Last Christmas my sister perpetrated upon my household a Barbie karaoke machine. It was her gift to my delighted 4 year old daughter, and also, I suspect, her revenge on me for sneaking up behind her once and sticking her with a pin. This thing works just like a real karaoke machine, with a cool echo effect that I’m amazed still works, considering how my darling daughter has abused it in the 2 months since Christmas. It came with some music-only tapes, which mini-marli never bothered with, since she couldn’t read the lyric sheets and wasn’t familiar with any of the songs. She used it mostly to sing nursery rhymes, and to amplify her voice so she could sound more impressive when fighting with her older brother.
You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you, Mom?
Yesterday my mother, who is supposed to love me, sent my daughter home with a tape she made for her. “She loves this song!” Mom told me. “When she was here last weekend she sang it over and over, and danced, it was really cute!” I, of course, always anxious to witness my children being cute instead of obnoxious, immediately requested a concert. Mini-marli dragged out her Barbie karaoke machine, inserted the tape, and began singing to me.
I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world/Wrapped in plastic/It’s fantastic…
She belted it out, grinning and just generally hamming it up. I’m thinking, well, I don’t like this song, but okay, she’s having fun. The song ended and I began applauding. “Wait, Mommy!” she said. “It’s coming on again!”
She sang it through again. I started to clap. “No, Mommy, I’m going to sing it again!”
I began to have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I politely sat and watched her run through it a third time. “Can I clap now?” I asked.
“Not yet,” she said.
“Hold that thought, sweetness, Mommy wants to call Grandma real quick…”
“How many times is that unholy song going to repeat?” I asked when my mother (who is supposed to love me) answered the phone.
“I recorded it 10 times on each side so she wouldn’t have to mess around with rewinding it,” she informed me.
It must be understood that my daughter is very persistant and capable of great feats of concentration. She finds something she likes to do and she will continue to do it in spite of hell. Distraction techniques didn’t work on her when she was a baby and they don’t work now. I needed to do something quick or that godawful song was going to implant itself so deep in my brain not even a stick of dynamite would unearth it. After the 4th rendition I said, “That was very nice, sweetness, now how about we put that up and I’ll read you a story?”
“No,” she said as the song began again.
After repeat #6 I said, “Honey, you’re going to wear out the batteries in that thing. Why don’t we put it up.”
“No, I want to sing to you! Don’t you like it?” she said, throwing in the big blue puppy-dog eyes for good measure. What am I, heartless?
Rendition #7: I began rummaging for a stick of dynamite as the neverending loop of hideousness started again…
Rendition #8: “You’re such a good singer! Why don’t you go back to the computer room and sing to Daddy for a while?”
“Okay!” She went. I fled.
It was too late. Even as I sit here typing, that craptacular song is playing itself in my head, over and over and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER…I fear I may go insane prematurely. Left to her own devices, it would probably have taken my daughter another 8 or 9 years to succeed in driving me over the edge of utter madness, but thanks to your assistance, Mother (you’re supposed to love me - remember?) she very nearly accomplished it in one day.
And if I find the criminals who unleashed this fuming wad of vilest excreta on the world (I’m too traumatized to google and find out who the “artists” are) I’m going to shove the microphone of that Barbie karaoke machine straight up their asses and turn the echo up to 11. The sound of their flatulence reverberating through the hills and valleys forever would overfill my soul with a gentle and profound sense of contentment.
(BBBRRRAAAAPPPppppp…) (yea, verily, my cup runneth over…)