- and Parent-Friendly Playlist

Idlewild Blues – Outkast Flip Flap – Ozomatli (my son often requests "the penguin CD" for our afternoon dance parties: the whole Happy Feet 2 soundtrack is great) Three Little Birds – Bob Marley The Emperor's New Clothes – Sinéad O'Connor Devil Town – Tony Lucca Can't Get Next to You – The Temptations I Turn My Camera On – Spoon Free Fallin' – Tom Petty Tangerine – Buffalo Tom Trip Through Your Wires – U2 Pay Me My Money Down – Dan Zanes & Friends You & Me – Dave Matthews Band Rush - Big Audio Dynamite 2 Loves Me Like a Rock – Paul Simon Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Simon and Garfunkel Jump Up (It's a Good Day!) – Brady Rymer Cape Cod Girls – Dan Zanes & Friends Ants Marching – Dave Matthews Band Instanbul (Not Constantinople) – They Might Be Giants Doesn't Remind Me – Audioslave Read My Mind – The Killers I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones (perhaps not lyrically appropriate, but if you think about it, quite hysterical when being "sung" by a manic toddler)  

What songs would you add?? We're always on the hunt for new music, so please share!


Check Out these music-related links:

5 Ways Parents Can Help Children Learn About Music Long Island's School of Rock Brings Music to Preschoolers Meet Melissa Levis of Moey's Music Party—Empowering Girls Through Music! Ask the Expert: Using Songs to Teach Dan Zanes Little Nut Tree Review      

Dawn M. Roode


Dawn M. Roode was formerly editorial director of NYMetroParents, where she launched the award-winning semi-annual magazine Special Parent. She was managing editor at Parenting, BabyTalk, Child, Harper's Bazaar, and Latina magazines. She is a strategic content specialist and currently writes and edits parenting, health, travel, and special needs features for various media outlets. Roode is mom to one son and recently relocated from Brooklyn to the suburbs of New York City. Follow her on Twitter @DawnRoode.

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