March 21, 2016

Twin Toddler Obsessions: Freaking Pentatonix

"I have created a monster."

Many parents said that to me while we tried to figure out how to channel their kid's newest obsession.  Obsessions, or fixations, are a natural part of life with toddlers. It's why they throw tantrums over the color of a cup or why you have to read the same book 17 times a day. Sometimes they are innocent, other times they can be dangerous, but they are always totally normal.

Toddlers are crazy. And what's the definition of crazy? Doing something over and over and expecting different results. In the case of a toddler, though, it's a good crazy since they are learning, exercising their sense of control and it can be a comfort to them.  But that doesn't mean it's not annoying as hell for busy parents and caregivers.

I once cared for a girl who absolutely had to be the one to open and close any door or cabinet within a 15 food radius. If she saw you close even a drawer she'd start stomping her feet and demand to do it. I then had to sit and watch her do it over and over and over until she was ready to move on. It was cute and usually not a big deal but in a room of 12 kids it was not the most convenient obsession.

We are in this fun little phase and while it's mostly great, they are learning so much and I love letting them explore, there is one thing I am sooo sick of:  Pentatonix. YouTube them if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Super random but here's a little backstory:

I wrote before how I want to help them develop a love for not just music but singing as well. Music is a big part of our days and I love browsing for good instrumental lists that match the feel of our day or just putting on some RadioDisney for an impromptu dance party. But my favorite thing is to put on songs that I love to sing along to - don't judge me, it's all I have some days! So around Christmas I played all my favorites around the clock including Pentatonix's PTXmas and That's Christmas to Me albums. Then one day I discovered I could use YouTube on the TV and found the PTX videos.  They were immediately sucked in, more than anything I'd ever put on the TV before, even though it's just people they don't even know standing around and singing.

And that's the day I signed my life away to a semi-famous acapella group. PTX has played almost non-stop in my house for a good three months and as much as I loved them I now want to cut my own ears off. 

They can't see my phone or computer or TV without patting their chests and ooooooohing or shouting "SHOES!" at the top of their lungs. Because their most favorite songs are White Winter Hymnal, a beautiful arrangement of the Fleet Foxes song (which they hate by the way) and The Wizard of Ahhhs, a mash-up musical type thing based on the Wizard of Oz by Todrick Hall and Pentatonix. It includes samples of everything from Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Daughtry to Kanye and Motley Crue. It's totally not something I ever thought a kid would be into but they absolutely love it.

So why are they walking around yelling "Shoes!" you ask? Well aside from their other recent obsession with wearing shoes ALL THE TIME, that's the one part of this video they have glommed on to. Remember in the movie, when the first Wicked Witch dies and Glinda the Good Witch gets those ruby red shoes for Dorothy? This scene is summed up in just the repetition of one word (guess which one) inspired by Kelly and her shoes. (Warning: Language! This is not a kid's song! My children do not know this video exists although I'm sure they will someday.) So when they need their fix it's all about the "SHOES!" Also, I guess shoes is probably easier for them to say than Pentatonix.


I love that they love to dance and hum and ooooh and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to using it as a distraction when I need to pee in peace on a rough day or when they need a pick me up. But this is getting ridiculous. They won't watch regular kids shows (although Mr. Rogers does work sometimes, until they realize his singing isn't exactly up to their standards.) We've tried putting on the music videos of our favorites but they did not share our appreciation for classic rock or country. Now when we try to play something else we just get "the look," some chest patting and "SHOOOOOES!" Usually I just give in and play it once so they're happy and we can move on with our day.

I'm treating it like I have always dealt with quirky toddler obsessions: embracing and allowing it since it's mostly harmless (to them, I might go insane), setting limits and using it as a chance for them to learn. What are they learning? Well, I'm not exactly sure but maybe they have a future in musical theater? Maybe they'll win a singing competition and be semi-superstars! For now I'm just hoping to catch an adorable video of them dancing and singing along to PTX - hey, maybe we'll go viral! That just might make it worth it, right?

What are some of your kids' obsessions or quirks that were tolerable at times but eventually drove you crazy? Share in the comments or let us know on our Facebook page!




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