Featured Guest Blog: What Makes You Beautiful

I had always described the relationship between my eight-year old “E-Man” and five-year old “C-Love” as 95% best friends, 5% mortal enemies.

But something happened in recent weeks that created a seismic shift in their universe: We stopped listening to Kids Place Live on XM in the car, in favor of the Disney channel.

It was sort of the end of innocence. There would be no more belly laughs from Kenny Curtis and the crazy characters on The Animal Farm. Now Justin Bieber is touting himself as a boyfriend, and Carly Rae Jepsen is soliciting phone calls from strangers.

But both kids love the bubblegum pop, and there’s no going back to the way it was. This was never more evident than the time One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful came on. If you haven’t heard the song, it’s extremely catchy — bordering on brainwashing.

And it was the subject of an EPIC lyric deconstruction on The Colbert Report last week. I dare you to watch the video and not laugh out loud.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The 2012 People’s Party Congress of Charlotte – Youth Vote
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If you are unable to view the video, please click here or copy and paste this url into your web browser  http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/418915/september-07-2012/the-2012-people-s-party-congress-of-charlotte—youth-vote

But I digress. The point is E-Man knows every word and sings the whole thing. Whether you like his rendition isn’t the point. He was diagnosed on the spectrum at two, and wasn’t speaking until he was almost three, so every note is music to my ears no matter how repetitive it gets.

You don’t know you’re beautiful! Oh-Oh! That’s what makes you beautiful!”

Well, younger sister C-Love already knows she’s beautiful (and talented, and funny, blah, blah, blah) and she’s screaming for him to shut up so she can hear the real song. But he wouldn’t stop; he couldn’t stop. So she started lunging across the backseat, wildly hitting to try to get him to stop.

This was further complicated by the exhaustion of a day at the pool, 95 degree weather, and the fact that they were each holding ice cream cones. And, as I often find myself, I was a single parent behind the wheel and powerless to stop any of it.

It’s one of those situations that seemed impossibly frustrating at the time, but too funny in retrospect. Which I guess is the mission for this website.

I followed up on my threat and turned the radio off. C-Love was outraged, which was exacerbated by E-Man’s continued singing even though the music was off. He claimed he couldn’t stop — the song was stuck in his head. Then, as a determined five-year old might do, she reached across and planted her ice cream cone on her older brother’s neck.

I kept my lid from flipping for one minute until we pulled up at our destination, the Kroger parking lot. I used wipes to clean up the kids, and I used the swim towels to clean up the car, all while trying to keep them separated. Cooler heads prevailed for about a second until we started walking toward the grocery store entrance.

You don’t know you’re beautiful! Oh-Oh! That’s what makes you beautiful!”

If I hadn’t physically restrained C-Love at that moment, The CSI Unit would be poring over E-Man’s chalk outline in the Kroger parking lot.

I should have known better. Rule #252, “Never play harmonizing boy bands in the car after swimming on a hot summer day while headed to the grocery store with ice cream cones.” Shame on me for not following my own rules.

The grocery run didn’t happen. The kids were forced to listen to the baseball game in the car on the way home. So there.

You have to be flexible and abandon the plan sometimes. Life doesn’t always take you in one direction.


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7 Responses to Featured Guest Blog: What Makes You Beautiful

  1. Planetpj says:

    That was hilarious and totally something that would happen in m car, except that ice cream part. Neither of my kids would ever willingly give up their ice cream, but I’m sure a thrown iPod or DS is in my future….

  2. Backtime says:

    Thank you all for reading. It’s hard to follow up something as poignant as “Kindergarten Circa 2013” that almost pulled my heart out of my chest (my daughter is in K). I hope to contribute again soon!

  3. Sam S says:

    Beautiful Blog:Blog Beautiful

  4. Brooke-E-Rich says:

    Thanks for sharing! Funny and entertaining!! I would like to be a guest blogger one day! 🙂

  5. BlazeTMR says:

    Hilarious! Thanks for sharing with us, Dad!

  6. Jaci VW says:

    Flexibility is KEY! I love the humorous look at how we have to always be willing to drop our plans to accommodate our kiddos. Also, love the little pun at the end 🙂

  7. Phil W says:

    Thanks for the laughs, both with the Colbert report and rule #252. I could just see it all happening and it brought tears to my eyes.

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