Getting Real with Kira Hazledine


Hallie was about 3 weeks old when we realized her interest in music. She was crying hysterically one evening, and my husband and I were trying to get her to sleep. Normally “daddy power” prevails, but tonight it couldn’t save us. My dad, being the good Papa that he is, offered to try his hand at settling our inconsolable baby. He played a Scorpions song, and within moments, her crying stopped. Ever since, when our darling daughter could not be settled, we played a song. Her list of favorites grew, and I thought nothing of it except “how cute.”

Classical conditioning at it’s finest.

I realized that I have conditioned my daughter to stop crying when “Uptown Funk” plays. Bruno Mars and Katy Perry are some of her favorites, but she is certainly not limited to pop. Given the drastic differences in music tastes in our household, Hallie enjoys everything from soft rock to heavy metal. “Gangnam Style” has emerged as a favorite as well, so that will be interesting as she gains her vocabulary. When I need a moment of peace on her needy days to get some work done, YouTube turns on, because the song itself is not enough. Hallie is interested in the video as well.

“Try a kid’s show,” they said. 

I do try to limit her screen time. Hallie gets a lot of attention, quiet independent play, story time, and we try spend at least an hour outside each day. So no, I don’t feel bad when she enjoys some music. Sometimes I wish she would sit for an episode of Blues Clues or Paw Patrol, just so I could lie to myself that it’s “educational.” I’ve tried Charlie and Lola, thinking maybe the British accents would interest her (her dad is from England). I tried the Wiggles, because that’s music, right? Dora the Explorer was amusing for maybe a moment, but then Hallie was screaming for “Who Let the Dogs Out.” I have a twinge of mommy guilt, but then I remember my sanity, which I am quite fond of. So when the community children’s group ask what song Hallie would like to sing, I encourage them to move to the next request unless they know all the words to “What Does the Fox Say.”

I like YouTube better, too. 

A few music videos is definitely what we would both rather listen to, even though I get tired of the same playlist sometimes. I also realize that she still has a lot of growing to do, and if music videos is what she loves, I would prefer her to listen to that than watch Cartoon Network. Am I still holding out for Hallie to enjoy educational programs like Sesame Street? Definitely. Do I monitor the music videos for age appropriate material? Of course. But if she wants to jam to some One Republic and U2 (whom we saw live and she did amazing) then I feel like that’s parenting done right. Because honestly, I really don’t want to go to Peppa Pig Live, and science says music is good for the developing brain. So I’m going to run with it.

Music in our home is not passive. Hallie spends great time dancing with her Nana, and my mom would vouch that it’s great exercise for the both of them. Louis and I are way more enthused singing Will Smith hits with her than “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Hallie also loves spending time in the kitchen while Papa cooks as they listen to music together. There is a lot attached to this music video obsession, and building relationships is a huge part of it. My toddler may be addicted to YouTube, but we are making incredible memories and having a great time as a family.