Little Miss Sunshine has a new show she follows. It’s called Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
Those who are old, like me, may remember Daniel Tiger from the children’s classic TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was a rather ugly tiger puppet in a red hoodie who chit-chatted with the big guy on occasion, usually just before Trolley arrived (“ching-ching!”) to head off into the imagination land area. There was a cat puppet, too, Katarina (“what are we doing today, meow meow?”).
Now Daniel and Katarina and many of the other people from the show (but not Fred Rodgers himself, because this isn’t a show about zombies) have their own animated cartoon on PBS and it’s really, really adorable. I was never a fan of the original Mr. Rogers, and I realize that is TOTAL SACRILEGE, but I found his show slow, and boring, and the way he talked directly into the camera kind of freaked me out, to be frank. My older sister would watch it occasionally and I would go off and read a Nancy Drew book and sniff at how uncivilized and uncultured she was.
Anyway! The new show is cute, and features Trolley prominently, and even though I hated the original show I always kind of choke up when Trolley goes “ching-ching” because that sound, I don’t know, it is so ingrained in my head as being tied to my youth, my really really young youth, it puts some sort of nostalgic glow over the whole earth and brings a tear to my eye. I know, it makes no sense, but there you have it.
My real point here is that the new show has these little Life Lesson Songs in each episode. These Life Lesson Songs are meant to teach kids a single important lesson. And they are like crack to the Little Miss – they have become her mantras, her bible, her go-to phrases for every conceivable situation.
For example, if I thank her for doing something helpful, she might break out with, “Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true.” Or when I tell the kids they have to take turns, there’s this little ditty: “You can take a turn, and then I’ll get it back.” Or, any time she is making one of a thousand coloring pages she makes every day, “Making something is one way to say ‘I love you’.” (Thanks for that one, Daniel Tiger – our walls are collapsing under the weight of artwork, eek.)
(Not a sponsored link, by the way. I’m way too lazy to figure that crap out.)
I personally love this one, for new situations – “When we do something new, let’s talk about what we’ll do.”
This one is popular with all the kids, especially the Captain, because 10-years-old is definitely for sure not too old for potty humour. He busts it out every time he’s off to the bathroom.
Despite pulling out a Daniel-Tigerism for most situations, the Little Miss does get pretty peeved when we bust out this one at dinnertime (“You gotta try a new food ’cause it might taste good!”). It’s apparently one part of the cannon that she chooses to take as merely a suggestion. Sorry, Daniel.
We could definitely do way, way worse than to have a kid that lives her life According to Daniel Tiger (ooh, new blog idea: What Would Daniel Tiger Do?). So I’m happy to embrace the new mantras – ching-ching.