The Lost Files: Sage Advice From Talking Animals

May 23, 2009 by

The Lost Files were weekly columns written back around 2001-2003 while I was running a newspaper in the Midwest. They seem to have disappeared from the Internet, probably after some redesign of the newspaper’s web site.  So, from time to time I’ll repost some of my favorites from saved hard copies (that’s paper to you new media types).

So I walked into my house recently and was greeted by my wife, who informed me that Rollie Ollie had found Tinky Winky – at least that’s what I think she said. She then went on to explain in great detail how Mr. Tom Ham Hat, or some such individual, had found his magic gold dust and helped Lady escape evil Diesel with the aid of Thomas the Choo-Choo, and much to her relief, everything was now all right on the Island of Sodor.

Again, I think that’s what she said. Of course, I also thought I might be in the wrong house.

But no, because while my wife then launched into this rather long dissertation about some big bear in a blue house talking to his friend the moon, No. 1 son – nearly 3-year-old Caleb – came running around the corner.

He was jumping up and down and going “uh-huh, uh-huh” and pulling me along by the hand to come and “look.” Of course, Caleb’s “look” comes out as “wooooooky.”

Now my wife is a very intelligent woman. She even has a Master’s degree. After checking to make sure that A) this was indeed my house and B) this was indeed my wife, my rapier intellect realized she was suffering a common malady known as Munchkin Programming Shock. In English, this of course means she had overloaded on children’s videos and TV shows in an effort to occupy Caleb while at the same time trying to feed newborn son No. 2 Seth, do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean the house, fix dinner and, most importantly, maintain some semblance of sanity.

I do believe I actually married Superwoman.

Of course, I too have suffered from Munchkin Programming Shock and actually get a little antsy when Tigger almost doesn’t find Eeyore’s tail. I’ve followed this and similarly important issues with my son early in the morning. For some reason, Caleb almost always wakes up at 6:30 a.m. with a loud cry – “EAT!”

So to give my wife an extra two seconds of sleep, I usually get up and take him down to see what’s new in the Big Blue House.  Sometimes I don’t get to find out because, if things aren’t moving quickly enough, Caleb’s demanding cries of “Poooo, Poooo” mean we have to check out what’s happening at Pooh Corner.

I cherish these times with Caleb. It’s just he and I and a bunch of flying dragons or bears or talking chipmunks or trains, his favorite. It’s during these times we learn the basic rules of life: Wait your turn, be polite, don’t run with scissors or other sharp objects, share, laugh, tell the truth, cherish your friends, don’t talk to strangers, safety first, don’t yell, and if you do happen to have an accident in your pants, dont’ be embarrassed, but go tell an adult.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. And I guess it’s at times watching these shows with my son that I wonder at what point do the rules change? I mean, why is it that, as we grow up, we forget the basic common courtesies? Why do we change from a focus of sharing to one of “What’s in it for me?”

In our rush to get ahead or at least keep up with the Joneses, have we missed the whole point and forgotten to follow what we try and teach our kids? Our society is obsessed with get-rich schemes, get-thin schemes, how to love yourself, how to have it all and every other how-to nirvana you can think of.

I wonder what would happen if, instead of rushing forward to be the first with the latest fad, we instead went backward and followed the sage advice from some unique animals that have stood the test of time. Just a thought.

Until next time.

Related Posts

Share This