Look At This Stuff, Isn't It Neat?
October 18, 2012 10:20 PM   Subscribe

it's suddenly and inexplicably dusty in here.
posted by nadawi at 10:51 PM on October 18, 2012

I started hyperventilating.

In other news, I think my ovaries actually exploded at 1:44.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 10:58 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

mr. ruhroh: what is that??!!!


also, it is very well-timed that I went to a The Little Mermaid sing-along at the Castro Theatre this past weekend.
posted by ruhroh at 11:02 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Damn watering eyes....
posted by pearlybob at 12:42 AM on October 19, 2012

posted by Faintdreams at 2:59 AM on October 19, 2012

The Whelk, thanks for this, your timing was perfect.

Last weekend I was talking to my son, he's 42. He and his wonderful wife will be having their first child in December, they already know it will be a little girl.

He was expressing that, as the date approaches, he felt like he had no idea as to how to switch from a focus on a wonderful, demanding career to being a father, what will that look like, how will he act, how will his world change. I tried to reassure him, I have no doubt that the two of them will, together, do a wonderful job of being parents.

I watched this video, and realized that being willing to learn that song is a pretty good benchmark for predicting a good father. I sent him the link, along with the following message:
Last weekend when we spoke on the phone, you mentioned the struggle of figuring out what being a "Dad" is going to look like.

I have no doubt that you'll be a wonderful father, and Celeste will be a great Mom... the two of you are loving, compassionate, caring, and smart, that said, I also know that you're about to embark on the wonderful and frightening journey of parenthood.

This morning someone posted this simple little video to Metafilter, and, as I watched it, I could easily picture YOU singing a song from Little Mermaid.

From this point forward, your preparation for being a father consists of getting ready to learn the lyrics to every princess song ever made by Disney . Feel free to throw in a few songs by the Dead Kennedys or Michael Jackson, and anything from the soundtrack of Watchmen (but please show her the PG 13 version...there IS a PG 13 version, right?). After all, I made you listen to Coen and Dylan and that worked out OK.

It really is as simple as being always present, and lovingly learning the lyrics to the songs she's going to want to hear YOU sing over and over. Being willing to do this is a good indicator that a man has what it takes to be a fantastic father.

Relax and let this happen, all will be fine..
posted by HuronBob at 4:00 AM on October 19, 2012 [11 favorites]

Ahhh, this explains why my brother-in-law supposedly had his Facebook page "hacked" with the status "You know what song I love? Part of your world from the little mermaid ♥" on the same day this video was posted to Youtube.
posted by orme at 4:08 AM on October 19, 2012

This reminds me of my dad, who drove me to middle school in 7th grade because he got a new job closer to home, and people on the bus in middle school suck. I never made him sing The Little Mermaid, but we sang South Pacific in its entirety every. single. morning. And it was awesome!
posted by ChuraChura at 4:46 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's like they stole my damn life for this--I sing this catchy lil f***er all the time and i ain't even got kids. Didn't know it was a thing.
posted by Zerowensboring at 4:57 AM on October 19, 2012

YES YES YES. Thank you Whelkers.
posted by yellowbinder at 5:37 AM on October 19, 2012

Babies. Babies right now, please.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:42 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is great timing. I'm actually going to an Alan Menken tribute on Sunday night. I'll ask him if he's seen this.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:47 AM on October 19, 2012

Why is this SO CHARMING I don't even understand
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:03 AM on October 19, 2012

This leads to the inevitable dad-trolling where you sing one word wrong or mispronounce it. She corrects you, you sing it right the next time but somehow manage to screw up another part of the song. It always ends with her rolling her eyes and saying, "Oh.... DADDY!"

This can only be corrected with tickles until she demands you stop and go get her a glass of milk. You bring a cookie too because, well, you are a Dad.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:23 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Previously I've said I want a girl just because I'm a competitive jerkface and I want to beat my sister to the punch of producing the first granddaughter. But now I just want one so I can sing songs like this to her! (But I think I'd be a Mulan dad.)
posted by jph at 7:34 AM on October 19, 2012

That was nice.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:02 AM on October 19, 2012

you can totally sing little mermaid songs to your son jph.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Yes, you have to sing songs like that. And more.
I never thought about dancing ballet, but when my daughter at 7 needed someone to act as an aide to dance next to her in the annual recital, I stepped up. She had a stroke when she was born and one side of her body doesn't work as well as the rest. She loves dancing and she loves ballet and I wasn't going to stand in the way of her being in the recital. I agreed, but was surprised that I would have to dance too, so I dutifully went to the last 3 or 4 rehearsals to pick up the routine. I'm the tall one. I dressed in black so I would be invisible.

