The Best of 2021 Edition
S1: Just to give you a heads up, one of us is bound to say something not suitable for a little ears. Welcome to mom and dad are fighting Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday, December 30th. The Best of 2021 edition. It’s become a mom and dad are fighting tradition to wrap up the year by listening back on some of our very favorite plus segments. It’s the part of the show where we essentially get to talk about whatever we want, and it’s always a lot of fun. We get into arguments, we play games and occasionally we’re regaled with fails by other parents in the slate sphere. If you’re already a plus listener, first of all, thank you. Your support truly does make the show possible. Consider the show a reminder of all the stuff you loved best during 2021. And hey, if you’re not a plus listener and you like what you hear, you should consider signing up for Slate. Plus, I’m going to be absolutely shameless and say you maybe just bought a bunch of gifts for your kid during December. Why not give yourself a reward a kid? Free Audio Oasis Slate Plus is only $1 for the first month, and members will never hear another ad in our podcast or any other Slate podcast. You’ll also get free and total access to Slate’s website. To sign up now, go to Slate.com slash mom and dad plus again, that Slate.com flash mom and dad plus OK. Shameless plug Dan. I hope you enjoy the show. We are joined by Holly Allen, anyone who has visited Slate site has seen Holly’s work because she is a designer extraordinaire and unfortunately recently saw something she’d probably like to wipe from her visual memory. So Holly, will you tell us your story?
S2: OK? Yes. So I started listening to and watching an Instagram person who is a housekeeper. Her name is Vanessa Amaro, and she has the best tips, especially, after all, being home in quarantine. You know, our house is starting to look like
S3: Holly’s house is beautiful and pristine and as well-designed as you would expect it. Designer’s house to be, of course.
S2: Yay. So long story short, she gives amazing tips about everything, and one day her tip was that every parent of a boy should own a black car in order to clean their backyard.
S4: This is so my own. No.
S2: And it arrived last Tuesday, and out of curiosity, I just popped into our powder room, which is like right to the right of my office, turned out the lights and turned on the black light, and I was just mortified.
S3: We’re going to post the photo on the show page. Oh my god. It was like
S4: CSI. Oh my God.
S2: It looked like CSI. You’re right. And it not only was like down around the toilet bowl, it was like higher than my. What is happening? What is? And that is our powder room, not even the boys dedicated bathroom. I don’t even want to tell you what was
S3: it like their names written in cursive?
S2: No, but that would be amazing. So, OK, I will tell you. So open their bathroom. They just have, like, you know, typical tile floor. They have a bathtub with a shower curtain, which must be washed way more often than I ever thought was necessary. And I also need to tell you, like Clorox wipes did not touch this. Like I have been in the bathroom with the lights out and all the cleaning things, and it ended up being something called Don Power Wash that it’s like Don Blue. This is but it comes in like this very forceful trigger. You squirted on the walls and then use like a scrub brush. And in Colorado, where I live, all of the walls are textured, which makes it even worse. But I always have prided myself on having a clean home. And oh, it was just
S1: it was too much. Holly, I might not make it. Well, it
S3: certainly looks like she’s having a heart attack.
S2: I am. All right. I mean,
S1: listen, I like new. I mean, I knew that this was in my future. But this like, I’m going to have to get a flashlight because I’m obsessive like that. And then I know I don’t want like your description. I don’t want to get a black light, right? But I guess when I order the black light, I just need to order the don power.
S2: Yes. And like I use like a Norwalk scrub that has like this? Yeah. Yeah, I got the Norwalk. Yes. Yeah, that’s the best so far. But still, it’s still they’re still there.
S1: So are you like checking now regularly?
S2: I mean, I have the little. It’s just like a little flashlight. Yeah.
S1: Oh yeah, we have one of those.
S2: Yes, it was like six bucks, and I can’t decide if it was the best six dollars or the worst six dollars I’ve ever spent.
S1: Well, we use ours to see, you know, like messages you write in lemon juice and stuff.
S4: Yeah, it’s all fun and games that are different.
S2: Yeah, exactly. Maybe I should do something like that that says clean, bad guys.
S3: Good news. Some ghosts stopped by and they had a message for you.
S1: Did you show your voices?
S4: Yeah, that’s the question I was going to ask.
S2: Yes, I did show them and they thought it was cool. Yeah. Oh, not disgusting.
S3: So I Holli and Elizabeth, when you inevitably started doing this, I think you’ve got to put yourself on like a limited schedule of black light. I think you got to use the black light and then hide it somewhere for a month. And you know, Jeff and Trevor can be like, OK, honey, you can have the black light back now for one hour and then you can have it. But then you got to hide it then because I think otherwise you’re going to it’s going to you’re going to be like, you’re going to go insane, you’re going to be like people on math who I think that they have bugs all over them all the time.
S2: So I did feel kind of excited after the whole situation. Yeah.
S4: OK, so all right, I have some establishment questions. What, what, what? I guess that’s my first question is right. And then a follow up question. So wait, like you’re saying that people are peeing like in the air
S2: or, you know, I thought about this a lot and wondering what is happening? Like, I definitely can understand, like around the ball, on the floor, even like the wall. Sure, a little splash back. But I’m wondering if it’s, you know, if you don’t close the lid before you flush. If there’s like aerosols that go up into the air, like I cannot understand how there could be white dots with a black light like higher than my head. Like, what are they doing?
S3: You’re just really underestimating the ability of boys to just be. Mischievous disasters like they have this thing that’s just on their body that does this incredible thing. Why would you not just like see what you can do with it?
S2: The other thought I had is that they are 12. I have twin 12 year olds and they bring their phone and their iPad in the bathroom with them now. So I’m wondering if they’re just not paying attention.
S3: Elizabeth just made this horrible face.
S1: Did you blacklight the phone? Now I’m like, No, I’m not saying things.
S2: Oh, no, I have not.
