This post was originally published Sept. 27, 2006 on my old blog, Looking for George, which is now private.
There is nothing quite as humbling as seeing yourself through the eyes of your children. Just minutes ago, my three-year-old daughter decreed that I am the best. It all went something like this:
Three-year-old comes downstairs to tell me that her also-three-year-old cousin, who is visiting, has just gone potty and, she continued, “My told her my would get my mom to come help her because you are the BEST wiper.” So, there you have it, I am the best wiper. It is a title I never sought, but am, nonetheless, humbled to receive. Really. Humbled.
It is something to have such an honor bestowed upon me merely a day after the practically-nine-year-old asks, “Mom, were you alive when the adults on Sesame Street didn’t believe in Snuffleupagus?” Because, of course, that was sooooo long ago. She was then dumbstruck when, in response to her next question, I informed her that, no, I didn’t see the episode where Maria and Louis got married, because I was in high school in 1988 and wasn’t really in to Sesame Street at that point. I could see the comprehension of the situation sinking in: “My mom is sooo old that she was too old for Sesame Street waaaaaay back in 1988, just shortly after Gutenberg invented the printing press and grandma got her first color t.v.”
And yes, we do know that Maria and Louis got married in 1988, but no, we are not some odd Sesame Street version of trekkies. We just have a book called Sesame Street Unpaved which gives more background information about the show than your preschooler would want to know, but enough, apparently, to interest an almost-nine-year-old and help her put mom into some sort of historical context.
2020 Update: The book was published in 1998, so there is now an entire generation’s worth of Sesame Street history which it does not cover, but if you have a kid who loves the show, or if you loved the show as a kid, it’s some fun history to look at. Our copy fell apart years ago from much use. It was definitely some good in our world for quite a while.