Yesterday my almost 4 year-old son was a passenger with me on the way to Wal-Mart when I cranked up some New Edition. Figuring that these fierce early 80’s beats and 13-year-old falsettos would appeal to him, I indulged my inner fangirl.
I started off with the first New Edition song I’d ever heard: ‘Cool It Now’. I was at Hugo’s roller skating rink when I first heard them singing about how their ‘lite wings have changed’.
30 years later I thought that sounded a little weird and Googled it. It turns out that ‘life brings a change’.
Anywho, my son quickly poopoo-ed it and asked for ‘a diffwent song!’.
The part of me that was pretend-married to band-member ‘Mike’ at age 11 was a little hurt, but I figured it was a fluke.
Next I served up ‘Count Me Out’. My son likes to count, and bonus: it teaches him to insist on bringing his girlfriend along to guys night at the risk of being a tween outcast. This song would be a winner.
At this point his polite requests escalated to fussing.
I was pretty shocked that both of these classics had bombed given that this boy treats the Blaze And The Monster Machines theme song like Grammy-worthy material, but I knew I could bring him around.
In addition to snack food, my son is obsessed with reading and letters. Cranking up ‘Popcorn Love’, I told him that this song was about popcorn and that there was spelling involved if he could just wait for Bobby Brown to squeak out:
‘And the other P is for the perfect love she gives. to. me.”
He couldn’t wait. My son’s whining escalated to near-crisis mode.
Frantic, I was afraid I might have ruined New Edition for my son forever. I could barely keep my bum cheeks from dancing me right into the steering wheel as the beats coursed through my 40-year-old veins, but my child was unenthused.
What could I do? I couldn’t bring Johnny Gill into the equation yet. He hadn’t even grasped the departure of Bobby Brown. Certain things are too much for a 3 year-old to understand and this was one of them.
The tears were starting and howls could be heard from the backseat. He was begging for me to change the song, specifically requesting Keith Urban’s ‘the farmer song’ (sorry Keith, anything with a banjo is given this title by my kids).
At this point, I was aware that this was my final opportunity to sell New Edition to my 3 year-old. Arguably the second greatest boy band of all time (The Jackson 5 being #1), they should not have needed any selling, but things were getting out of control.This was my final opportunity to sell New Edition to my 3 year-old Click To Tweet
I mentally filed past ‘Candy Girl’ (we had already tried food themes), ‘Mr. Telephone Man’ (too slow), and ‘If It Isn’t Love’ (see my issues with non-founding members referenced earlier).
Knowing that only the ultimate pop hook could pull him into my Michael-Bivins-loving web, I queued up ‘My Secret (Didja Gitit Yet?)’.
I relaxed, knowing that only the grouchiest of grouches could resist the audio high fructose corn syrup I was pouring out through my speakers.
‘Buildings start to shake! I do a double take – didja gitit yet? Gitit yet? Gitit yet? My Seeeecret’
The shrill cries of ‘Stop! Stop! I wanna diffwent song!’ drilled through the cranked up man-child coos that were asking for someone to figure out their very obvious secret.
I’d been defeated.
He wasn’t having it.
I dejectedly switched over to Keith Urban’s ‘Better Life’ to which my small boy immediately started bopping his smug little head and smiling.
I used to like you Keith.
My son had officially and indisputably thrown New Edition back in my stunned face after my valiant attempt to share their greatness with him.
While I still believe that someday he will come to appreciate them, I guess he just doesn’t ‘gitit yet