My kids like Disney. Ten years ago, I would have said, "My kids have been tainted by Disney!" Parenthood, however, has made me a bit less jaded. While I don't embrace the commercialism that my children relish, I accept that I was the target of it 30 years ago.
Nevertheless, I still try to offer my kids alternatives to what they are watching and listening to. I bought Preppygirl II an alternative-country compilation CD called "The Bottle Let Me Down - Songs For Bumpy Wagon Rides". This one features Alejandro Escovedo, The Handsome Family and Jon Langford, among others. It is full of classic children's song covers and a few originals. Best of all, the kiddoes and we parents can enjoy the tunes as well. I have every intention of buying kid's music from Dan Zanes and They Might Be Giants. Alt-rock for kids! I think the Violent Femmes owe us an album of nursery school songs.
On the televised front, Preppygirl and I have made certain that the little ones are watching some "classics" along with their diet of Nicktoons. "Wallace and Grommit", "The Snowman" and "Pee Wee's Christmas Special" live on our DVD shelves. Once in a while, I'll sneak in a "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast". "The Electric Company" and "The Muppet Show" have also made it into the collection.
Not every choice I make on the kids' behalf works, though. I can't seem to get them to embrace rap. Preppygirl II would dance to A Tribe Called Quest as a toddler, but could care less about it now. There's hope for Galoot Jr., though. Last week, I tried to get him to do a call and response thing with me, ala Public Enemy. If I yell "Bass!", I want him to yell "How low can you go?" Sadly, he would just mimic me, yelling back, "Bass!" PGirl2 will do it, but move on to other things soon after. So, on Saturday, I propped Jr. on my lap and brought up YouTube.com. In a few moments, PE's "Bring The Noise" video was streaming. Fists raised in unity, my son and I made a connection. The boy got it. I called, he responded. We worked on it for the rest of the weekend, until it was ingrained in him like "London Bridges". And when I showed my wife a movie trailer on Quicktime last night, Jr. walked up to the computer monitor, turned to me and said, "I want bass." I nearly cried.