This morning, as I was getting ready for work, my three-year-old son Nathaniel requested that I play “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.” He requested it by name, correctly identifying the band as well (The Ramones, of course). I put it on, hoping he’d allow me to get back to dressing. I was running late, and still had to walk the dog before I could leave.
“Louder,” he said.
I raised the volume.
“Louder!” he said again, more emphatically.
I turned up the computer speakers as loud as they’d go, and reported this fact to him. He seemed satisfied, and ran off to gather his single drum and some sticks. He returned, set up his kit and started banging along. He wasn’t exactly keeping the beat, but he was dancing like a man possessed, so he earned points for intensity and creativity.
The song ended. He asked for another. I searched through the Spotify list.
“Do you want to hear ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I wanna hear bitz keep boff!”
As the familiar opening chords of the band’s debut single started playing I noticed my son’s head begin to bob up and down. At 22 seconds Joey Ramone shouted the opening lyrics: “hey, ho, let’s go!” He waited a moment and then repeated the lyrics, under his breath, practicing.
Our musical interlude ended after that–it was time for the real world. But if I can turn my son into a Ramones fan before he starts kindergarten, I’ll feel as if I’ve done at least one bit of parenting correctly.