Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Kid is Bopping

My son likes listening to music in the car. But rather than listening to the radio, Kai always picks out a Kidz Bop CD on onr weekly dad-and-son visits to the library.

For those who are not familiar, Kidz Bop is a series of CDs that consist of compilations of popular songs that are covered by children singing, rather than the original artist. Most grownups that are serious about their music would probably rather hear nails on a chalkboard than to listen to these kids’ versions of songs. But, Kai likes them, and if it keeps him happy in the car, then it is okay by me.

Kai’s passion for Kidz Bop started when he and I were looking through the children’s music bin at the library and he noticed these colorful CDs with giant numbers on the cover. It turns out that the title of each compilation has a number that indicates its sequence in the series. Kai would probably listen to lectures about paint drying if you put numbers prominently on the cover of the cases. And so, we got the first one and have now listened to the all 18 in the series.

Lately, Kai does more than just listen to the songs; he sings along with some of his favorites. When Kai was first diagnosed with autism, we found a special music CD where every song was performed very slowly so that kids with processing issues could more easily follow along. Even at that slow speed, it took a long time before he was able to sing along. So, it is great to hear him now sing along with even these fast-paced songs.

The latest Kidz Bop contains a song called “Single Ladies.” Those of you who actually get to listen to regular music in the car may know that it was a big hit for Beyonce. (I had to look it up). It is a catchy tune, but not exactly a “guy” song. Kai was singing along with it the other day when I drove him to his karate class. As we entered the dojo, Kai was still enthusiastically singing, “all the single ladies, all the single ladies…”

As we passed Sensei and all the black belt male senpai, I imagined that they were all looking at me funny and thinking that it was my choice to listen to this song in the car. “Kai, dude, you are going to cost me my man card!”

Ah, the things we do for our children. And, yes, I’m smiling when I say that.

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