Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Nooma Nooma Nooma

Andrew loves anything with circuits and his love is directly proportional to how new it is. Gadgets and toys are his thing so when he asked me if a new laptop was on my birthday wish list I could see right into his head and knew where things were headed.

After being forbidden to buy one he did anyway and spent most of the day of my birthday installing programs and transferring files and further proving his love. So now (in theory) I can’t put off writing or blogging (are they the same thing? I suppose that would be up for debate) any longer. I have to make good on his gift. Though I had to give him a hard time and let him know that he wasn't fooling anyone, it's all about the toys. There's no way he would have spent the same amount of money on clothing.

But beyond the birthday thing the summer has been remarkable for the fact that we're getting what I've come to affectionately refer to as a "Taste of the Teenager." Grace, at twelve and a half, seems to have become the pace car for our little family, determining how fast and how furious our lives speed along. Suddenly our children want to see movies I didn't know existed and listen to music that we didn't introduce them to--kind of our very own Karoake Hell.

To explain, Grace's best friend Paige burned her a CD of her favorite songs, which oddly enough are mostly 80s tunes I haven't heard in twenty years though she came to me in a large excitement, wanting me to hear this "new" song she found (when was the last time someone called Queen "new"?) But her favorite was--and how could I make this up?--a Romanian dance mix--sung of course completely in Romanian. Who knows what they're saying, it doesn't really matter, but she introduced the song to her younger siblings and before I knew it my four little American Idol wannabes from Grace down to Lillian are singing "The Nooma Nooma Song."

Not that I have anything against dance music. Or against Romania. Or at least I didn't, but the kids set the CD player to "repeat" mode and listened to the song over and over ad nauseum till I wanted to crawl into the bathroom (the only room without a stereo) and die.

One afternoon was particularly difficult. After trying for the sixth time to finish a particular paragraph in my book while the song was thump-thump-thumping overhead I stormed upstairs in a fit of desperation--I knew the music had to be stopped before Something Dreadful happened. I threw open the door to Spencer's bedroom and before he could gyrate his hips one more time I yoinked the disc out of the stereo mid-chorus, leaving his mouth to drop open in surprise. Disc in hand, I sighed, breathing deeply and prepared to savor my freedom.

But what was that? Like an evil echo, mocking me with every beat and every electronically synthesized note came the strains of " . . . nooma nooma yeah, nooma nooma yeah . . . " and I twitched. Coming from the bedroom next door was the old pain, the song was back.

Throwing open the door to the girls' bedroom I found Lillian, shaking her four year-old booty to the beat and dancing and singing along (probably in perfect Romanian for all I know). It was then I realized they'd each of them made copies, and hydra-like where I'd taken away one disc nine more had sprung. Or maybe in more appropo, 80s terms, it was as if someone had been pouring water on gremlins.

It took quite a while to eradicate every last copy but I couldn't rest until my home was once again safe from the worst thing to come from Romania since Nikolai Ceausescu. Easing back into my chair I went back to my book.

It wasn't long before David came downstairs to get a snack. Having just learned to whistle he whistles pretty much everywhere he goes and (you realize where this is going don't you?) he was whistling the Nooma Nooma Song. In the bath tub, getting dressed, doing his chores, even chewing his food he whistles the Nooma Nooma Song and the others sing or hum as their abilities allow.

Three times I've found myself humming it while folding laundry and two nights in a row I've been dreaming and woke to realize the song was running through my dreams like some wretched soundrack I can't turn off. If the U.S. government could only learn to use this debilitating power to their advantage the war in Iraq could be over in a matter of weeks. Osama woulldn't stand a chance against the power of Nooma Nooma.


Anonymous said...

Is "yoinked" the same as "yanked"? I loved the the column! Your HT

Favorite Aunt Carine said...

Tell the kids I'd be happy to burn a new copy off my ipod.