Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Things That Apparently Happen When My Mom Watches My Kids

From time to time, I've discussed censorship on this blog. Censorship is a dirty word to me. A four-letter word with ten letters. I'm not a fan of censorship, and I generally disavow it as a parenting tool. And yet, even I had to do a double-take when I returned from work today to find my seven year-old daughter, my four year-old son, and my daughter's six year-old friend doing a choreographed dance routine to the Katy Perry song "Peacock" under the supervision of my benignly neglectful mother (whose benignly neglectful mothering I can vouch for based on several decades of personal experience).

For the uninitiated, (which included me as of three hours ago), "Peacock" features the following lyrics:

I wanna see your peacock-cock-cock (repeat 4x)
Word on the street you got something to show me
Magical, colorful, Mr. Mystery
I'm intrigued for a peek cause it's fascinating 
Come on baby let me see 
What you hiding underneath
What's up your sleeve,
Such a tease, wanna see the show
It looks beautiful
I'll be the judge, and my girls gonna take a vote
Come on baby let me see
What you hiding underneath
I want the jaw-dropping, eye-popping
Head-turning, body-shocking
I want my heart throbbing, ground shaking
Show stopping amazing
Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?
Whatcha waiting for, it's time for you to show it off
Don't be a chicken boy, stop acting like a bee-otch
Im'a peace out if you don't give me the payoff
Come on baby let me see
What you hiding underneath.
You got the finest architecture
And a rainbow looking treasure
Such a sight to see
And it's all for me 

Etcetera.

I cruised up the driveway, and my mom---who along with my dad (more on him later) is visiting for the week---came running out to stop me from mowing down my kids and their friend with my 2005 Subaru Forrester. Not that I was close to doing this, mind you. My maternal sixth sense somehow intuited that something odd was afoot, and sure enough, my instinct was correct. 

All three kids were on the concrete floor of the open garage, rehearsing a "show" featuring the aforementioned song. "This sawng sounds sort of PG-13," my mom editorialized in her thick Bronx brogue as she began dancing along to it. "But I think it's OK." 

I'd never heard "Peacock" before (although I was destined to hear it twenty times in a row), so I listened carefully to the lyrics, and was duly horrified.

"Let me see yah PEACOCK?! The finest ARCHITECTCHA?" my mother shrieked with incredulous laughter. "WHAT YOU HIDING UNDAHNEATH!?!?!? Libby, are you listening to this?!" She cackled again, and tried to reassure me: "They have NO ideah what it means, honey. It's awl towtally innuhcent." 

That was obvious, as Paige cast her brother Isaac in the role of the "Peacock" and herself and her friend as some other animals in the show. Isaac began skipping around dutifully with a jump rope like a flamboyant male stripper at a Chip N' Dales Boys Night Showcase while Paige and her friend twirled about in circles and leap-frogged over each other, their faces grave with concentration. I was suddenly very grateful for the reliable literal-mindedness of young children.

Oh well.

What did I care? My kids were safe, having a blast, and getting tons of exercise and fresh air. They had no idea that a song they thought was about a bird was actually about Katy Perry drooling over the "architecture" of some guy's dick. 

All in a day's work, I suppose. Thanks Mom!

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