And now, two and a half years later, she has been upgraded from "reindeer" to "gingerbread" in the local annual production of the Nutcracker and she will likely we doing the production without a parent backstage guiding her on and off. I couldn't be prouder - this year.

All of this is not the hard part. Honestly, singing the same. damn. songs. is not difficult when you've paid your dues changing diapers, doing baths, being up at the buttcrack of dawn taking care of a child.

No, the hard part is knowing that you are the second favorite person in your daughter's eyes and that the rest of the world is tied for first. My daughter loves me. I know this because she does tell me, yet she is the quickest to dismiss me when she thinks she has another choice. That's the worst.

Oh and WinnipegDragon - song trolling is de rigeur. It also helps to inject family names into songs. When I sing "Re: Your Brains" with my daughter I often lead with "Hiya Alice, it's dad..."
posted by plinth at 8:21 AM on October 19, 2012 [19 favorites]

plinth just made my "Top 10 Dads" list.
posted by HuronBob at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

You can sing a song, but can you dance the dance?
posted by drlith at 9:14 AM on October 19, 2012

This is so nice. I feel like all I've seen are stories like this, and it's really nice to see dads who enjoy being dads.
posted by discopolo at 10:01 AM on October 19, 2012

Welp, plinth's video just made me cry.
posted by MadamM at 10:27 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh plinth, I'm bawling with happy tears.
posted by greta simone at 11:29 AM on October 19, 2012

plinth's video made me lol. so much awesome. your daughter is adorable, and i still sometimes kind of hate kids.

also, if the little mermaid were a person, it's been legally drinking for 2 years now. sigh.
posted by twist my arm at 11:35 AM on October 19, 2012

This would have made me cry before, but with the pregnancy hormones it's too much!

Thanks for sharing that, Plinth. You're a special dad and your daughter is adorable!
posted by apricot at 7:12 PM on October 19, 2012

Dads being dads is seriously one of the most attractive things ever. So cute.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:12 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

My dad sang a lot to me, and my brother, when we were small. But Mack the Knife was the song of choice.
posted by emmling at 9:47 PM on October 19, 2012

My mom (Ann Althouse) writes on her blog:
That song, as presented in the movie, is a female's longing for a deeply satisfying life achieved by getting out there into the wider world. There's a very similar song in "Beauty and the Beast," another Disney movie of the same period, in which the central female character sets up her narrative arc by singing about her need to get away from all the tedious people in her "provincial town." This is an American pop culture template that applies to women. These cartoon females supposedly inspire the female dream to have it all. The Little Mermaid's song begins with the observation that she pretty much looks like "the girl who has everything." But she wants more, more, more. (Song cue.)

But men? Our culture doesn't want you saying such things anymore. There was a time when Marlon Brando and James Dean were icons, and they seemed to be all about rejection of this humdrum life in your sad little town. But they have been swallowed up into the past. In the American pop culture of today, the admirable man cannot seriously express such longings and expect love and admiration. It can only be a joke, comic dissonance with the reality of the good man's life, scrambling eggs at the kitchen table with his adorable little girl (who is, herself, permitted to internalize the female dream of getting out of this dreary, constricting place to get what she deserves — the bigger, brighter, better life).
posted by John Cohen at 5:32 AM on October 20, 2012

I think it's interesting that, within the movie itself, Ariel is not the protagonist. King Trition is.
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on October 20, 2012

also, if the little mermaid were a person, it's been legally drinking for 2 years now. sigh.

The fairy tale was originally published in 1837 by H.C. Andersen, so I would say she's old enough to drink, yes...
posted by Harald74 at 12:42 PM on October 20, 2012

Damn plinth.... You are a good man. The best kind of man. Your daughter is a precious, lucky little girl.
posted by pearlybob at 3:52 AM on October 21, 2012

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