Parenting in the Wild, Wild West

March 11, 2017

The wild west has been quite prevalent at the Sharp household as of late. First, the kids have been on a bit of Sheriff Callie binge. As children’s shows go Sheriff Callie is certainly not the worst, but we axed cable a while back and Hulu only has the first season so we have seen every episode approximately 4,028 times. For the most part this has worked out well. The three-year-old ballerina already has a Sheriff Callie hat so she has taken on the role of sheriff and the five-year-old zoologist has been just fine being the deputy, a bird named deputy Peck. The one-year-old demolitions expert has been declared to be Toby, the talking cactus.


No other plants in this show talk, except for this one particular cactus. There is no explanation for why this one, single, solitary cactus is anthropomorphic. You are just supposed to accept it as fact. All of the characters are animals who talk, but for unknown reasons the horses and mules don’t talk, maybe the cactus took their abilities. If you are looking for narrative consistency, stay away from kid’s shows.


A while back we decided to capitalize on this wave of interest in the old west by having the kids watch The Apple Dumpling Gang. I wouldn’t call this experiment an abject failure, but it certainly was not something resembling a success. The ballerina spent the whole movie asking questions like, “Who’s that guy? What’s he doing?” and “What happened?” The most positive thing they had to say was that they liked the horses. The zoologist found it a little scary and summed up the whole experience with this interrogatory nugget, “Dad, what was this story about?” I was tempted to tell him that I didn’t know because I had been so busy answering the ballerina’s questions, but I decided against it.


All was well and good until the zoologist decided that he was tired of not being the sheriff. The ballerina thinks she is Sheriff Callie, and the demolitions expert already thinks she is in charge of the whole house. I think the first-born zoologist has had enough of not being in charge. Now he has declared himself sheriff and is using the phrase, “on account of” in every sentence because he thinks that’s how people spoke in the wild west. Now he says things like, “I’m going to the bathroom, on account of I need to potty,” and “I’m going to eat a snack, on account of I’m hungry.” This afternoon he even started a sentence with “I reckon.”


Our house is now home to three officers of the law, all of which seem to ignore the town laws about naptime and room cleaning. I guess they think their exempt now, on account of them being sheriffs and all.


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