Back when my daughter Casey was 2 and 3, all we listened to was KISS Unplugged.
I’m not sure why, or how. But the damn CD played over and over and over in the car. She particularly enjoyed Paul Stanley singing “Rock Bottom,” and began singing along with the words. Having grown up a pretty big KISS fan, I bragged about this repeatedly. While other kids her age were waddling along to Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkner, my girl could tell you that Ace played guitar, and Peter—on drums—was the cat man. Cool.
Only, truth be told, it wasn’t.
It took me a long time to realize that the whole thing was a joke. Casey wasn’t picking KISS over kiddie music; she was simply digesting whatever shit I stuffed in her face. Had I been playing Tesla or Lou Reed or Ant Banks, she’d have been fans of those artists. I was the typical self-absorbed, look-at-my-kid! parent; the type that, nowadays, annoys me.
Anyhow, time has passed. Casey is 10, and while she can still name the four members of KISS, she no longer cares for their songs (to her credit, the kid has actual taste). However, I am also happy to report that she also dislikes Britney Spears, Rihanna, One Direction, Ariana Grande and all other pop. When that stuff comes on, she either turns the volume down or shuts it off. Her call.
Best of all? Casey’s favorite group is Run DMC—fully by choice. We’ve probably heard Christmas in Hollis and Walk This Way and Tricky, oh, 500 times each. She knows the words, turns up the volume, seems to delight in knowing other kids aren’t experiencing the same bounce.