As suburban parents Thomas and Talula Vanchamps celebrate their twins’ first birthday, their joy and accomplishment is mitigated by a slight but distinct twinge of concern. While both twins, Jude and Mina, carry the angular chin and jawline of their father and the piercing eyes and cheekbones of their mother, there is one characteristic that they cannot account for and struggle to accept.
“These babies have urban rhythm!” declares Talula. “I have no idea where they picked it up. Thom cannot dance a lick and I am graceful and fluid – that’s what I’m told, anyway – but we have none of the turbo-rhythmic, thrusting, boundless movement that these children exhibit!”
To demonstrate, Thomas begins banging on the coffee table with open hands, creating a primitive, clumsy beat. Immediately, Mina begins to sway rhythmically; on every fourth beat, her shoulder bounces slightly forward; her head tilts to the left on alternate beats; her hips thrust slightly throughout the drumming, with accuracy and poise that seem to correct the awkward drumming. Jude joins in with a more aggressive, male version of her dance, using his little arms like pistons to sell his moves. At one point, Jude takes his blankie, drapes it over his shoulders and begins to leave the room exhausted – only to whip it off in a dramatic spin and dance back to center stage next to Mina.
As Thomas looks on, he shakes his head, sadly resigning to the situation. “Look, we’re not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s just so… urban! What if they break into this ‘boogie funk’ at a cocktail party or a round robin. It’s so un-Mequon!”
“We enjoy some urban-type music,” Talula adds. “We have eclectic musical taste – classical, jazz, and yes, urban pop, like some of Lionel Ritchie’s later stuff. I can even play ‘Ebony and Ivory’ on the harpsichord. But there is nothing in these babies’ lives to warrant this!”
Through it all, the Vanchamps insist their love for the children has not diminished. In fact, they say they prove their love every day by patiently tolerating the gyrations, teaching them slower, stiffer ways to move and limiting their access to urban influence.