Tonight, while listening to Beck’s Guero, as the song “Hell Yes” played, Amanda asked what the song was. I began to tell her and then stopped, halted by the fact that the name of the song was a swear word. Now, let me say that I’m not really worried about her hearing “hell” but just telling her the name of a song like this plants it in her head as something she can say. I know she has no ill meaning behind her usage of words, just like most people don’t when they use something like “hell,” but I pause at simply telling that to a three year old. It’s just too damn weird.
“Daddy, what’s this song called?” she asked again, and I thought for a moment, then stumbled out a brief, “‘Yes,’ it’s called ‘Yes.'” I felt like I’d lied to her. Of all the things that we’ve talked about – Santa, the toys she could get for using the potty properly right now because I know it isn’t going to happen, why things are called what they’re called – leaving “hell” out of this song title bit at me the most. Maybe because I don’t want to be one of those parents, you know the kind – the ones who endlessly, mercilessly censor their childrens’ lives to the point that it’s all bright colors and lollipop and gumballs, yay!
And then we were off the subject, as she became fascinated with the sounds within the song itself, pointing out a repeating beep that she thought was funny, or how the lady said “hi!” a lot (I tried to inform her it was probably “hai,” as in Japanese for “yes,” but that fell flat – she had a whole story concocted in no time, that she was saying hi because she wanted more customers. “You are a very business minded little girl,” I said.)
But soon it was back to the title at hand, “Daddy, what is this song called?” And just as I was about to try and pass off my edited title again, she blurted out the words: “‘Oh Yes’! Is that what he’s saying?” Yes, yes, that’s it, I happily agreed, just fine to let the computer voice in the song that slurs the “hell” into “oh” take care of my problem for me.