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A brief musical interlude | faulty vision

Hobbes inherited his love of music from my mother, which is where I learned it. He voices loud approval from the backseat at my radio choices, calling out demands for this song or that song based on whatever mood he happens to be in. Since the classical music station in the Bay Area folded, or lost its frequency, or broke its transmitter, or generally speaking disappeared one night from my radio’s list of options — not that it was much of a classical music station anyway, since it often played muzak with as much deliberation as it did Mozart — his listening options in the car are mostly limited to Alice on 97.3 and such CDs as have made it to my car. He doesn’t appear to mind. Songs involving animals are a hit. So are songs in major keys with brisk, driving tempos. Drums are popular. So are sopranos. He disapproves of stringed instruments (excepting the ukelele and banjo) but likes marimbas purely on principle.

He loves ABBA and Katy Perry. He really dislikes Maroon 5.

“Monkeys!” he shouted at me this morning, on the way to the post office. “Monkeys! Monkeys! Monkeys! Monkeys!”

I took this to mean that he wanted me to put on one of his Putomayo Kids CDs, which contains a song about monkeys jumping on a bed. I obligingly slipped it in at a red light, and forwarded to the right track. He bobbed his head through the spoken prologue, then demanded, “Sing, Mommy! Sing!”

Obligingly, I started singing along to the music. After a few seconds, Hobbes started to flail. “No, Mommy!” he said desperately. “Stop singing! Stop singing!”

Unfortunately, along with my mother’s love of music, he seems to have gotten her musician’s ear. And my Asian Tact Deficiency Disorder.

“Mommy sings bad,” he said sadly, when I gave up. He had more social sense than I had at that age though, since he then added in a consoling manner, “It’s okay, Mommy. It’s okay.”

Personally, I think it shows native good taste on his part. While I was at Eastman, professional opera singers used to ask me to stop singing, with much the same urgency. He did the same thing, except without the intervening years of dedicated schooling. What can I say. My son’s a musical prodigy.

 

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