80′s Song Or Something Kids Say?

80's song

Last week, as the kids were knee-deep in a standoff, my daughter yelled something at her brother that gave me pause.

“You can’t touch this!”

Immediately, I felt the impulse to shuffle from side to side in a pair of billowy satin parachute pants.

Which got me thinking.  I know, that’s dangerous when it happens, but hear me out.

As a child of the 80’s, those songs were my anthems.  My battle cries.  The soundtrack to my middle- and high-school years.

And now, decades later, my kids say so many things on a daily basis that sound lifted right out of the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie.  You could probably supply a preschooler’s daily vocabulary solely on 80’s song titles.

For instance:

80's kids

“Don’t Stand So Close To Me”

A request from Sting, or a preschooler who values personal space?

“Can’t Touch This”

A cry for personal property retention or a memorable and catchy tune from M.C. Hammer?

“We Didn’t Start the Fire”

Billy Joel song, or denial that any wrongdoing from young hands has taken place?

“You Spin Me Round”

A hit from Dead or Alive, or the constant request to get grabbed by the arms and twirled around?

“Need You Tonight”

The quintessential nightmare plea or an INXS song?

“Don’t You Forget About Me”

Have you heard this in a Michael Anthony Hall movie, or at drop off from your 4 year-old?

“Pretty in Pink”

The way a little girl feels draped in head-to-toe fushia colored garments, or the theme song to the movie of the same name by the Psychadelic Furs?

“Bring Da Noise”

Rally cry from rap legends Public Enemy, or rally cry from a bounce house full of toddlers?

“Here I Go Again”

The declaration just before your toddler repeats his “you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him” head butt, or a light-rock ditty by Whitesnake?

“Catch Me I’m Falling”

A bubbly pop song from Pretty Poison, or the warning yell from your over-adventurous kid on the playground?


Perhaps as you read these, some other gems came to mind.  If so, I’d love to hear them! It’s pretty fun to think about, and once you start, you can’t stop!  Drop them in the comments and let’s make a new list.

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The age of enlightenment…

We went to a wedding last weekend of a co-worker of Jon’s, a guy in his mid- to late-20′s.  And while I’ll leave my observations about how fancy schmancy the reception was, how gorgeous the bride looked, and how stocked the bar appeared, I had one staggering realization that trumped them all.

I am approaching middle age.  Not quite there yet, I think, but closer to middle-aged than “young and vibrant.”

I think.  I don’t know.  I can’t be certain, because I still get excited when I get carded at restaurants, flashing my ID like a sorority girl, proud that I’m legal.  And then I realize that I’m almost double the legal drinking age, and that the waitress is asking me for my ID so she doesn’t get fired.  Sure, I think that term can be applied to people a good decade older than me as well.  But let’s face it, I ain’t no spring chicken either.

Looking around the crowd at the reception, I felt completely jammed in the middle of things.  I wasn’t young enough to feel drawn to hang out with the hip 20-something group, who drank until they staggered without repercussion that some small child might wake them 40 minutes after they passed out at home.  But looking at the next age group around us, it contained their parents, grandparents, and their parents’ friends.  People who have just entered retirement or who’s kids have long left the nest and can’t seem to remember the days when the small children in their house bickered daily about who got to sit in the counter stool closest to the window.  So, if those are the two “extremes”, then I guess that places me somewhere smack in the middle.  Dammit, when did that happen?

And yet, I don’t feel like I’m what I thought being “middle aged” was when I was younger.  When I was in my 20′s, my vision of middle age meant driving a convertible, having a crisis, gray hair, a beer gut and a nice chuck of change squirreled away in a 401K or something.  You know…OLD.  But now that I’m There, in many ways, staring down the barrel of 40, these years feel like when I was preadolescent.  I believe them youngin’s are callin’ that the Tween years.  Am I right?  Or am I right?

In both demographics, you’re not old enough to move in to that next bracket of wisdom and privilege (driving, voting, moving away from home; retirement,  Senior Citizen discounts and an AARP membership) and yet you’re not young enough to get away with what you used to 5-10 years ago (shirking responsibility, slacking off just because you can, living life without a single thought about the future – immediate or otherwise).  You’re too old for the bouncy house, but too young to NOT want to jump in the bouncy house. 

And man, I do really like a good bouncy house…as long as it doesn’t leave me needing a hip replacement.