Wednesday, April 23, 2014: That’s What Happens in Tikki Tikki Tembo??

Dear Babies,

I read a good quote yesterday about the planet not needing to be saved, it’s us who need to be saved.

This made me think.

{Did you smell something burning?}

I’d quote the line directly but, shocker, I have no recollection of its source. (which would be great in a court of law defending myself against plagiarism, no concept of anything, date, time…”Mrs. Denby, place your right hand upon this bible…” “Wowser! THAT’S what my hands look like?! I need some hand cream and manicure!”)

The line was right, though. The planet keeps surviving. It’s the species on it that are going extinct. The gist of the quote was that perhaps if we changed the campaign from “save the planet” to “save ourselves” people would actually start participating.

Now what does that say about we selfish things?


I gushed to the cashier at the Dolphin Book Store “Tikki Tikki Tembo” is for myself!” She looked startled. Realizing this unsolicited declaration made no sense, I back pedaled to clarify, “the book I’m buying, it’s a kids book, but I’m buying it for myself. It was my favorite.”

At home reading it to you guys, I could hear the voice of my third grade teacher, Mrs. Tramantana. I could hear the crisp narrator of the audio version we’d listened to.

–“Tikki Tikki–tembo-no–sa rembo–chari bari–ruchi-pip–peri pembo.”–

I was as excited to finish the book as you were. Me, unable to recall the ending. You, because oh yeah, you’re two three-year-olds with the attention spans of gadflies held captive to a 40-year-old Chinese folklore.

When we got to the end, I couldn’t believe it.

The kid almost drowns in a well because his name is too long?

Tikki Tikki What?!


How do I horrify and traumatize you? Oh, let me count the ways… 

The moral of the story was, Chinese people give their children very short names.

The moral of this story is, things always seem better in memory.


Which brings me to the Power Rangers.

Somehow, you’ve discovered the Power Rangers.

I escaped my childhood years not watching one episode of this thing.

Now, we watch two a day.

I want to be the Pink one.

I’m the Red one!


Mommy, do you want to be the White Power Ranger?

Oh, sure…

…And I thought television from my parent’s generation looked bad.

How long ago was this filmed, seriously?? THIS is what television looked like when I was growing up?? It can’t be. This is a not an alien creature, but a man in a rubber suit. I can see the velcro holding up his alien horns.

“Mommy, what’s going to happen to the Power Rangers?” you asked one recent episode, Baby Girl, running over to me as I stood rinsing dishes at the sink. I turned to see a rubber suited alien attempting to freeze the color blocked heroes.

You were so upset. So genuinely concerned.

I swallowed my judgement of the production and kneeled down to your level. I took you by the hands.

“It’s all right, Baby, they’re going to be okay. In the end, the good guys win.”

I like to think that that’s what’s going to save us. That that’s what sets we selfish memory-fudging humans apart.

That for all the people who flat out suck out there, there are twice more good ones, and your mama won’t be made out to be a liar after all.




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