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Saturday, October 15, 2005 | The Rolling Stones are playing Petco Park in a few weeks and, sadly, I won’t be attending, much less sneaking backstage to see if the rumors the band uses a defibrillator before the encores are true.
I imagine San Diegans who grew up on the band’s music – or were conceived to it – would like to meet Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts and say thanks for the music.
For me, it’s more than music. I’d also like to thank the Stones for helping me raise my daughter, Alexandra.
No, I haven’t had Keith baby-sit for her but that’s only because I can’t afford to hire someone to baby-sit him. But my wife and I have repeatedly used the chorus to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Alex says she wants ice cream and we reply by singing in fake choir voices, “You can’t always get what you want.”
When she wakes us up at 1 a.m. to say she’d like to watch “Cinderella,” we yawn out, “You can’t always get what you want.”
It’s not always so hardball. She recently told me she wants me to dress up as a Dalmatian for Halloween and, at first, I replied “You can’t always get …” but stopped myself when I realized the other lines, “But if you try sometimes, you just might get what you need,” and started pricing outfits.
I know the lyrics to the song probably refer to procuring some form of adult medication but, for me, the chorus is universally useful to all sorts of parenting conundrums.
Plus, it reminds kids of one of life’s most valuable lessons: “If you keep your expectations tiny, you go through life being less whiny.”
I don’t listen to the Stones as often as the Beatles but I find I quote “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” more than any other song lyric to my daughter.
I’d love to tell Mick and Keith this but I have a feeling they would either smirk or, even worse, palm me off on the new bass player – especially if I suggested they do a whole album of kid songs.
There’s a dirty little secret of writing a pop song with the word “party” in the title: It becomes “potty” when it’s time to teach the kids how to handle their bodily functions.
Alex was on her way to being potty-trained by the time she was 1-year-old and I am sure it’s because every time we set her on her little toy-toilet, my wife and I would sing the Eddie Murphy tune, “Party All The Time” except we would say, “My gal likes to potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the time” over and over again.
It’s the “Schoolhouse Rock” secret: If kids can hum it, they’ll remember it.
Other pop songs that my wife and I turned into potty songs included, “It’s my potty and I’ll cry if I want to,” “Let’s Have A Potty,” and, of course, “You’ve Got To Fight For Your Right To Potty.”
I’m getting good results from my musical lessons now but I must admit, I fear for the future. Eventually, Alex is going to get wise and realize that A) We stole copyrighted melodies and changed the lyrics to suit our establishmentarian needs and B) we may have ruined a chance to enjoy some great songs because of our potty-centric approach.
However, if she ever says, “I can’t enjoy Elvis Costello because I always hear the opening line of ‘Party Girl’ as ‘They say you’re nothing but a potty girl,’ ” I’m prepared.
I’ll just say, “You can’t always get what you want.”
David Moye is a La Mesa-based father who is nervously expecting his second child, a boy, in March.