That Baby DVD (or, as my daughter calls it, "The movie with the girl with hair like me") is the product of several Portland musician/parents' obvious frustration with the kidlet music scene. And who can blame them. Watching baby- or child-appropriate programming is a bit like being trapped in an elevator filled to the brim with bad Muzak. Only worse. Because there are usually unintelligible, aesthetically-disturbing visual images to go with the "musical" sounds that seem to have been produced by no known or recognizable instrument.
Sure, the baby loves the visual delights of the Baby-Whatchamacalit series, but let's face it, unless you've smoked enough of the good stuff to rival your last college three-day concert extravaganza in the mud, the noise coming from the living room TV set is more likely to send you into a postal rage than to entertain you.
Enter: That Baby DVD. The DVD features acoustical covers of well-know and generally beloved musicians. The song selection is great and the lyrics are sung in voices that children can understand - which makes sing-alongs much easier. I'll admit, though, that I wasn't 100% cognizant of some of the lyrics from favorite songs until now. Or perhaps I'd just never paid that much attention. (Like the slightly-though-unintentionally misogynistic lyrics to "When We Grow Up" - "Maybe you'll be a lady and I'll be an engineer" says the little boy. ) Still, I'll take good music and musicians over most all of the crap on radio stations or in the more common children's compilations any day. (Holy crap! How old do you have to be to utter a sentence like that last one?)
I'll also warn that many of the songs get stuck in your head. But that's not a bad thing. Which would you prefer, "The Wheels on the Bus" or "Happiness Runs"? Me, too. And apparently, it is not possible for me to sing the phrase "Pony Boy" repetitively without turning it into "Poiny Boy". Believe me, I tried.
Now, onto the visuals. I think they are head-and-shoulders above the competition. There are still a few slight-psychedelic ones, but apparently, kids dig 'em. And I suppose this is just as much for them as it is the grown-ups. Wait, what? It's more about them. Oh. Okay.
In that case, I'll tell you that Hannah chose to watch That Baby DVD over Cinderella (Hey, don't blame me. It seems that Disney princesses now comes encoded in girl DNA. All that crap made it into my house against my better efforts.). She really likes the images of the children and the fact that they're actively dancing and playing musical instruments helps a lot. Singing is one of her favorite activities right now, and we were both relieved to have new additions to our increasingly tired repertoire.
So: Great product. Parents dig it, and so do kids. I wouldn't say it's perfect, but really, I'm not sure anything that has to juggle the two audiences (grown-ups and non-grown-ups) will ever make both truly peachy pleased. That Baby DVD certainly comes much closer that others I've seen.
The nice folks at MotherTalk passed along this information if you're thinking of buying:
Enter the coupon code "MotherTalk" when purchasing and save 20% on your entire order!
From now until , all orders using the coupon code "MotherTalk" will be entered in a drawing to win a new iPod nano.
Which brings me to another question: I have about four PayPal gift certificates just waiting for charity. Any suggestions? I will likely donate them to little Emily, but I'd like to know if there's another cause I should be considering.