This summer, Nannie took my 3 ½ year old to see the Disney/Pixar movie CARS. I heard it was a wonderful outing, as I did not attend the festivities. My son thoroughly enjoyed this film. Great, a successful outing with Nannie, and a good time was had by all.
Then everything started to go downhill. We had to start collecting the “cars” from the movie. Well, this took some time but we seemed to acquire all the characters in most sizes – did you know each one comes in a different size? These little vehicles provide hours of enjoyment for the boy. Great, we’re done until the DVD release. We all decided that the DVD would make a great Christmas present. At first, I wasn’t convinced; I wanted to get a copy on the day it was released. But cooler, female heads prevailed, and we’re waiting until the holiday. This would be great if it wasn’t advertised all over the place. Who knew you could effectively market 3 ½ year olds into a frenzy?
After much convincing, the boy has accepted that Santa has his copy and will be bringing it shortly. That should’ve been the end of it, small little cars collected and DVD on the way. Not so fast. There’s the matter of a soundtrack. In particular, the song, “Life Is A Highway” remade by Rascal Flatts for the movie. This theme song is tagged on most of the television advertising. After a while my son could hear it played from over a hundred feet away.
Being the “techno” dad I am, and wanting to look like a hero in the young boy’s eyes, I proceeded to download the song from iTunes. Hey, where else can you get so much enjoyment for only $.99? Now this is where the wheels really start to come off. It started, innocently enough, with, “Dad, can I have the “CARS” music, Please?” Off to the computer and, click, click, poof – “CARS” music!
“Again, Dad!” …Okay.
“Again, Pweeeaze!” …Okay.
I needed a solution. My son needed his “fix.” Thinking on my feet, I decided to burn a CD, one song only. Let’s face it, blank CD’s are cheap and my sanity was at stake. I finished the CD, took it to my son’s room, put it in his small little CD boom box, pressed play and the repeat button, left and closed the door.
“You’re the greatest Dad, ever!” he said, reeling in delight.
Mission accomplished. I’m so smart.
Yeah, I’m too smart for my own good. I had also put the song onto my iPod (a gift from my wonderful wife). I have configured our car stereo to plug in our iPods. One day, on a trip to the supermarket, I inadvertently played the song. Yes, the boy was with me. A scream echoed throughout the minivan. Since then we measure the length of a car trip based on the song’s “playcount”; 2 ½ times to the supermarket, 3 ¾ times to The Home Depot, and so on. Something had to be done.
Most of us who have more than one child have a minivan or SUV. It’s not that we don’t care about the environment, or that we enjoy $40-$60 fill-ups. It’s that kids need stuff, kids have stuff, and easily getting a child in and out of a car is one of life’s little pleasures. Most of you who have a newer version of one of these vehicles also know the pleasure of factory installed DVD players. These on board entertainment systems are usually equipped with headphones, as well. This is one of life’s big pleasures. But, did you also know that DVD players will play audio CD’s. You guessed it; burn another copy for the car. Have child put on his headphones and enjoy the quiet. Except for the occasional singing that’s heard from the back, life is good again. Back to my news radio for adult stimulation, and away we go!
Moral of today’s story; if at first you don’t succeed – keep trying, remember, necessity is the mother of invention.