Wednesday, June 15, 2011


When I used to come home from the 7th grade I would grab the box of Ritz Crackers, a tub of port-wine cheese, and head into my bedroom where I would watch re-runs of "Petticoat Junction" on the small black and white TV my parents (surprisingly) allowed me to have in my room. It was in this manner I would forget about the minor mean girl acts and other mini transgressions that are part and parcel of being in junior high.

Lots of curves you bet, even more when you get, to the Junction! Petticoat Junction! Why on earth were those girls allowed to bathe in the water tower? That seems mighty unsanitary.

When Lilly comes home from 7th grade she grabs the pita chips, the hummus and flops down on the couch to watch "The Tyra Show" on the big family-room flat-screen TV.

I'm coming out! I want the world to know, got to let it show! Who are all these horrible people shamelessly talking about the terrible things they do?

It is hard for me to imagine two shows that are more ridiculously different than "Petticoat Junction" and "The Tyra Show."

I don't really get what my daughter likes about this show. Wait she's in the room now, I will ask her.

Okay, here is what she said, "I like the Tyra show because there are a bunch of crazy people on that show and they are entertaining to watch. And because Tyra keeps it real."

I (along with pretty much everyone my age and older) do not like this genre of talk show because I find it horribly depressing to learn that I share the planet let alone the same nationality with said crazy people. People like the woman who weighed 600 pounds and aspires to weigh 1000 pounds. Or the parents who took their gay son to a fringe church to have his "gayness" exorcised (beaten) out of him. Or the woman who brought her husband to the show so she could tell him (in front of a national TV audience) that he no longer excites her sexually (but she just couldn't bring herself to tell him before that point because it might hurt his feelings WTF??)

I know the parenting manual says that when your kid watches a show you do not approve of you are supposed to watch it with her and say things like, "Well what do you think about that?" or "That's interesting do you think he handled that well?"

Instead I shout things like, "Oh for god sakes, what a horrible human!" "Who DOES that?" and "Please tell me this is a bad, bad joke!"

How's that for keeping it real?

But this stuff cracks Lilly up. Perhaps this horrible behavior makes the junior high nonsense look tame. I don't know.

I do know that she takes much of what Tyra says to heart and quotes her which leads to scenes like this:

At dinner: "You took too many potatoes. Tyra says your serving of carbs should be no bigger than your fist."

When I was worrying about going without my wig when my hair first grew out, "You have to just be you and be fierce. That's what Tyra would say. Then she'd look at you and say something nice about you," here Lilly looked me over from top to bottom, obviously searching for something nice to say and finally came up with, "You have nice teeth."

And she has learned a LOT about black women and their hair and hair extensions in general. Which is why our new favorite game to play when we watch TV is "Is she wearing extensions?" It also explains when she told the sweet 8-year-old African-American girl at our church, "I like your hair," and the girl answered, "It ain't mine, it's a weave," she was not a bit surprised.

So I don't like that she watches it but at least she's learning. I don't think I learned anything from "Petticoat Junction" except if I ever get the chance to stay at the Shady Rest I should not drink the water.


  1. Hahaha, a classic parental problem, cringing over the shows your kids watch. And I can just imagine Lilly telling you that you took too many potatoes.

  2. Oh Judy, too funny. My Courtney used to watch "Jerry Springer" after school because it was so funny. It was high school, and I worked, so I did not have much to say about what she watched. Did I mention her name is Courtney Jo. I always had a thing for "Petticoat Junction" too.

  3. I am a friend of a friend of yours who always told me I should read your blog. When I read what you wrote about blurting out the non-PC comments, it made me laugh out loud and I knew I loved you!

  4. My mother tried to control how much TV I watched as a kid. She'd sometimes touch it to see if it was warm. So, like sticking a thermometer under hot water to fake having a fever, I'd put glasses of ice water on the top of the TV to cool it down. I'm *sure* she was hip to me, but never let on. She also restricted sugar more than a lot of other moms. When I was at friends' houses who had Pop Tarts or soda, I'd look at it like it was contraband. If you tell your daughter she can't watch Tyra, she may find ways to watch it at a friend's or online--so even though you're not crazy about it, better to give in a little so it doesn't become alluring forbidden fruit. (Btw, now that I'm a mom I really try to limit my kids' TV and sugar. It must be in the genes.)

  5. Motherload,
    You are too funny, putting ice on the TV!! I know what you mean, it is hard to know just how much to limit stuff--banning only seems to make stuff more appealing. For now she gets to watch Tyra with lots of sass talk from me on the side. Love your blog btw!Oh, and no one needs all that sugar. Good to keep it out of the house for the most part--my exception is that my middle girl likes to bake--lots of that around!

  6. Hilarious. I'm a new mom. I have 2 & 4 year old boys. If I have to watch the movie Cars one more time I might throw up. I can only imagine what is to come in their teen years. Right now I'm "excitedly" playing along with their outlandish Batman, Spiderman & Superman impressions, and trying to keep them from "flying" off the back of our sofa onto the hardwood floor. One thing I have learned in my short motherhood stint is that you have to pick your battles. I'm glad to hear another mom doesn't want to go toe to toe over a tv show.

  7. Amy, thanks for reading! Yeah, I pick my battles-- no arguments over clothes or hair or tv shows but I do demand kindness, respect, and treating siblings well. Enjoy your superheroes! Sounds like you are having fun and that is what it's all about!