S4: All right. Is there an ethical slash invasion of privacy element to this? Once we started talking about, am I the only person who I agree with? If that’s the case, if we talk about black lighting the phone now, are we getting into invasive territory? I wonder if anyone feels that way.
S1: I just want them to have clean things. I don’t care if I
S3: let these boys wield their wands in peace, for goodness sakes.
S2: Oh God.
S4: That’s not right. I don’t co-sign that.
S1: It’s like now I’m really stuck, though, because remember, my issue was that they were they were going. They were peeing outside all the time. Like, maybe you should encourage them to just go full force. Forget the bathroom.
S3: I keep saying I have this vision of you in the backyard with a black light two years and I’ll be like, Oh God. Animals are being here.
S4: So chances are what’s happening. I didn’t know you had twin 12 year old. Chances are what’s happening is on board days. At some point things got goofier and goofier until a baby in-competition. Oh my gosh, which doesn’t. I’m just look, I’m just the messenger, OK, you know, and it was like, Oh, I bet you, I can blah blah blah, and I could be on the thing and what? Oh, watch this, you know, I mean, like and Dan’s right, that is if you’re 12, you know, or nine or eight or 11 anywhere in that range and you have another 12 year old or 11 year old boy right there with you. There’s a pretty good chance that something like that is going to happen at some point that you’re going to be like, Dude, watch this and someone’s going to be on something because that’s the way. I mean, I’m sorry.
S3: We’re just truth tellers
S2: that happen with girls.
S4: I’m so sorry.
S1: Holly, I’m thinking, though, that the solution is that you and I now no longer have to claim back.
S2: Wouldn’t that be so nice? But that should. I think we could just be the bathroom checker like I’m coming in with the black. Like, You’re not done. So there’s no
S1: spots. That’s right. That’s right. This is this is our we’ll get our once a month black light.
S3: Yes, I have this vision of your kids, like talking to their therapist at age 28, being like, then my mom put me in the bathroom, close the door and turned off the light and said I couldn’t come out and tell her she didn’t see anything.
S1: Oh no. I mean, my children would then use that to write things on the wall. Like this one, I would have just showed them how
S2: I am totally, totally not going to let them listen to this because I don’t want them to have any ideas.
S3: Well, I really enjoyed this nightmare fuel. Thank you, Holly.
S2: You’re welcome.
S3: What a delight for a dad of girls.
S1: Well, thanks, Holly. This was horrifying and so enlightening.
S2: Well, thank you for having me.
S1: OK, Rosie, I am in the Kois bathroom
S2: and I have my black light.
S1: Here I go.
S1: OK, so actually, OK, the twins scene is actually pretty clean, I think because I have these like Lysol wipes and I’ve asked them to clean. But OK, the floor, the floor there. There’s there’s a lot. A lot. Oh my God. OK. And now here we go. The base sports. Oh my god. Yeah, I have like a splatter ring. Oh, OK. I’m at shoulder height now and nothing beside. Oh no, here’s one hip height beside the toilet. This is disgusting. Right now I am ordering the the darn stuff. But this there’s definitely a lot of evidence of urine all over the floor. All right, gross. We have brought back our beloved former mom and dad are fighting co-host Gabe Roth, and he is going to be venting about a movie that his kids and probably thousands, if not millions of others have come across on Netflix. Welcome back, Gabe.
S5: Hey, thank you for having me. It’s nice to be. So it’s Gabe. How about that coronavirus, huh? Wow, look.
S1: So we are hoping that you’ll tell us a bit about the notion that has swept through the Roth household.
S5: Sure. So I don’t know if any of your kids have seen this movie. This is a movie that’s a Netflix original movie. It was the number one movie on Netflix a couple of weeks ago, and it’s called Yes, they have any of you guys seen this movie?
S3: No, no, no, no.
S1: But I mean, we have the book.
S5: It’s based on a book. I had no idea.
S1: I don’t know, because this is like a little kids tame version.
S3: My guess is the book and the movie are based on the same pervasive pop cultural concept.
S5: It was not pervasive enough for me to have known about it until my kids watched this movie. I should be really clear I have not seen the movie yesterday. The movie was probably made by talented and creative people who were doing their best to make a good movie. So I feel bad about like coming out to be like this movie has had a deleterious effect on my household without having watched the movie. It absolutely has had a deleterious effect on my household. The premise of a yesterday for anyone who doesn’t understand it yesterday is that parents are always in the position of saying no to their kids. The kid wants more ice cream. The parent says, No, you can’t have more ice cream. Just replicate that at smaller and larger scales across the kid’s entire childhood, and it becomes quite wearing on the kid and it’s wearing on the parent, too. None of us like, it’s not my favorite part of parenting to be constantly saying no, you, my beloved child cannot do or half the thing that you would like to do or have.
S3: Speak for yourself, buddy.
S5: The premise of the movie is What if your family decides? I think I’m like inferring this from my looking at like Netflix title card and then like what my kids have said. But my understanding is that the premise of the movie is that what if there’s like one day when your kids get to do all the things and the parents have to say yes? And then there’s some kind of ground rule where, like, the kids are not allowed to do anything that might bring harm to themselves or others or something like that. But other than that, then the kids are allowed to ask for things and the parents have to say yes. So my kids watched this during part of their what is now just unlimited screen time on one of the millions of streaming services that we pay for them to have access to on every possible screen in the house. It’s not so much that they liked the movie they liked High School Musical two they thought yesterday was an idea. The seed of revolution. Yes, that’s right. It’s not a movie. It’s an ideology. And so they came out of the experience of watching the movie and immediately the first the first thing was, can we have a yes to what a trap. What a trap of the question. And then when is our yesterday going to be? I don’t know when our yesterday is going to be. I’m still catching up with this concept of like, what is it yesterday in the first place? Then they’re listing the things that they want to do on the first day. And will those things be OK for, like in the movie? One of the things the kids apparently make their parents do is they all put on white clothes and then have a water balloon fight with the water balloons filled with Kool-Aid so that everybody gets colors all over their clothes. And the thing that, of course, like, Oh, mom and dad are always worried that we’re going to mess up all the clothes and now we get to mess up all like just what a hassle is. My main thought like, it’s not so much about permission. A lot of work. Yes, like I have to get white clothes for everyone in the household and then I have to get like Kool-Aid. And how do you get the Kool-Aid into the water balloons like I haven’t seen yesterday the movie again, so I don’t know how thoroughly it addresses the logistics of having a water balloon fight with Kool-Aid filled water balloons while wearing what do you feel?
