I'm a big fan of kids' music but it has to be the right kids' music. There's nothing that annoys my delicate sensibilities more than music that is unimaginative or that talks down to kids. (I'm looking your direction, Barney.) I don't care if kids don't know the difference (and personally, I think they do), they deserve well-written music performed by actual performers with real talent and real instruments rather than just any old tone-deaf cutie-pie lip-sync-er that Disney can manufacture because the parents are exposure whores and marketing figures it can sell a lot of lunch boxes and pillowcases with their face plastered all over. Woops. Have I come down to hard on one side of that subject?

If you don't have kids, you might not care about this, but if you, like me, not only learned about Trout Fishing in America several years before you ever had kids, but you also spent many a lunch hour sitting around the conference table with your colleagues singing these songs, it just might be your thing.

My favorite of their songs is one called "18 Wheels on a Big Rig."

Recently we've been working on counting with The Caterpillar, who still thinks seventeen comes after nine. And, as someone pointed out on the FacePlace, while she's correct that seventeen technically does come after nine, I'd like for her to learn before she turns twenty that there are some numbers in between too.

I was trying to think of songs that could help teach her to count (because that's what I do - when something is wrong in the world, I look for a song) and I suddenly remembered the "18 Wheels on a Big Rig" song and went to iTunes to download it.

Aside: How wonderful is it that we live in a world where you can be sitting in your living room and say, "Hey, remember That Song I Don't Know the Name Of by That Group I Can't Remember? I always liked that song. I should get it." And then after less than two minutes of Google searching and iTunes downloading, you will not only find the name of the group AND the song, but also own it and be listening to it with your family without ever getting up out of your chair. If the Internet were a man, I would marry it. I could also marry it in D.C. if it were a woman. I ♥ U Internet!

So I've had this song on my iPod for about four days now and it is currently the single most requested song when we get in the car in the morning to go to school. Prior to this week it was "Late for School" from Steve Martin's new banjo album, The Crow, which is one of the most awesome things I've added to my life in the past year. See for yourself:

Wow, this post has more tangents than a... something that has... a really lot of tangents

"What's something that has a lot of tangents?" I ask The KingofHearts.

"A circle can have an infinite number of tangents," The KingofHearts tells me. "So does a sphere. Also an oval. And oval could also be an ellipse though. All it is is a line that touches the slope."

"I know what a tangent is. I'm just looking for a literary image."

"Oh, I thought you were doing a crossword puzzle or something. Maybe a math test. We haven't been downtown to The Ellipse in awhile, have we?" *

Wow, this post has more tangents than a conversation with The KingofHearts.

Anyway, I looked all over to find a video of Trout Fishing... performing "18 Wheels on a Big Rig," but this is the closest I could come. Here's what they would look like if they were cartoon characters:

So as we were driving home today and The Dormouse requested "That Funny Song That's Not the Late For School Song" once again, we sang along. Our favorite part is the part where we try to sing along with "eye, eye eye, eye eye eye, eye vee, vee, vee eye..." and totally mess it up when it gets to the exes.

After the song was over, The Dormouse sighed, "Ooooh, I just LOVE that part."

Me: "Do you know what Roman numerals are?"

"Yes! Of course I do! I looOoove them!"

"You love Roman numerals?"

"Of COURSE I do. Roman noodles are my favorite!"

"I think you're thinking of Ramen Noodles. This is RO-man NU-merals."


"It's how they used to count a long time ago in Rome."

"Right. Numbers in Rome. Like if you were speaking Rome-ish."

"Pretty much."

*This may or may not be an actual, unembellished conversation, but I've had enough of them with him that go So. Exactly. This. Way. that I feel I can misrepresent it slightly for entertainment value.