Just Might Be a Cool Mom

I had this zany idea the other day…let’s make a snow day Harlem Shake video–and upload it on youtube!  What? Yeah, I know. It’s not exactly the sort of thing that pops into the head of a quiet midwest Mom (sometimes I even surprise myself.)  So, how does one arrive at the idea of a snow day Harlem Shake?  Glad you asked.  Let me walk you through it.

The whole thing started when I saw the Kansas Jayhawk basketball team’s Harlem Shake video.  A die-hard Jayhawk fan, I absolutely loved it and shared it with my kids.  They liked it.  Liked it?  That’s right, they liked it as in they watched it once and moved on.  Okay.  Mmmm, maybe this Harlem Shake thing isn’t exactly cool.  But it sure was funny and I soon found myself cruising youtube looking for more Harlem Shake videos.  Before I knew it I had watched a couple dozen videos (some good, some not so good).  Eventually, I decided to turn to everybody’s favorite source for information–Wikipedia–and find out more about these videos.  Turns out it’s this big web frenzy…complete with rules and criteria like masks, costumes, wielding objects and in some cases, very little clothing!  The whole things lasts less than one minute and I thought to myself…it might be fun to make one.  Of course, I never (ever) thought we actually would–but Mother Nature had a better plan.

Enter the big midwest snow storm!  Wednesday’s light snow and modest accumulations  (mixed with the weatherman’s doomsday overnight forecast) led us to cancel Wednesday night activities at church.  A relaxed night of Jayhawk basketball ensued (LOL that game was anything but relaxing!)  Word that school was cancelled for Thursday made room for a laid back morning and an additional 5 inches of snow created opportunities for some outdoor fun.  We could have headed to the backyard to build a snowman (I like snowmen), but blame it on the Jayhawks victory, their funny Harlem Shake video and the rare occurrence of a well-rested Mom and an idea was born.  I announced my plans over lunch.  No one was as excited as I was. 

I headed to the basement to gather some props.  I explained the “rules” of the video to the kiddos and swore that it would take 5 minutes or less to create.  Still, no one moved.  I bribed them with the promise of hot cocoa and extra play time in the snow that afternoon.  They were slow to get moving, grumbled all the way out the door, and gave me blank stares when I directed them into the yard.  My son complained that the whole thing was embarrassing (and he’s an EXTROVERT) while my daughter moped and sulked in the snow.  Three minutes later we were done and they were FREE!  They couldn’t get to their friends fast enough and I was left feeling like the “uncool” Mom with the “uncool” idea of making a Harlem Shake video. 

Fast forward to later that afternoon.  The video had been edited and uploaded.  I asked the kids to come see the finished product.  The smile that crept across their faces was priceless.  My children are hams at heart and love to see themselves on any screen.  They giggled.  They asked me to play it again.  They laughed at themselves, laughed at each other and of course, laughed at their parents.  I linked the video to my Facebook page and we laughed together throughout the day as family and friends liked and commented on our video. 

We were surprised this morning to see that our video had more than 60 views on youtube…for today’s “plugged in” kids that’s a pretty big deal.  Our snow day Harlem Shake video was the buzz at the only hill in town worth sledding on–which means… this little family project just might be labeled a success, that as parents we aren’t that lame and out of touch and finally, that for once (yes once),  I just might be a cool Mom.

No one in this world will ever love you like your Mom.   author unknown

They Keep Taking Away All My Fun :(

So, I live in Kansas.  I was born and raised in Kansas.  I have heard ALL of the Dorothy jokes.  I like the movie, so what?  I have been teased about the Wizard of Oz in every other state that I’ve lived in.  And I still get teased whenever we travel.  I’m okay with all of it…really, but it wasn’t until today that I realized that maybe, just maybe, I might be as naive as the girl in the ruby-red slippers.

Where do I begin?  I grew up in a small town.  I’m pretty trusting, but I never considered myself gullible.  I dreamed of living in a big city and most of my wardrobe is black, the standard “big city uniform.”  I enjoy wearing oversized, Hollywood-style sunglasses.  I was under the impression that I talked a pretty good game.  I thought that I could reasonably hang in any city, look the part and everything.  But apparently, you can’t cover naiveté with a trench coat.  Because over the last few months I have been slowly finding out that all of my favorite things aren’t what they seem and it’s starting to take the wind out of my sails.  BTW, Google and metrolyrics are no longer my friends.

First, my husband tells me that “Hotel California” by the Eagles is a song about Satanism.  What?????  I thought it was about an old hotel on the West Coast.  I could picture it in my mind’s eye.  Some weary traveler happens across what he/she thinks is an oasis hotel right on the beach…and sure it isn’t picture perfect (I sort of thought the service there sounded kinda bad), but the person checked in any way and wrote a song about their stay.  Right?  Wrong.  Song ruined.  How can I listen to it without thinking that a horrible evil is slowly penetrating my soul with each guitar chord.  Uuuggghhh!  There’s a whole section of my mp3 player that is no longer usable.

Oh, the bubble-busting didn’t end there.  Next, I find out that one of my favorite songs from the nineties is about being addicted to meth.  What??????  Semi-Charmed Kind of Life (Third Eye Blind) is about drugs!  I let my kids listen to that song!!!!  That was “my song” the year it came out.  I practically wore that single out when I moved two states away to start a new job right after college graduation.  That’s supposed to be a “coming of age” song.  That’s supposed to be an upbeat, positive song about life.  But, no–it’s not.  It’s about drugs and drug addiction.  How is a girl who once yelled at a guy for offering her pot at a party (I believe my exact words were, “Do I look like someone who does drugs to you?”) end up liking a song like that?  Answers, I want answers.

My mother used to tell me to listen carefully to songs that I liked…especially if I planned to sing them aloud at some point.  I thought I had learned my lesson when she about drove our car off the road after I started singing Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Do Me” (I was in high school at the time.)  In fact, I so thought that I had learned that lesson that I frequently read my kid’s the riot act over some of their favorite songs.  So now on top of having all my fun ruined, I’m a hypocrite, too.  Thank you, Pop Culture for making me out to be a complete dork.

My trusting nature isn’t limited to just music.  I couldn’t be that lucky.  Apparently, I am naive in the television and movie arena as well.  One of my all-time favorite movies is Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Yep, I thought it was a sweet, little love story, with a hilarious upstairs neighbor and a super-cool party scene…but, turns out it’s the story of a high-price escort in New York who hooks up with a “kept” man.  I can’t write that under my list of favorite movies at the next church mixer, can I?  Nor can I tell you how often I have come to adore some actor/actress on TV only to find out that they’re VERY good at their job and their real life personas will quickly make your jaw drop.

This morning I read that the Ukraine is banning SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teletubbies.  According to them, SpongeBob is gay (aren’t sponges supposed to be asexual?) and the Teletubbies model a “loser” mentality.  I was beside myself.  I’m a SpongeBob fan.  “Pizza Delivery” is my favorite episode.  Besides, I thought that Sandy Cheeks was SpongeBob’s girlfriend!  To top it all off, my daughter LOVES the Teletubbies…now I have to deal with the guilt of exposing her to “loserness.”  Great.

So this is me, admitting it.  Struggling to become one with my obvious simplemindedness.  I am naive…and no amount of red shoe clicking is going to undo what I now know.  The great and powerful Oz has been revealed.  Look for my picture in the dictionary under

naive:  1.having or showing unaffected simplicity; unsophisticated; ingenuous.2.having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous: She’s so naive she believes everything.