S3: The water balloon of water and then put a teaspoon of Kool-Aid mix into each balloon and then shake it?
S2: That would probably be much easier than trying to premix it
S3: yourself and then put it in with a funnel.
S2: Yes Day 2021 to save.
S5: Thanks, Dan.. But so like the premise of yesterday, like it’s as though this gets to be like everybody gets to relax. The parents can finally relax and stop saying no, and everybody gets to just say yes, and it’ll be so much easier. Wouldn’t it be great if just for one day we all made it easier on ourselves and said yes instead of no? It’s not easier for me to go out and get four white outfits and then fill up water balloons with Kool-Aid. That’s me saying yes to like a whole bunch of extra labor. And the other thing that I want to point out is if this came during a normal period, then you know, you could see, OK, they want to have more autonomy. They want to make more choice is fine. I get it. The thing about this year is that in a way, it’s been a massive yesterday in that there’s been all of this stuff that we’ve been saying yes, like we got a Nintendo Switch, we got all the streaming that we’re paying for Disney Plus. We’re just like all the shit that we would have said no to video games on their phone. We’re now saying yes to a. Billion things. And the reason we’re saying yes to those things is because we and the universe is saying no to all of these much more valuable things that they would like to have, like being able to just like play with their friends in a normal way and like go to school on site instead of on Zoom. Like it’s been a year of saying yes to stupid shit because the really important shit we have to say no to because of the coronavirus pandemic. And until that’s over, like a yes day is just going to be more of that same thing. Like, I can’t say yes, it’s like, Yeah, we’re going to have all your friends over for a party and it’s going to be fun. I can’t say that yet. At some point when I can say that I want you, we don’t need to have a day. I will be so excited.
S3: Any day is the day for that particular request. Right? But the time is right,
S5: but saying like and we get to like get a huge barrel of ice cream and you all get to eat just as much ice cream as you want, even though you’ve like had so much more ice cream this past year than you’ve had in your entire lives beforehand,
S2: haven’t we? Yeah, the people at the ice cream shop don’t even know I have a shot, but they know me
S5: in a way you’ve been having your own yesterday, Jamilah.
S2: Yeah, absolutely. It has it not been yesterday for you to sell the rest.
S5: It’s been the same kind of yes. It’s been a yes day as a sort of false compromise in exchange for the massive know that the universe has served up to every one of us and any other time in the world. Maybe yesterday is a good idea. Somehow this movie contains like research like my kids were like 97 percent of families that do it yesterday, since their kids are better behaved after the. How? Why are you quoting like bullshit scientific statistics to me from him who made this from a made for Netflix movie? It was made like, I don’t know, they’re like ice cream industrial complex Scott. I don’t know what it was.
S3: I would just like to tell everyone that this movie was directed by Miguel Arteta, a great indie director from the late 90s who’s responsible for a number of very good movies and now is finally going to get a vacation house.
S5: Well, I’m glad Miguel Arteta gets to have his own yesterday as it were, but I myself, I’m not having one.
S3: You’re absolutely right about the way that yesterday as a concept does not make everything easier. And it’s and it’s it seems really notable that it’s like being conveyed via the big lie of the Hollywood machine, in which, of course, for Jennifer Garner, Star of Yesterday, Yes Day is easy because there were 25 underpaid production assistants filling water balloons with Kool-Aid on set, and she just had to show up and like, have a great time. It does not resemble in any way the actual experience of parenting or what a real yesterday would be like for any of us.
S5: Well, I will say the one part of the movie that I happened to like be present in the living room for is right at the end of the movie when they’re like on a ferris wheel at nighttime or something for their like final yesterday experience and the husband and wife are saying to one another. Is it crazy that I’m wondering when we’re going to do yes day next year? And you get the very clear sense that the husband and wife are going to go home and have their own little yesterday, if you know what I mean?
S2: Oh my god.
S1: The book is a smile child, and the child’s request does ask for ice cream, but they’re like, I’d really love to eat outside today. Like just some more wholesome because it is like one of our our favorite little books to read because this little kid is in charge of the day, right? And it does end with like, I wonder when yes day will be next year? Because in the book, the parents like the kid wakes up and they’re like, It’s day like the kid doesn’t know, but it is not like absurdity that the again, I have only seen the trailer to the to the movie like suggest like it is just a much more wholesome like this child’s request are basically like, I want to spend more time with you, the parent.
S3: The very idea that my children want to spend more time with me.
S5: Yeah, or eat outside. We’re constantly trying to get our kids to, you know, they don’t know. They don’t want to do that shit. They just want to watch more television, right?
S2: So I’m curious to know what would be the worst. Yes, they requests in you all’s houses if you granted your kids yesterday.
S3: I think in our house, it literally would just be great. We want unlimited screen time instead of our supposed screen time limits that you don’t actually monitor and never pay attention to anymore. And that would be it. I don’t think they would ask for anything else. What would actually happen is that Harper would expect that Lyra would apply yesterday to her and would then ask her to do things with her a little bit early. Despite what my arrows like, my yesterday is that I don’t have to do anything with you.
S1: And our first guest is the Lyra. That’s to say yes to everything, right?
S5: You got to have two completely different yes. You got to make a trade.
S1: In fact, in you don’t even need to be involved. It can just be sister yesterday.
