September 12 13

I received an invite to attend a Dora the Explorer Meet ‘N Greet and I sat in front of my computer screen and cried happy, happy tears because there are no more humans living in my house who want to watch Dora the Explorer. Or even watch the admittedly much more tolerable Diego go. This lovely mother of toddlers talked to me about something Bubble Guppies recently, as if I knew exactly what she was talking about and I had to stop her with “No more toddlers in my house—I don’t even know what a bubble guppy is.”

Nope. We don’t care where Max and Ruby’s mom is anymore or wonder if that Bunny Scout Leader might not be just a wee bit shady. We don’t lament about why that whiny little Caillou has a cueball bald head and his baby sister Rosie looks like Shaun White. We no longer own DJ Lance Rock costumes. There’s no more discussion about the lisped member of the Wonder Pets trio. No more trying to figure out why some cartoon animals wear pants and some don’t and why we are just okay with this.


We have moved on from this. We are almost exclusively an iCarly household now, although they did make me watch that Sam and Cat show which I may have enjoyed more than the average 34 year old should.

(Wait. I’m 35, aren’t I?)

Seriously, though. They can watch BETTER tv now. Be gone singing animals! Be gone pantless creatures! Be gone shrieky be-backpacked little girls!

But the very best part of this, of course—other than the fact that I can actually sit down and watch television with my children without needing a lobotomy—is that we have entered this “RECREATE ALI’S CHILDHOOD” portion of our parenting.

I was practically raised by my television set. I learned to read by watching Sesame Street. I learned the retail value of everything by watching The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune with my German grandmother. I learned about interpersonal relationship and drama by watching All My Children and The Young and the Restless with my Polish grandfather. I learned about striving for goals and competition by watching sports with my brother.

And I learned just about everything else by watching just about everything else.

So I am slowly introducing my children to ALL OF IT.

We started with Full House where the Martell children learned to love the mullet and only one Olsen twin and the cups trick. Sorry, Anna Kendrick—DJ Tanner taught it to us first.


Then came The Wonder Years. We moved on to Diff’rent Strokes. And then Saved By The Bell, And then Family Ties. And the The Cosby Show.

On the horizon are Growing Pains, Beverly Hills 90210, Boy Meets World. Doogie Howser. Perfect Strangers. Silver Spoons. Charles in Charge. Small Wonder. Webster. Gimme a Break. Fame. Blossom.

The freakin’ Love Boat.

Some have been hits.

And some, uh, not so much.

During a deep conversation about the plot of Who’s The Boss, Emily says: First you make me watch Teen Wolf, and now this? The 80s were so weird.

But you know what we didn’t have in the ’80s?

DORA, that shrieky be-backpacked little girl.

I really hope we get invited to a Full House meet and greet. I’d be all over meeting Uncle Jesse.


  1. No way! Now that I see it I remember the cup trick from Full House!


    Comment by Kristabella on September 12, 2013
  2. We’re watching the same here.. although it’s because iCarly, Sam/Cat and all tweeny things Disney Channel are banned. (Insert rant about respect for adults and smart mouthed overly sarcastic children)

    Because I’m a full decade older we’re also throwing in a good dose of Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Patty Duke Show, Family Affair, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father..

    Also every Haley Mills or Don Knotts movie ever made, they all hold up.


    alimartell replied on

    ALL excellent choices too. I’m sure we’ll get to those too! :)


    Comment by Melizzard on September 12, 2013
  3. Love this! And the 80′s, and all these shows. And we are 97% done with Cailkou, Max and Ruby, and Dora, too! My boys love TVO Kids for Zaboomafoom, (sp?) and Wild Kratts. 8 year old made me watch the National Geographic documentary called Evacuate Earth and I had a nightmare that night!


    alimartell replied on

    Isabella LOVES those Kratt brother.


    Comment by Loukia on September 12, 2013
  4. You (and I) watched all the same shows apparently, except you’re 10 years younger so either I was an immature watcher or you were a very precocious one.


    alimartell replied on

    4 working parents, raised by my Eastern European non-English speaking grandparents. I was as precocious as they come…


    Comment by Mara on September 12, 2013
  5. What about The Facts of Life? Did you ever watch that. That’s where the first sighting of George Clooney- with his brown fluffy mullet hair.


    alimartell replied on




    Comment by Naomi Jesson on September 12, 2013
  6. I learned to read from Sesame Street toooooo.


    Comment by Angella on September 12, 2013
  7. This post is fantastic but somewhat lacking. It clearly deserves the picture of Isabella dressed as DJ Lance Rock AND the picture of you meeting Candace Cameron Bure.


    Comment by Gav on September 13, 2013
  8. My Two Dads! My Two Dads! My Two Dads!


    Comment by Alison on September 13, 2013

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