Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Had a Horrible Childhood

We had a moment of recollection recently. A moment that started with Emma saying, "Mommy, what's a bison?" turned into me Googling the correct lyrics for Home on the Range, and ended with both Marty and I questioning the very moral fibers with which we were raised.

I found a website that had lyrics for all the good old patriotic songs, and Marty and I sang some for the benefit of our children; America, Home on the Range, America the beautiful, and on and on. Then I came to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and immediately the lyrics came to me. I did not even have to look at the screen to start singing.

My eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school,
we have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule,

we're barbecuing the principal tomorrow after school,
our truth is marching on!

Then Marty joined in.

Glory, glory, what's it to ya?
Teacher hit me with a ruler,

I met her at the door
with a loaded .44
now she ain't my teacher no more!

And then we looked at each other, and then at our five year old that had lost interest and was watching the Mariners game. And we busted up laughing, a little embarrassed at what we almost taught her.

How horrible is that song? And how did we learn such and awful thing? After doing a little research (i.e.: asking my Dad,) I discovered where on earth I heard such a song.

I learned it in school. And not on the playground, but in music class, taught to us by our teacher Mrs. Rutherford, who my dad described as "goofy." And she was. She taught what she wanted to teach, and believed music should be fun. She also taught everyone the traditional Christian based Christmas songs, because they were great examples of music.

She did her own thing. She marched to her own beat, if you will. Good for her.

Have any of you gone back and watched cartoons of the late seventies and early eighties? I was so excited to find the Smurfs, Tom and Jerry, and Looney Tunes in OnDemand so that I could show Emma what cartoons were like when I was a kid.

And you know what cartoons were like back then? They were rude, racist, violent, and sexist. As much as I liked Speedy Gonzales, he will not be a "household name" in my household.

So I got to thinking. If I was raised that way, and turned out normal alright, then what influences will my kids have that will not make any difference to them? Where is the line between protecting our kids and letting them have fun and march to their own beat?

And what am I doing that my kids will look back on and say, "I cannot believe my Mom thought that was OK?"

Well, I think anyone who reads this blog regularly can answer that one for themselves, but we have to keep the therapists employed, right?


Snow Mommy said...

That's ok Tiff, I found myself telling Lily today that a bird would poop on her lip if she kept pouting. These things that Dad taught us just come out at random times.

The Campbell Family said...

NO FAIR, we have Comcast.... on demand.... WHY DON'T WE GET SMURFS AT OUR HOUSE?????

I think we turned out ok, none of us live in a village as the only woman serving a bunch of little blue men :) At least not that I'm aware of...

How about the Roadrunner cartoons, talk about violent geez!

Love my babes said...

Kinda like "Jingle bells batman smells Robin laid and egg, Batmobile lost it's wheel and JOker got away"

And "Beans, beans the magical fruit..."

Oh the joys of childhood.

My grandma tried the line Holly used on Lily on me when I was a kid too.

Aimee said...

alternate words to the battle hymn:
"...we have stabbed the secretary, we have hung the priciple...and our troops are marching on." and "hit her on the butt with a rotten coconut and she ain't my teacher no more."
Don't even ask me about pornographic batman.