S3: What a gift to one sister that would be a what? Towards her for the other?
S1: I mean, the one thing they always want to be the adults. And we did give in once like, OK, at bedtime, you’re the adults, dad and I are going to bed. And it was like fun and funny, but it was an enormous amount of work for us because they just totally, you know what? They trashed the kitchen and then eventually passed out. I mean, it was I feel like they thought that was this like, amazing experience. It taught them zero lesson because we were like, OK, the adults, when you go to bed, take care of all this stuff. And they were like, Well, we don’t, you know, I feel like they would be like, OK, we’re in charge. And Teddy, 100 percent would ask to drive the car a thousand percent because he asked that every time.
S3: Jamilah. Our name is perfect yesterday.
S2: Moment be I would probably end up playing Barbie dolls with her until my eyes bleed. Like she, there is no limit to the amount of time that she can stay in Barbie world. In fact, when we’re deep in it, say we had a good Barbie session last night, the next morning while we’re getting ready for school, she’s talking through like one. We’re doing recaps side girl. Can you believe this? A. She had that argument that was crazy. You know, like we created this argument in the AMA that was actually me. You forced me because seventy five percent of Barbie play is just me performing for her, like an old radio show and are just sitting there like not really looking but like wrapped somehow. And so I think that that would be it. I think that I would become my SAG card would come in the mail by noon because I would be forced to perform Barbie Theater on an endless loop.
S5: Yeah, with my kids, like with Leo, who’s now six, it would be like, I just want to eat junk food and watch TV all day. And then with Eliza, who is 10, it would be. I want an elaborate treasure hunt made up of customized fantasy puzzles. And like you, you have to contract with Will Shortz or some team of puzzle makers from MIT to build me a magical fairyland that ends in a tall tower with a library inside or something like that. Like, there is literally no like she would not request anything that that was in any way practically achievable.
S3: Here’s the only good thing about yesterday, as far as I’m concerned as a concept, is that it clarifies for children the truth. The book The Glorious Truth that every other day is no day.
S3: Which I find one of the most pleasurable parts of parenting. I love saying no to my children, did you?
S2: Yes. We’re at this point where every no gets a reaction, and the reaction sometimes prevents me from saying no when I ought to.
S3: You just really got to learn to enjoy their plaintive wails of protest.
S5: I just want to say, since I’m only back this one time and it’s like, plus I have to say something incredibly pretentious. So I just want to point out that that Dan’s point is very much like Buck team’s point about Carnival, right? The point of Carnival is that there’s a day when the ordinary structures and order of society is overturned, and that only serves to reinforce the function of order and society on every other day. And so yesterday is like a Bertini and Carnival Day that’s ultimately hegemonic in its intent.
S3: Or, as my mom said, paraphrasing back in every day as Children’s Day Daniel. Mm hmm. Gabe, that was everything our subscribers wanted out of this experience.
S5: I knew you. I knew I couldn’t leave them without a reference to back team. Thank you deeply for that.
S2: This is what they pay for. That’s right.
S3: Hello, slate. Plus, listeners, we really appreciate all you do for us and for Slate.com. We appreciate your support. We appreciate you listening to our bonus segments where we unveil really our best and stupidest ideas. And this one’s definitely in that spirit. We are throwing it back to Schoolhouse Rock, which is all over Disney Plus. My kids have seen it there. I think Elizabeth’s kids have seen it there. But you know what, a lot of those episodes, while being about timeless civics issues, are nonetheless a little bit dated. So I really wanted to know what is it about life in 2021 that we think Schoolhouse Rock should do brand new songs all about? But let’s start. I just want to know, do you guys have a favorite classic Schoolhouse Rock song?
S2: Mine is definitely conjunction junction. I feel like that’s the easy answer, but I also didn’t grow up with Schoolhouse Rock, so it’s something that I kind of. Variance in little spurts. I also didn’t know until recently that it’s taking on this new life. But yes, I always loved Conjunction Junction.
S1: I also had blessed Conjunction Junction because that’s the one that like sticks in your head so well. But I also really like the suffering to suffer did one with the Wonder Woman lady, and she’s like talking about women having to fight for their rights. I thought that was always fun. I remember liking that one, and I also really had in my mind that I liked. Three is a magic number, but when I went back to watch it with the kids, they were last like they were like, This is slow, what is why are we watching this? And they they like some of the more like, I’m just a bill and things like that.
S3: I’m a big fan of the shot heard around the world. A great lesson in the American Revolution from the standpoint of 1976. Much less solid historical footing if you look at it from contemporary perspectives. But it’s the only schoolhouse structure and song that has an incredible cover by Ween on the classic 1990s indie rock album Schoolhouse Rock Rocks, on which various beloved alt rock bands like Folk Implosion and better than Ezra and also, weirdly, Cee-Lo cover Schoolhouse Rock songs. If you shopped for used CDs in the 1990s, you always saw at least seven copies of this sitting in the bin because it’s not actually that satisfying of an album, but the Ween cover of the shot around the world is, in fact, very good. It might be Ween heads will yell at me about this, but it might be the best Ween song. I’m all right. But so the question is here in 2021, what is it that we were Schoolhouse Rock would address? I’m going to start out by saying that it seems to me that the most important civics lesson that Schoolhouse Rock could deliver in 2021 is about gerrymandering. Right? Like, there should be a catchy gerrymandering song. Maybe it even like features like a fun loving, racist salamander named Jerry, and he talks about how he split, you know, split all the districts up in various states to make sure that all the rich white people are in one district and that all the black people in another district. And I feel like that would be like a great lesson for kids. So I’d be all for a gerrymandering song. Elizabeth, what’s one you’d love to see?
