I admit it, it's totally my fault. As soon as I noticed my daughter liked my Latin music, I would blast my favorite hits for her. Amelia especially liked "merengue", percussion and horn ladden rhythms from Dominican Republic, and "regueton", a recent musical phenomenon closely related to rap.
A 3 year old Pitbull fan
It all started with pop star Shakira and her single "Loca" which I've been known to sing out loud in an empty isle at the grocery store. Obviously, we listen to the Spanish version.
"Yo soy loca con mi tigre. Loca, Loca, Loca"
"I'm crazy but you like it. Loca, Loca, Loca"
Amelia sounded adorable singing the chorus but I knew this could eventually mean trouble.
Next hit on Amelia's top 5 "Rabiosa" a duet by Shakira and Pitbull, a Cuban American "regueton" sensation who every major pop star, from JLO to Enrique Iglesias, has recorded with.
"Oye, Papi if you like them Mocha come get a little closer and bite me en la boca."
That was the verse that caught my baby's attention. Again, she was clueless about the meaning of the lyrics, but trouble was closer.
And now a disclaimer, I may look like a classy, sophisticated woman. Lord knows my mother tried to raise a proper lady; yet as soon as my ear detects the sound of merengue, salsa or "regueton", the physically undetectable Afro Caribbean in me takes over and I will dance my butt off whenever and wherever. I'm just saying you better get out my way even if the song is playing at the DMV. (Refer to the previous Shakira video link to get a mental picture of me at Jewel)
How could I not know that part of my Puerto Ricaness was hereditary when I introduced Amelia to her last Pitbull song? Oh, I was well aware but I was eager to share this with my Midwestern, half Jewish girl.
The number one single on Amelia's chart is what she called until 2 weeks ago,
"the counting song, Mama". The darn tune is so catchy, we could both listen to it over and over again. Until...
"I know you want me, you know I want cha." That was my 3 year old little girl singing out loud at Target.
"No Amelia, don't sing that."
"But Mama, I love I know you want me, you know I want cha".
My poor baby was hooked and I had to break her off that bad habit.
"Mama, I want I know you want me, pleaaaaseeee" she would beg in the car.
"No Ame, I don't have it anymore."
"Yes, you do Mama. I like it."
"No Ame, I lost the song on my phone."
As we speak, I am downloading a new age-appropriate Latin and Pop music list for a talking toddler, that I can bear listening too over and over again. FYI: The sound track for both "Rio" and "Hop" were a total hit for Mama and Ame. Ay Mama!