Thursday, February 07, 2008

Crank Dat Parenting

OK. It's been way too serious around here for way too long. I've been talking doom and gloom and politics and impeach Bush this and shove something up Cheney's that for a while now and why not follow up a post about Dr. King with a bit about this vaunted song Crank Dat by Souljah Boy.

This morning, for whatever reason, I was chanting the lyrics to this song under my breath as I went about my morning work. I never made a conscious effort to learn the song but it's played so incessantly I suppose I picked it up somewhere. It also comes with a dance, that is quite energetic, fun and which I learned how to do last summer when I took 5 girls to our church retreat. They played very strict radio edits of certain songs and this was one.

At the time, I didn't know the lyrics, but if you haven't heard it, it goes a little something like this:

Soulja Boy up In it (oh)
Watch Me Crank It
Watch Me Roll
Watch Me Crank Dat Soulja Boy
den Super Man Dat (oh)
Now watch me yuuuuuuuuuh
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Now watch me yuuuuuuuuuh
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Now watch me Yuuuuuuuuuh
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)
Now watch me Yuuuuuuuuuh
(Crank Dat Soulja Boy)

And that's the cleanest part of the lyrics, so that's all I'm posting.

This morning, however, Teen Arabella walks up to me and asks, "Do you know what that song means?"

And I'm like, "No, I thought it was just the song and the dance."

And she's like "uh-uhn, that song is degrading to girls" and I'm like "For real?' and she's like "Uh-huh".

"So what does it mean?"

And then my mother comes into the room and the conversation lags for a second. We exchange guilty kid glances and then at the same time we both say, "We'll talk about it in the car," and she runs off to finish gathering her things for school.

So in the car she starts to tell me what it means and she starts off in the cutest way.

"When a man and woman are having...well relations..."

And I burst out laughing. At that moment I made a decision.

"I don't want to hear this from you. I really don't, whatever it is. I could probably hear this from Chris Rock and laugh - but I don't want to hear it from you.

"If I knew and you didn't, I could tell you, but I don't want to hear it from you.

"I don't even care that you know or that you discuss this kind of stuff with your friends - but I don't want to hear this from you."

My daughter and I have had some very frank discussions about sexuality. I've always been the kind of parent that feels if they're old enough to ask, they're old enough to get a truthful answer. But usually I've been on the explaining end, which, I think, is as it should be. This morning, I just could not hear this from my daughter.

At which point we decided I would look up the definitions of souljah boy and to be more specific superman dat at Urban Dictionary.

Which I did. And I burst out laughing all over again. But I'm glad my daughter wasn't the one to explain this to me.

The "music" our children listen to is deplorable. But honestly, it wasn't much better when I was a teen. The songs were a tad less blatant but the meaning was the same. I just can't work up my way up to righteous indignation over this.

You can listen to the song here and follow along with the lyrics here. You can also watch the souljah boy instructional video and dance being done here on YouTube.

My daughter turns 16 this year. That makes me feel old and young all at once. Old because, hell, where did the last 16 years of my life go? And young, because once she's in college, I'm going to have a lot of free time and I'll be a relatively young woman - I'm going to enjoy myself as much as I can.

The other day she mentioned getting her temps and I'm like, cool, because the sooner she can drive the better. She is in EVERYTHING at school and being her constant chauffeur sucks. There will be some very strict limitations on where she is allowed to go, but at least I won't have to leave the house every 15 seconds to take her somewhere or pick her up again.

She hasn't really asked, but I'd also like to give her a nice Sweet 16 Party. Nothing like those monstrous fests you see on TV of course - who the hell has money like that? Certainly not me. But even thought money is a little tight these days, I'd like to do this for her.

But I realized that since half our stuff is still in storage, I don't have access to her birth certificate, S.S. card, nothing. I couldn't get her temps if I wanted to. I could dig for everything through the storage but that could take hours or days even. It'll be easier, less stressful, and is going to take about the same amount of time to just to order new copies of everything.

It's weird though. Gathering up all these official little pieces of my daughter's life that I've guarded so carefully for so long that even I can't find them. And once I get them, I'll probably be handing them over to her soon. It's just one more step to her independence and her leaving home.

It's a bittersweet feeling.


  1. Great post...I dread it when my kids (I have a boy and 2 girls) are teenagers....It's hard enough keeping Hannah Montana out of our house! Nevermind the "soldier boy"...

    Been blogging about racism, elitism, and homelessness again...check in at my blogs once in a while-
    -Nur aka Rockin' Hejabi/Hejabi in the Heartland


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