Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss. Not only did you provide me–and my children–with hours of imaginative entertainment, but you also coined one of my favorite terms. Nerd. Don’t believe me, check it out. I also need to thank you for being one of the only constants in my life.
As a blogging, stay-at-home dad, you’d think I’d have a set routine. I’m sure the moms of the world would have every half hour planned out including their potty breaks and Words with Friend time, but not dads. Usually, my day is dictated by a complex mathematical formal that deals with variants including my mood, the kids’ moods, the price of gasoline, how much cereal we have and the weather. But a couple of things are consistent. The Cat in the Hat is on after num-num time (breakfast) and Friday is Gymboree day–more on that later.
See, while the Cat in the Hat is a beloved children’s book and an awful movie starring the nearly as awful Mike Myers, it’s also a curious TV Series. The plot is simple. It revolves around the Cat in the Hat (easily recognized as Martin Short) teaching a couple of kids about the wonders of the world. Each episode he takes them from their cozy comforts of their home–with the permission of an obviously detached mother–to wonderful places in the wild. For instance, maybe it teaches the children about how animals survive in nature. Somehow making it sound like a rabbit enjoys being eaten by fox and that poop makes a great home for insects. The show has no influence from Dr. Suess other than the characters–although it would be awesomely fascinating if it did since he’s been dead for over 20 years–yet it still amazes me how even my seven year old will watch it. He’s oblivious to the fact he’s learning and my one year old will actually stay still for five minutes and let me make a pot of coffee. While the Cat in the Hat is a bit creepy–he’s seemingly 1 part self-indulged college professor and 1 part child abductor–he’s given me a bit of consistency in my chaotic day. Warning: Don’t watch this short clip if you ever want the song out of your head.
The other consistent in my week, is Gymboree Fridays with my one year old, Lucy. Gymboree represents my one social outlet with other adult people–pregnant moms–other than grocery store clerks, Starbucks baristas and the guy who mans the drive thru at McDonalds. For those of you that don’t know what Gymboree is, it’s a shopping mall play area with a teacher, a parachute and a creepy clown. Not only that, but you quickly realize what a terrible parent you are and a keen eye will show that really, each 45 minute session is a cult ritual to appease the clown…Gymbo. The little ones and their parents make their offerings–dancing, banging maracas and lots and lots off throwing kids in the air–only to call out the devious looking icon by rythmically banging on the floor at the end of the ritual. Gymbo promptly marks the children with his image (via a rubber stamp) and sends the toddlers on their way. Despite the fact that it’s a slightly unnerving process–that costs FAR more money than it should–Gymboree is good for me, oh, and Lucy likes it too, I guess.
Here’s a pretty good representation.
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