S1: I want to see one about vaccines and just kind of general health knowledge that the, you know, vaccines are in fact, not microchips going into us. But, you know, in fact, they’re well researched scientific things that that help us fight disease as a community and and their overall usage as the community. Because it seems like although, you know, specifically about COVID. But even prior to COVID, we were facing, I think, a a larger picture that people don’t really understand what vaccines are or how they work, even just in like how you get your flu shot and and things like that. So I think a a good community song about, you know, a needle walking around, maybe in the arms like, I’m just, you know, I’m just a shot. And kind of here’s here’s the process of what happens.
S3: Yeah, right? I’m not a chimp and I won’t give you on. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you’d have to work on that.
S1: The writing is on. I kind of thought the guy could say those things. Remember how when there was a whole lot back and he would just take a pause and say a bunch of stuff. He could just be like, Hey, by the way,
S3: by the way, I won’t give your kids autism. Jamilah, what about you?
S2: There’s so many topics, but one in particular that really stands out would be misinformation.
S1: Fake news, if you will.
S2: Fake news. I think you could do a whole Schoolhouse Rock series on media literacy. But one specifically, you know, a song about that song teaching kids how to recognize. Wait, what was this that I saw the other day? Washington News Post dot com as a credible source of information that people were like having a passionate reaction to. So just how to how you can tell the difference between a legitimate news source and fake news, and also how you can tell the difference between opinion, writing and reporting, because that’s something that a lot of people get a little tripped up by to.
S3: I think those are really good. I mean, I think all three of these are things that if there was a Schoolhouse Rock song, that would definitely be a net gain in our culture. I also wonder if there are some sort of just like modern manners or social, you know, social mores issues that that a Schoolhouse Rock of today could really help
S2: like anxiety, you know?
S3: Yeah, I was even thinking a little lighter than that. Like one on. We could do one on like when like leaving people on red or or looking like earlier ghosting. How to talk on the phone or like Godwin’s law, like don’t be the don’t be the person who brings up Hitler and the internet chat or like, Oh, you know, what we need is what I’m tipping in restaurants like. There’s a big one about how it just always should tip in restaurants. It doesn’t matter. It should be like a catchy tune that goes like Start at 20 Honey and go up from there. Yeah. No, I’m just I’m just spitballing here, but that seems like that. Be good.
S2: The tipping one would be great. That is that could be a crucial reset.
S1: I was thinking internet trolling could also, you know, use a song and it could just be something like, is this really something you need to share?
S3: Yeah, that’s good song by like a little troll under a bridge.
S1: Yeah. Are you just here to make trouble?
S2: Yes, I am. That’s good faith arguments online.
S1: Yeah, that could fit into yours, though. Jamilah. That is a that could be like a whole internet series.
S3: Jamilah Who could do these modern 2021 schoolhouse rocks? Who would you
S2: nominate? I definitely have to go to the roots Megadeth. They’ve done so like so they basically. They’re so good. Like they’ve done Schoolhouse Rock inspired clips for at least two episodes of black ish. You know where they explain something from black history with a cartoon and you know, and they’ve got a lead singer or they have a lead vocalist who can rap and sing, you know, like? And they play well with others. Obviously, they’re great backing bands like You could have the Roots be the house band for Schoolhouse Rock and bring in other vocalists
S3: and kids know that. Yeah, I think what happened that would have a great effect. Yeah. I love that that. That’s a great idea. I mean, obviously, I think they should just bring in ween everything and see if they can. They can follow up on their success. There is one other issue I think is maybe crucial for a Schoolhouse Rock. It’s very close to my heart, which is, of course, pay artists for their work. Like, maybe a little Schoolhouse Rock song about how when you listen to this Schoolhouse Rock song on Spotify, the roots only get like 0.01 cents, and that really isn’t that much money you go through. Is it a dollar, though? Is it a quarter or is it a penny? It’s not even a penny. But take your penny and cut it into 100 pieces, and that’s how much we get when you stream the song on Spotify. I think that’d be really good. Plus, somewhere in there, you can also note that it’s a generally understood, you know, social code that if your friend writes a book, you buy the book, right?
S1: That too.
S2: Yeah, yeah. Obviously, that was a surprise twist at the end of that thought.
S3: Oh, I just I didn’t know reason. I just want to make sure everyone knows that’s just the thing you do. If your friend writes a book, you just buy the book, folks. It’s just the way it goes. I bought it. I believe you. That’s why you’re a true friend. All right. I hope that some public service minded company funds like, you know, seven or eight great short videos by The Roots about all these topics for Schoolhouse Rock’s Twenty Twenty One. I would watch the hell out of these. And I think a lot of kids would, too. What a set of great ideas. Good job, guys. So we thought it would be great to talk about these songs that we have introduced to our kids over the years, intentionally or unintentionally, the songs that would make a soundtrack to our parenting. And I also want to talk about why we choose the songs that we choose and what exactly it is. We are trying to get our children to like and convey about our own taste by playing these songs for them. I want to start with the owner of Candy Girl herself. Jamilah Lemieux you have a lot of thoughts on this subject, I believe.
S2: You know I do. You don’t see me come into often with notes. I have notes today. So I so yes. Naima and I have this strong connection to new edition that I have talked about many times on this show, and I’ve shared a lot of pictures and videos over the years on social media. If you go to Twitter and search my name and new edition, you are in for some good stuff. There are many videos of my daughter singing and dancing to various new additions and Bobby Brown and BBT songs. We even got to meet them in 2017 and 2018. So I thought it started with, you know, me showing her the new edition story movie, the three night miniseries that he did in 2017. Much to my surprise and delight. She watches the movie and gets really into the music and the group and like, completely becomes obsessed with. You know, this is the year that she turned four. We had nutrition birthday party. You know, she’s going to be eight in a couple of weeks and like my name is still randomly searches that am on, you know, Google just to see what’s up with them. And we listen to their music now all the time, like they’re just a part of what she does. New addition is just part of her life. And so I thought, maybe you know, OK, I was just from the movie. Then I was like, Oh, no, you know, like, they were really a hat like that era of music, not just this group in particular, because they were out, you know, a bit ahead of my time, right? By the time I was name is age, they were solo acts. No Bobby Brown and Bebe and Jenny Gill,
S3: and the whole new edition was like a little bit passé. I think by the time you were the right age, definitely.
