Come one come all, gather around! Come witness the Three Ring Circus! You know what I’m talking about. Get a group of parents and their kids together in a big room, or a huge social gathering. Birthday parties are prime-time real estate for a Three Ring Circus. The doors close, the lights dim and almost immediately, the show begins. Poor unsuspecting toddlers are commanded to start dancing, and dance they will! *cue circus music*:
“What does a puppy say?!?”
“Hug your sister!”
“Run in a circle!!!”
“Who’s got a belly button?!?”
“Buy drugs for Uncle Larry!”
The poor tots might as well be paraded around in a circle, with fancy hats and flashy clothes and rubber balls balanced on their noses or be made to walk backwards in awkward high steps. I’m not excluding myself from this behavior. “Judge not, lest ye be gathering moss” is an old family motto we live by. We’re all guilty, in one way or another. I once saw a mother throwing firecrackers at her two and a half year old son’s feet screaming “Dance midget! DANCE! *crack!* What does a DUCK SAY! *crack!* Where is your EYELID!?!? *crack-crack-crack* Touch your EPIDERMIS!!! *crack-sob*”
I mean, who do these parents think they are? Do they think it’s ok to hook up a wagon to their daughter’s back and make her pull a wagon all they way to Reno, Nevada?!?! (That never happened). I don’t think it is very developmentally healthy to take your 8 month old son’s hand and just smack it every time he gets the letters mixed up in the Greek Alphabet! (Doesn’t happen). Let them live their dream filled little lives, ringmasters! Stop putting your children on stage and making them act out Act 10, Scene 6 of Hamlet while wearing uncomfortable tights! (No such thing as Act 10 scene 6 in Hamlet, and none of this happens anyway).
If I seem a little sensitive on this subject, it is because it strikes close to my heart. I don’t talk about this often, but it can all come out now: My parents, bless their dark opportunistic hearts, made me dress up like Ronald McDonald when I was four and go door to door trying to sell French Fries to our neighbors. (Oh, come on…) I also had to sing a little jingle and do a brief tap dance. (No and no) I still remember the haunting strains of that sorcerer’s tune (what sorcerer?!?):
Hey buddy, what’s your name!
I bet you are hungry today!
Get in line and don’t be shy!
Have yourself some McDonald’s Fries!
The Hamburglar will take your life!
Mayor McCheese will steal your wife!
I heard somewhere the Fry Guys are GAY!
Just what is Grimace anyway?!?
It hurts my heart and soul to remember those days. Sweat running down my white and red painted face as I moved my floppy-shoed feet as fast as I could while singing that terrible song. Oh don’t get me wrong, I sold my fair share of fries. I was a pro, even then. I digress. Parents, let your children be children. Don’t make them your own personal performing Muppet Seal Babies! (What is a Muppet Seal? I have to call that headhunter and look into getting a new job…)
(The part of the author’s subconscious was played today by Parentheses.)
Blast From The Past!!!
3 years ago