Let’s be honest here. Kid’s programming has changed just a little in the past 30 or so years since we were kids. I doubt He-Man and the Masters of the Universe would fly today. It would be considered sexist, and Skelator would not be considered a villain, but an innocent soul with some sort of syndrome or disorder that relieved him from taking any personal responsibility for his actions. They’d show him taking his meds every day and talk about how his parents allowed him to play video games and eat high-fructose corn syrup as a child, and that’s why he is the way he is.

Still, there are some things from my childhood that Madeline is going to miss out on, and it hurts my heart a bit. Saturday morning cartoons anyone? Warning: You will most likely have to be a child of the ’80’s to remember some of these. And by that, I mean people who were born in the ’70’s and were old enough to understand them in the ’80’s.

 I used to call Schoolhouse Rock “the in-between cartoons” because that’s when it came on. I learned all about adverbs, the Preamble to the Constitution, and electricity while waiting for the Smurfs to start. Oh, but Madeline won’t miss out on this gem. No, ma’am. She will have the privilege of viewing the dvd when she gets a little older, and will know how to unpack her adjectives just like Mommy’s generation.

There are others, though, that I miss and so will she. For instance, does anyone remember Captain O.G. Readmore? He was a reading kind of cat. I liked it when I saw Captain Readmore because I knew that it was almost time to watch a made-for-Saturday-morning-TV movie based on a book that I had probably already read. One thing bothered me, though. If he was supposed to be promoting reading as a way to educate ourselves and be smarter, why did his little poem end with “Reading is where it’s AT?” If he’s such a great reader, don’t you think he might have picked up on the fact that we do not EVER end our sentences with “AT?” What a terrible influence on kids! maybe it’s a good thing Babyhead will miss this one!

Anyone have a hankerin’ for a hunk o’ cheese? Yep. It’s time for Timer. Timer taught us to eat healthy snacks instead of junk food. It was from timer that I first heard the term, “twiddling your thumbs,” and learned that this is something you do when you’re bored because it’s raining. I then learned that following a good thumb-twiddling session, it is appropriate to make your own popsicles using orange juice, an ice tray, and toothpicks. However, you are not to eat these treats until the rain has stopped and the sun shines brightly upon your cartoon lawn.

Hey, you GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, I used to love “The Electric Company.” I think every child should learn their word families with music playing in the background and just two silhouettes bantering back and forth. “Buh. At. Bat.” “Fuh. At. Fat.” Suh. At. Sat.”

The last of the wonderful TV from bygone days is special to me for two reasons. The first reason is that until I watched this show, I never knew that Canadians sounded slightly different from Americans. I was intrigued by the people whose “about” sounded like “a boat” to me. This is not an insult to my Canadian friends. I find it rather endearing! The other reason for my interest in this show is that I know that someday, as we all do, Madeline is going to go through a retro music phase and come home singing “You Oughta Know.” When that happens, I’d like to be able to show her clips from “You Can’t Do That on Television” and show her what Alanis Morisette was doing before she was thanking India.

Alas, we have moved on. Things are different and Madeline has a book with a politically correct version of “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” But, I still have my Saturday morning memories and will try to pass them along as well as I can.

Advertisements