S2: But like those kind of solo acts represented some of my best childhood memory. It was like, I think of my local radio station and taping songs off the radio, which was something that I love to do. I think part of it is it is this thing that I’m connected to from my childhood, but also when I was pregnant with Naima and I didn’t realize this until, you know well into the new edition phenomenon in this household. The day after I found out I was pregnant with Naima when she was but a mere decision to be made, you know, I took a press trip to Las Vegas my first time in Vegas ever, and I was pregnant so I couldn’t drink, which was great. And I saw a new edition concert, you know, and that was the only concert that I went to. I was pregnant with Naima. So there’s that. And that was the first time I’d seen nutrition perform and I had Naima my tummy. So she’s literally that has been the soundtrack to my parenting since day one.
S3: I love that that you wasted no time making sure that that embryo got the full new edition experience, and it has continued to this day. Elizabeth, what about you? What has been the soundtrack to your and Jeff’s parenting?
S1: I tend to use music to try to kind of control the chaos in the house, so I have a couple of songs that I use to break the chaos of of particular moments. The original one, which I equate much to like on The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon Cooper Like Small Kitty Little Kitty, we use Baby Beluga a lot for that. It seems like if I sing that song, if I put that song on, it just kind of brings everyone down. They will all join in singing kind of, no matter what the situation is, sometimes that ends with everyone back to screaming. But we kind of joke like in the car, when they’re all screaming, like, Jeffrey will start singing that, and it just kind of brings the the mood down. But obviously, as they have gotten older, we’ve tried to replace that with some other songs and are like Big Song. When we’re going to do something new is the Sarah Barry Alice Brave song, and we will just like to, I think, kind of get everybody’s like, Put your big kid pants on, we’re going to go do this. Or this is like a scary moment, like acknowledging that which we have a lot of as we move around and do things. We have kind of like these little family dance parties or played in the car to say like, this is kind of the next thing.
S3: I’m sorry, I just love that you’re using a song that is specifically for that’s like, that is the emotional beat that song hits in the movie, and you’re just putting it right in there like you feel like you can be. Yes.
S1: Yes, it does kind of feel like the way that we use the music is a lot like, Hey, you’re in this movie, here’s the song that should be played. We love this song by Jess Glen called Hold My Hand. And that is actually the song like when we want to get everyone kind of up in the morning. It begins with kind of these little singing noises, almost kind of like an alarm clock. And we use that usually like before big trips are before we’re like all gathering to do school. Our school music now feels like it’s been co-opted because we have always played vitamine string quartet, which is now like the soundtrack to Bridgerton. And oh no, I mean, but that’s always what we’ve played like in the classroom and particularly the kids really love Billie Eilish’s bad guy, and the vitamine String Quartet plays pop music using classical instruments. And it’s really great. I think especially when we’re doing art or stuff in the class, it’s like I get the kind of keeping things a little bit calmer than playing like for pop music or full orchestration. But we’re still hearing things that they’re hearing other places and it keeps them kind of engaged. But the thing that has, I think, taken is that I like to introduce the kids to a lot of Broadway musicals. And after seeing Annie, the kids have taken to singing. It’s a hard knock life any time we ask them to do things, and it feels like this little like tap on the back. Like, Ha ha, you might be mad at me and protesting, but you also learn something. But when you when you first asked this question to, I was trying to think of like if there was a soundtrack, you know, like to the Newcamp household, and I decided that it is between Rihanna’s madhouse and Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball. So not songs. We play for them, but songs that I feel like would describe the Newcamp
S3: household that represent the whole
S2: show. I think we should all answer that question real quick. I love when they’re able to take something that they’ve got in a song and apply it practically like that. So Naima, another soundtrack to our household is Beyoncé. She said she brought it in. She came out with the Beyoncé love, and I was like, All right, cool, we can. I can embrace that. And so you play a lot of Beyonce in the car. And so a couple of years ago, my nephew, who’s the same age as Naima, would not help her. She was carrying a couple of packages and he wouldn’t, you know, he didn’t help her. And Naima looked at him and said, Trifling, good for nothing. Typekit cousin. I love Destiny’s Child. Trifling, good for nothing, type of brother. And it was just so perfect and she was so serious too. Like she was not like I got one. She just looked at him like this pure disgust. I loved it.
S3: The amount of pride that I think we all feel in moments like that happen. Maybe it reflects well on us. Like it’s definitely a moment of like, Oh, in this very small way, I’ve accomplished this thing that I know I’m not supposed to want to accomplish, but which I secretly do, which is to just make a little bit of you like a tiny version of me. I know that that’s not the goal. But when I see it, it still makes me really happy. The soundtracks to our kids very small childhood were mostly the songs that we played around the house that they would dance to, which were not usually kids’ music. They were usually our songs. And the music that we have played for them all along is mostly about our songs because we played music all the time. It’s always playing in the house or we are always driving around and it was always playing in the car and like the idea of just going all those hours and having to listen to kids’ music was, I guess, intolerable to me. And so I just didn’t do it. But so there are three very particular videos we have of little Lyra or Little Harper dancing to particular songs that I still associate with their like toddler hoods. And it’s is this love by Bob Marley and the underdog by spoon and oh by Sleater-Kinney and all three of those videos I treasure. And all three of those videos have been taken down by YouTube because algorithms identified the music in them and declared them as copyright violations. So the videos don’t exist anymore. Very upsetting me. And each time that happened, I was like, Fuck, well, that’s another memory just out the window thanks to the algorithm. There is a very particular stereotype of of white dads with beards that we are desperate to make sure that our kids have hipster musical taste. And it’s been very interesting watching my kids taste in music evolve over the years into their own, which includes certain things that I introduce them to and I still love. And that includes other things that they discovered all on the road or have introduced back to us. And so the playlist and the Smith Kois household these days is a real mix of stuff that I love that I’ve played with them forever. Musicals that Holly has loved forever. That she’s. Played for them and then stuff that they’ve discovered on YouTube or on the radio or from friends that we have never heard before that they are bringing into the mix. Lara has this song that she just absolutely can’t get enough of that she plays for us in the car by a band, a band, a duo, a group of guys on YouTube, I don’t know, called Lemon Demon called two trucks, which is just about two trucks having sex. It’s like about masculinity, I think. I don’t know. It’s very funny. I certainly never would have found it on my own. I don’t think I’m no longer of the age where I discover new music ever. The mix of songs we have in the house right now really makes me happy and that it represents, I think the personalities of all four of us and we all are making little concessions to each other’s taste the way that once only the kids had to make concessions to my taste. I don’t know what the song of our household is. I’ll have to think about that. The song that we sing the most often is the song you’re screwing up, which is sung to the tune of I’m Coming Out, but we just do. Whenever anyone screws up in any way, we’re just saying you’re screwing up to do that.
