Riding in cars (with swears)

One of the nicest things about living in small-town Nova Scotia is that it takes us less than five minutes to drive just about anywhere we need to go.

The only “traffic” is twice a day at a handful of especially-busy intersections where you might have to wait a couple of lights until you can go through. The trains might hold you up for 10 minutes, depending on how many boxcars they’re lugging.


All of this means that I’m rarely in my truck with the kids for more than the length of a single song on the radio. I actually prefer to hit the “off” button as soon as I buckle up, since I don’t like background noise and we just chat during the (very, very) short drive to wherever we’re going.

But our listening habits changed recently when I found my old 80 GB iPod* — one of the REALLY old chunky ones where you have to swirl your finger around the dial because there isn’t a touchscreen. I hooked it up to the stereo with an AUX cable and started introducing the kids to the thousands of songs Mommy downloaded over the years.

Now, these kids are only used to hearing the handful of songs I have purchased on my iPhone — lots of Taylor Swift, and the soundtracks for Trolls and Moana — so it was hilarious to watch their reactions to my (questionable) music taste.

They were not impressed when I played my soothing labour and delivery playlist (“Boring!”) or lullabies and classical music I’d played in the car when they were babies (“Mom, no!”). They also didn’t care to reminisce about their toddlerhood with the playlists of nursery rhymes, Disney songs and Dora the Explorer tracks.

Nope, so far their favourite playlist has been a gem I called “Heather’s Dirty Thirty.” (Why, yes, I am super cool. Thanks for asking.)

Our seven-year-old son, who is a stickler for details, picked up on the fact that the lyrics of Florida Georgia Line’s Cruise included “this brand-new Chevy with a lift kit” and we, coincidentally, had recently purchased a (secondhand) Chevy with a lift kit.

“It’s our song! It’s about OUR TRUCK!” he’d said excitedly.

Now he loves singing along to that part, and I try to forget about the fact that the rest of the lyrics are about making out in trucks and include “when I first saw that bikini top on her / She’s poppin’ right out of the South Georgia water.”

Of course, my husband doesn’t use my iPod. (He does not share my taste in music.) When he drove the kids somewhere recently, he had no idea what they were talking about when they begged Daddy to “please put on ‘Brand-New Chevy with a Lift Kit.’”

While they do really love that tune, I also introduced them to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop, since they accompany me to our town’s thrift shops sometimes.

They were bobbing their heads to the intro and singing along with me — “What, what, what, what!” — and it wasn’t until the end of the chorus that I realized I’d made a terrible mistake.

“Mom! He just said ‘This is F-word awesome!’” our seven-year-old cried delightedly.

Oh crap.

“What did he say?” our five-year-old daughter suddenly snapped to attention, realizing she was missing something.

“He said—”

“‘Freaking!’ He said, ‘This is freaking awesome,’” I interrupted quickly, trying to turn off the song without taking my eyes off the road.

Maybe I need to vet my playlists more carefully. At least I knew enough not to let them listen to Eminem!


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