My Son, The Hip Hop Mogul in the Making

We sing a lot at our house.


That’s not entirely accurate; Mark is musically inclined. He can play the guitar and carry a tune. I cannot. But I am not deterred by my inabilities. What I lack in musical skill, I make up for in killer lyrics. I’m a rhyming fool, yo.

As I child, I loved that the Cosby family would just break into song around the dinner table or during dream sequences, and wanted the same for my family. We encourage silly singing. Mark even instituted Guitar Bath Time, when he plays while the kids rock along to cover tunes and some of Mark’s original songs.

P. is actually Mark’s primary audience these days, as H. is a big time six year old now and takes showers that require one of his parents to stand in the bathroom and give detailed instructions, every day, like get your entire body wet, now use soap and scrub your whole body, now rinse. Yes, your whole body. Rinse all of it. Yes, I am including your hair when I say body.

We had to eliminate dinnertime singing for a while, though, because it’s hard to sing without arm gestures. And arm gestures inevitably lead to spilled milk. Which inevitably leads to crying, and therefore I find the don’t cry… cliché utter bull. Aside from the obvious problem with this rule (i.e., it’s not very Cosby-esque to outlaw singing at the table), the primary issue with No Dinnertime Singing was this: Mark and I kept breaking our own rule.

Since we live with Taskmaster, Rule-Follower H., our hypocrisy was regularly pointed out in a manner that made me feel very un-Cosby-like. There is little that irritates me more than a smug know-it-all, and when that smugness emanates from my own offspring? Forget sitcom-worthy teachable moments.

To avoid future hypocrisy, at least where this issue is concerned, we now allow some table-side song stylings. We have eclectic music tastes, so I’m sure our kids have heard a little of everything around here. For years I didn’t censor what I played, because they weren’t paying attention to the words. These days, however, I skip any songs with explicit lyrics, and play pretty tame stuff.

So, when H. let this one fly at dinner the other night, complete with swagger and some eerily-gang-like hand gestures, we were amused. And scared.

[Mumble, mumble – perhaps a verse’s worth of rapidly mush-mouthed words that we didn’t entirely follow and then…]


When you’re at the top of your game,
You’re at the top of the chain.
Couple cars in the garage,
And two juice boxes.

[More mumble… something about your friends thinking you’re cool. Repeat chorus.]

Of course Mark and I raised the roof and completely encouraged H. to keep bustin’. He indulged us for about two minutes before beating his fist against his chest, throwing a peace sign and saying, “I’m out.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Taskmaster H. is in the hizouse.

We always say that we don’t care what our children do, as long as they follow their passions and create a life they love. So if he wants to be the next Eminem, I guess his dad and I won’t be buggin’ – especially if he brings home enough scrillah (look it up) to give us a nice retirement.

I wonder…

:: Have your kids ever exhibited a surprising, uh, skill?



  1. Nice! Tori surprises me with her apparent ability to dance. She certainly didn’t get it from me. Even though, right now dancing involves a lot of decidedly chaotic twirling…

  2. Hilarious! My kid loves to dance, but not sure if the reality dance shows will still be around by the time he’s eligible :)

  3. Oh how funny! We have not had this particular skill, but we have also learned our children are incredibly tone-deaf. I do NOT see American Idol in our future..

  4. Hilarious! I can’t imagine a 6yo saying “I’m out!”

    Whenever i try to bust a move to a catchy show theme song or sing sweetly to my girls, I’m met with screams of “Stop it Mommy!” Not good for my self estizzeem.

  5. My 3 year old break dances. I’m serious. I think it stemmed from when he was a baby and my brother used to spin him on his hardwood floor.
    Anyways, it cracks me up. That kid has beat.

  6. That is great!! I am an incredible singer…. but only in the car with the volume up high. There must be something about the car!

    My kids have all sorts of skills that have me wondering where in the world they got them! Because nobody else in the family has them!

  7. Funny! We also sing, but only in private. I can’t carry a tune!
    I was surprised that JBird could do gymnastics as well as she could. Sure she’s been taking dance, but doing summersaults, etc. I didn’t expect.

  8. Dude. TWO juice boxes?
    He be rollin large.

    (Sorry. I can’t pull that off, right?)

    Anyway, I love the visual of dinner and bath-time music (plus the “your hair counts as your body detail”) and I can absolutely relate to wishing my family were the Cosbys.

    I SO wanted to be the house where we’d break into choreographed song on everyone’s anniversary. Oh yeah.

    Plus they had cool sweaters.
    (And probably two juice boxes.)

    • Right? Two juice boxes gives you status. Apparently.

      Please tell me that there is a turning point in the bathing, and one day I won’t have to provide detailed instructions. Every day.

  9. Love it! We love to sing too. Well, everyone loves to sing, including me, but no one actually likes MY singing because I’m awful. They’ll actually ask me to stop singing in the car because it’s hurting their ears. Sigh. At least I’m good in my own mind, right!?

    • I am a HORRIBLE singer, and I’m sure the day is coming when my boys ask me to please, for the love all that is musical, to stop. Until then, they’re stuck with me!


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