S2: Etc. And we’re also at that point now where the household soundtrack reflects Naima. I mean, I think New Edition was always such a great line, not even a compromise. It was like, here’s something we both genuinely like, you know, and Beyoncé was we don’t always have the same thing with Beyonce songs, but it was also like, here’s an artist that we both like and the one the Beyonce songs that I hate were just banned from the house. I’m sorry because I’m like, You have another house where you can go hear Halo. You don’t have to hear it in this one. I’m sorry, not allowed back anti halo. Oh my god. So I don’t like big pop ballads. You know, like that should have been a Celine Dion song or something like, I just, I don’t know. But no, but we do have a few other songs that she’s picked up along the way or things that I’ve played for her that she likes. But I would have to say that if we had a, you know, one or two songs that are these songs of the household, Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative is a clear number one because one that is the the battle of this house that everyone will hear, including the Cavaliers. It is their prerogative and they do what they want to do and then the next time, be every little step. And also by Bobby Brown and with good or bad, because every little step I take, she will be there and vice versa. But also every little step that I think she too will be there. Yeah, quite literally.
S3: I mean, that’s definitely the song of the last year for everyone in America, isn’t it?
S2: Absolutely. That is the song of parenting.
S3: Yeah. All right, Sade. Plus, listeners weigh in. Send us emails. Make a note on the Facebook page. Tell us what is the soundtrack to your parenting? Also, tell us each one of us individually who has the best taste hinted it’s me.
S2: This week we’re talking about hiding from our kids. Now, obviously, we all love our children. We love to spend time with them, to watch them grow, to see them achieve things. But sometimes we need a break. The problem is, how do you explain that you need time away from your children to your children without crushing their little hearts? According to the New York Times parenting section, There are a whole lot of us going through this. Many parents are feeling the need to hide, especially since the onset of the pandemic and the soul crushing number of hours that many of us have spent in our households in this great recent piece from the New York Times. The experts have three big takeaways. One. It’s time to teach kids about self-care to alone. Time should be part of any family’s routine and three it’s OK for your kids to be upset that you want time away from them. And I have to say I agree with all three of those things. As somebody who’s been navigating my own need to be alone for a long time with a child who actually naively calls this out, maybe when she was five, she said, You love being alone and I hate it. And it really blew my mind. You know that she already was able to recognize that about both of us and that it put us in odds in a way. I was raised as an only child in my household, and so I’m used to a certain amount of alone time and solitude, even though my mother was typically right by my side. There were just still times where she had to cook a meal or clean or take a shower. I had to occupy myself and I got used to that, and I have always needed and craved and enjoyed having time to myself and do the virtue of our shared custody arrangement. I am by myself in the house 50 percent of the time. But even with that, I have to say there are moments where I get overwhelmed by human interaction. You know, any human interaction, including my child, and I just need a break. You know, whether it’s a two minute break, a 90 seconds, if it’s, you know, I need 10 minutes to decompress between activities, I just sometimes need time by myself. And as a parent of an older child, I’m curious to hear what you all. How much thought is given to that? I have to say, when my daughter was, you asked kids ages. I hadn’t considered this at all. This is just not something I thought about. I thought about the fear of being overwhelmed and being tired, but I really never thought about navigating the fact that like, we can be in the house together and separate, and that’s OK with me. But she may really have a problem with it. Are you all getting alone time yet, period, amber? No. During the main show you talked about once a month, you get a hotel weekend to yourself or a night in the hotels or so. But throughout the week, you know, beyond these kind of like big moments of you being alone, are you getting solo time? You’re not in the sense that it was like before. Kids are nanny comes one hour before I start work. And so like, that hour is mine. That hour is mine and like, that’s something that I really, really struggle to. This first year to build and rebuild is like, How can I be a great mom and take care of myself? How like how how do those two things like balance within each with within each other? Like, how do I, how am I going to be able to do that? We’ve had the nanny for like about a little over a month now and like, This is it. I’m like, Oh my God, I’m doing it. And it’s literally just an hour every morning, just an hour that I can do what I can sit and scroll my phone if I want, I can work out if I want. I can meditate and do breath work if I want like. But just carving out that hour, I mean, before that, I would literally be sadly, like, excited to go to the grocery store alone or anything like that where I get to just, like, be by myself for for a second. But yeah, I think that it’s super important to cultivate as parents that sense of self keeping that sense of self so that you’re not just a machine or always. I think someone called it if I were on Instagram in those parent influencers decision fatigue, because you’re always making decisions for everyone else or you’re always thinking about everything, you know, you’re not really able to just be. So I just feel like you really have to find ways to cultivate that. And that is part of being a good parent, even if your child has separation anxiety or doesn’t like it. And that moment, and you can explain those things like this helps mommy be more present. This helps mommy be a better mom. This helps us when we do are together, have really, really great times, and I’m not kind of dragging. So will they understand it completely at that age? No. But the way that it refreshes you and makes you more present when you are with them is going to be worth so much more than. That monetary upset, upset ness, that they may feel at you being on.
