Picture it:

Sicily, 1942.

Just kidding. But if you’re not hearing Sophia Petrillo’s voice right now we probably shouldn’t be friends.

Now picture it:

I’m in the car, windows down, music blaring with a baseline so loud I’m afraid I might blow a speaker, pulling into the school parking lot.

You’re probably picturing me circa high school, in my white and silver 2001 Toyota Corolla with my bleached hair blowing across my orange perma-tanned face. But you would be wrong.

The year is 2019, the school is Evelyn’s preschool, and the song is Taylor Swift’s “We are never getting back together.” (And my face has never been paler).

The volume is controlled by backseat tyrants who shout “LOUDER!!!” if I attempt to lower the volume even a smidge, and it’s play count is high in the hundreds.

I have only myself to blame … I first played it for them in an attempt to get them to stop listening to this song, which is 5 minutes and 23 seconds of pure, redundant hell.

It worked, a little too well, and so now their obsession is Taylor Swift. Which is A-okay with me, except for two things. For starters, they’ve picked her two best break-up songs to be obsessed with – “All Too Well” is their favorite, with “We Are Never Getting Back Together” in a close second. The fact that they call it “the I love you song” at least tells me that the lyrics are still over their blissfully ignorant heads … but I still wonder what people (in the school parking lot, at the Starbucks Drive-thru … and let’s be honest, at the McDonald’s drive-thru) think about my home life when every time they see me I’m looking like I haven’t slept in 6 years AND blasting angry breakup songs.

The second bothersome thing is the sheer number of times these two songs have been repeated.

My kids have never known anything but on-demand song choices.

They’ve never known the rush of making sure they’re in front of their radio for the Top 5 at 5 so they can record “My Heart Will Go On” in its entirety over an old mixed tape. They’ve never known the heartache of that tape then running out of room before the song ends. And it shows.

A few months ago, a friend told me if she could do one thing differently with her kids from the start, it would be not letting them know that TV shows are available on demand. It was maybe the most genius thing I’ve heard this year.

“Oh you want to watch Paw Patrol? Sorry buddy, Paw Patrol isn’t on until 8 so it looks like you’ll have to go back to your own room and wait until then.”

Because when they know Paw Patrol is at their fingertips any time of day and they wake up at 4:29 am, their illogical little brains think “perfect!! I’ll run into mom and dads room right now and make my request known.” Which has me like:


Waiting for your show to come on and then subsequently waiting through commercial breaks builds character. (But don’t tell that to naptime Melissa when folding the laundry in front of Netflix sounds so much more appealing than folding the laundry in front of nothing.) This version of myself also gets really annoyed when I have to dig out the remote from under the laundry mountain to click Continue when it asks “are you still watching?” I don’t want to think what this says about my own character.

Anyway, why had this never occurred to me before? I’ve pulled out the “ooh sorry honey, the park is closed this week” so many times I should just put it on a T-shirt, but I’ve never thought I to tell them their show or song isn’t on yet.

I’ve been so focused on trying to eliminate harsh chemicals and pesticides and scents and processed foods and artificial flavors and any flavors that eliminating the on-demand mentality never even crossed my mind.

So today I finally tried it. I told my kids a bold faced lie and I owned it, and it worked.

“We want to listen to the I Love You song!”

”oh I wish we could, but mommy’s phone cord is broken, so we’ll have to listen to the radio instead.”

**puts in Titanic Soundtrack**