When Lauren was 4, she did a jazz dance class. At the first recital, we settled into our seats and watched our darling little girl …shake her sequined little ass to “Girls” by The Beastie Boys (“girls, to do the dishes, to do the laundry, to clean up my room.”) The moment the recital ended, we pulled her out of that studio, horrified as to what we had exposed her to. Was she going to be a topless dancer now?
Flash forward to Lauren last night at age 10 when, in lieu of a nighttime cuddle and chat with me, she worked very, very hard to show me how to twerk. Craig’s take on the situation after observation is that my ass will not be able to do it.
First of all, I did not know this was a term until this past week, thank you Miley. Isn’t it just called “shaking that booty?” That’s what we called it back in my day in the 80s when we hired people to do that for entertainment at our bar mitzvahs in Detroit.
Not really sure how we went from trying to shelter our kids from all of the impurities of the world, (“Um, Susie, we dont swear in our house”) to taking them to a concert or a movie and cheering when we see people grinding up against each other.
I will never forget when the tides officially turned for Craig and I and we won our WPE (worst parents ever) award. It was in NYC 2 years ago. We let Sam pick his annual after camp broadway show; Book of Mormon. Oh, that’s supposed to be hilarious said everyone! So, as we 3 settled into our 200$ seats, we started hearing songs of clitoral mutilation and raping babies to give them AIDS, and we thought, um, perhaps Mary Poppins would have been more appropriate. Even the cast afterwards said to 10 year old Sam, “Well, someone learned some new words today!” And we hung our heads in shame.
Since that time it’s all gone to hell. I’ve taken Sam to see movies like “Ted” and let him watch any number of inappropriate movies while on the road. I was too tired to care.
My own parents took me as a young girl to see Quadrophenia and also “10” with Bo Derek while I was under the age of 8, so I’m really just doing what I was taught.
So today, it should be no surprise that I found myself uttering the following words to Sam: “Honey, I think you have to stress the word “fag” in that scene. And also, you need to say “dick” much louder and stronger.” And then I said, to the scene reader, “Sir, can you say fuck a little louder? I’m not sure he can get a good reaction from you without a loud “fuck” coming from your end of the room.”
Yep. I’m Allyson Primack. And I’m the WME ( worst mom ever,) Sam is filming auditions in AZ on a weekly basis for TV shows and films to be sent to casting directors in ny and la. This movie would be an amazing opportunity, and a challenging role. Sometimes these movies have bad words, and I guess you can’t avoid it.
On the way home we cracked up over my profanity coaching, but the best part is I’m fairly confident he won’t start talking like that all the time in real life. And Lauren, who thinks Miley is gross now, will not be twerking at school just because of the VMA awards.
As long as they understand that it’s for entertainment and not for real, I think that we as a society will be ok. If you freak out and give this stuff more attention than necessary, kids will be more interested in it. They like to shock. So lets just ignore it. And laugh about the absurdity of it all so they don’t think it’s taboo to discuss.
And so, tomorrow, when I again take Sam to a movie audition where he discusses the beauty of porn and how to upload it onto the Internet, I will sit back and offer my occasional acting coaching: “Remember, honey, it’s a movie about a sex tape . You know what that is, right?”
And then we will laugh about it on the way home and go get him some nice new slacks for the bar mitzvah he’s going to on Saturday.
I have loosened up since 4 year old Lauren did her own twerking at the recital. Now she’s shaking her tush and flipping around in a sports bra and booty shorts (she has neither breasts nor much of a booty for either.)
But this is the world of today, like it or not. And if we try to hide it, or pretend it doesnt exist, like my mom did with junk food, you will end up at Lisa Friedmans house every day after school scrounging for ding dongs and gaining 25 pounds as a freshman in college.
It’s all about informed discussion and limits. And if you know what the title of this blog means, and you haven’t told your kids, then you are already half way there.
But not the WPE Primacks because Sam owns that shirt. But he’s only allowed to wear it at home. We won’t mess up anyone else’s kids but our own.