S6: That sounds really sweet. That sounds like I’m thinking, I’m trying to like, pick and choose what part of that I want to do because I’m not there yet. I want to be there. So bad, though. Yeah, I I put my son down for a second today because I really needed to use the bathroom. And that’s the site where I’m trying to, like, borrow time is like, I need to. I’m like holding it in. I got to put my kid down. And the second he his ass hits the ground, he starts wailing, crying. And I’m just in this phase right now where I’m like, What do I do? Do I wake his mom up who’s very badly taking care? Not that she needs to take because she’s also on her last legs? Or like, do I take him into the bathroom with me? Like, I’m almost like doing that. It’s it’s really it’s impossible, in my view, both. So what I’m trying to think of right now is like, OK, well, do we need a nanny? I’m almost like I was looking at like, this is a blessing where I can be at home and I could work from home and have my baby all the time. I could do both. And now I’m thinking, Holy crap, I think I need to hire somebody to come and help come help me out.
S2: Yeah. It changed the game and like the first one, would come only twice a week for four hours at a time, twice a week. And that was it. And that and that provided just that exactly what you’re saying. Just like a beat, like just give me like four hours, twice a week. Like not even every day, but just like just like that, be especially at that age. And I also want you to know, like if you need to go to the bathroom or take a shower, it’s OK. If they cry, OK, if they say it hurts
S6: my soul and they cry.
S2: I know. I know. You have to find something that distracts them a toy, a bottle. You know something. And. Yeah, you know, that is what technology is for and allow him to cry. And that’s OK. You know, I mean, as you’re not talking about for the length of a Netflix movie we’re talking about, for the length of you taking a shower, you know, and once you figure out what it is that does keep his attention that he can, you know, play with for a few minutes and feel, OK, you’ll be golden. But I don’t anticipate that he will, you know, like you can, you can bring his little chair in the shower, in the bathroom with you, you know, keep the curtain halfway open so he can see you sing to him. Talk to him. He’ll get over it. Yeah. Mm-Hmm. It will really be OK. He’ll never remember that you. You let him cry from his shower or went to the bathroom. All right. Promise and promise that it really will get better. You guys are really sweet. We’ll get better that that newborn age at infant age is so tough.
S6: It’s I just find out like what toy he cannot look away from, where he lives. Well, what is it? A friggin Doritos bag?
S2: Oh, that’s what he loves.
S6: It’s like grabbing and crunchy it and like,
S2: Yeah, it’s funny.
S6: It’s amazing. Yeah, that was actually a tip. Another parent told me that I think I saw it on YouTube. Actually, somebody was like, Look at this baby hag. I watch baby hack. VIDEO That’s that’s the kind of dad I am.
S2: But as you should.
S6: Yes, it’s really for me. I see my role, especially as the dad, as to support the wife as much as she is as much support I can give her. That’s that’s all I’m trying to do. So when she’s taking her nap or when she’s pumping in a different room, I’m trying to do everything I can to make sure this baby is quiet and happy and children, because if she starts to cry, I know, I know in the other room she’s going to. She’s probably thinking, What the hell is my? What the hell’s my husband doing with this baby? Or why won’t he give me like a second leg rest? It’s all kind of like it. It’s it doesn’t even matter what she’s thinking or not. It’s just what I’m doing to myself because I I feel like I’m under so much pressure. So that’s that’s where really where I need to find out how I can, like, give him enough independence even at this age, so that I can have a little bit of room to breathe, even when I’m in those moments where I’m trying to take care of him and keep him quiet and keep meditating. I need time. I need. I need space, so it’s hard.
S2: Another thing that I used to do is go for walks. Put that baby stroller. Yes, they knock out. They knock out so quick. Then I get to the park bench and I get to just, like, sit for a minute and be like, No, they’re like walks. Where, yeah, my baby like outside really helped a lot. Any time we could be outside. So like, especially before winter hits, stroller walks like I would go like three times a day.
S6: I did that yesterday was like a charm. Yeah, yeah, I’m
S2: still doing that. It definitely works, you know, and you can do the stroller. You can also put them on your chests. A big part of, I think. What we have to do is parents. Is realizing that self-care from such an early age, you know, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to your child that like at five, like if Moosa only saw his parents go on a date for the first time when he was five, it would drive back him up. You know what I mean? It was like, they don’t go places without me. We do everything together and it’s like, OK, well, now we’ve decided to prioritize having time for the two of us, or now I’ve decided to have, you know. Now I want to have time to myself because I know your kid has to always see you leaving. That is important. You know that they realize that you are a person that exists independently of them, that you have work, that you have other people that you care about and that you have yourself. And it’s not a betrayal of your love for them, you know, and you’re all consuming love for them, for them to see that. But I think the sooner you see it, and I know it just kind of worked out for, I mean, worked out in that, you know, because my name is there and they’re not together and we’ve not been together her entire life that we’ve always had. You know, there was always time in which I wasn’t going to be around, you know, essentially from when she was a very young age. So I know that most kids are not introduced to that, but I think about my own mother who was always around and how rare it was that she was going downtown and doing something by herself and how upset I would become at the idea of it. And it’s because I thought she belongs to me exclusively, you know, and that she didn’t have a right to a life independent of me. And I think it’s really important that we let our kids know otherwise so that they’re not, you know, rattled when that becomes obvious. Yeah. Yes. Thank you for listening for the past year.
S1: It’s your listener. Questions and contributions to our mom and dad are fighting community that have made this year so special. If you have a question, you’d like to ask us on air. Email us at Mom and dad at Slate.com. And join us on Facebook to search for slate parenting. Mom and dad are fighting is produced by Rosemary Belson. I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. See you in 2022.