Mommy and Me and MTV: Watching the VMAs with a 10-Year-Old

I experienced the very first MTV Video Music Awards show in Sept. 1984 at age 15. The hosts were Bette Midler and Dan Akroyd and my friends and I marveled at a young Madonna rolling around the stage in a corseted white wedding gown singing "Like A Virgin." Throughout the past 26 years I've tuned in to see the Moonman statue presented to many different artists. I've witnessed scandalous moments including Michael Jackson making out with then-wife Lisa Marie Presley, Madonna kissing both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and Kanye West ambushing Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, but until now, I'd never watched with my either of my daughters.

My 13-year-old daughter was way too cool to be at all interested in joining me, but my 10-year-old Jillian jumped at the chance to see her future husband (Justin Bieber) perform. I only hoped that my mini-me would be able to hang through the whole two-hour ceremony. I'd soon get my answer as we settled in excitedly for the festivities.

We were off to a great start with Eminem opening, but as soon as Rihanna joined him on stage with flaming red hair and a tutu skirt, my daughter remarked, "She looks ridiculous!" Not necessarily the reaction I expected.

Something else I hadn't anticipated: The adult content of host Chelsea Handler's material. Fortunately the Justin Bieber jokes flew over Jillian's head. We sat through a few awards, to which she remarked, "Blah blah blah," and I couldn't agree more. The problem with most awards shows is that between the red carpet fashion and musical acts, the actual ceremony can be boring. But Jillian was determined to survive her boredom to see Justin B.'s performance.

I heard the first shriek when Justin appeared on screen being chased by a mob of girls. Jililan sang along with Justin as he danced his way through a medley of his music and was even joined by tiny kid dancers on stage. I had a blast watching her as mesmerized as I was watching Madonna in the awards show's inaugural year. But soon after Justin's performance, Jillian lost interest. The excitement of getting permission to stay up late had lost its luster and even Lady Gaga teetering in ridiculous haute couture heels couldn't keep her watching.

After putting Jillian to bed, I ended up watching the rest of the show alone on DVR and fast-forwarding through some of it. While there were some things I didn't understand (Taylor and Kanye's songs), what I do know is that no one should wear anything that they need two guards to help them walk in (Gaga), that Cher still rocks her black see-through cat suit and that a mom can't expect her 10-year-old to continue to watch a show after the highlight of watching her favorite singer perform. Maybe when she's 15 she'll want to watch the whole show, but it will most likely be with her friends and not good old mom!

What did your kids think of the VMAs? Chime in below!

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