My middle daughter, Georgia, is pushing 12 years old, putting her firmly in the tween category. I am so afraid. What could I possibly be afraid of? Justin Bieber. I have been careful to play reggae, blues, classic rock, jazz and classical music her entire life. No pop music. She went through a very brief Miley Cyrus phase. We killed it by learning the words to ‘Old Blue Jeans’ and ‘Life’s What You Make It’ and insisting on singing along during karaoke.

I just don’t know how to prevent Bieberization. I’m pretty sure that if the virus does strike our household, only tweens will be affected. In an effort to inoculate my daughter with the pop music virus, I have introduced Lady Gaga. I hope it helps.

When I tucked Georgia in bed this evening, she mentioned that her cousin has 14 posters of Justin Bieber on her bedroom wall.

“That’s gross,” I said. (Subtle, right?)


“Do you like Justin Bieber?” I bravely asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Do you like puppies?” Diversionary tactics are very effective.

“What would you name a puppy?” Georgia asked.

“Probably George. Or Georgia.”

“What name did you almost give me?”

“Rainbow. Do you think you would be a different kind of person if your name was Rainbow?”

“Yes,” she said. “What if you had another girl and she turned out to be just like me?”

“I would give her your name and get rid of you. We don’t need two of you, after all.”

She play-punched me and laughed. “No, really.”

“I would change your name,” I said.

“What would you name me?”

“Lady Gaga.” Flat out genius.