Friday, March 07, 2008

The Best Part of The Song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

We have a routine for those days that the twins are acting up a little.

"Those days that the twins are acting up a little" = any day ending in Y; they're transitioning to grown-up foods. Well, not 'grown-up foods,' because they don't eat, say, burritos, but we're trying to get them away from bottles and carrot mush. You wouldn't think it would be hard to wean someone off carrot mush, but they love it.

The babies do eat some surprisingly good food. Me and Middle and Older are all a combination of slightly jealous that they get cool food, and slightly afraid that we're missing out on something, so we try each new snack they get, and I like a lot of them. I am not a fan, however, of the sweet-potato flavored snack. The twins are, but I am not. How does "sweet potato" get considered a flavor to add, anyway?

Here's some insight into psychology, too. Do you know what a 'sweet potato' is? It's a yam.



And I, unlike the rest of America, am not a sucker. You can't simply call something "sweet" and convince me that it's not disgusting. A yam is gross, and calling it a "sweet potato" doesn't make it any less gross. A rose by any other name, right? But you all have fallen for it before. You forgot that Hillary! used to be "Hillary Rodham." And let's talk about the "sea bass," which is a highly-popular and expensive fish beloved by you gourmets out there who think it's amazing to eat at restaurants that charge you $100 for a plate of two asparaguses and a sliver of meat.

The sea bass used to be called a "toothfish." Here's a toothfish:


And here's your "sea bass," that you'll pay $24.95 for:



Here's that toothfish again. $24.95 per portion. Yum!


So you're not fooling me with "sweet potatoes."

But I was talking about feeding my boys, who are just over 18 months old now and don't like being restrained in high chairs when they could be careening around the house carrying my practice bagpipe, or they could be trying to tip over the grandfather clock, which I had to bolt to the wall because it was so attractive to them. So now, in my house, I have an alarm clock that's broken and screwed into the wall. If you buy my house, I hope you like grandfather clocks because you're not getting rid of this one.

So to keep the boys in the high chairs and divert their attentions, I do what all great parents do: have them watch TV.

Ha! Ha! No, just kidding! Only a horrible, neglectful parent who wants to spend eternity in the 13th circle of Hell would ever, ever let their kids watch TV! We never even let ours in the same room as our TV. We only have a TV, in the first place, because we want to be able to catch the 24-hour-storm alerts during Severe Weather. And before we turn it on we make sure that all the kids are at French Camp first.

What I do, instead, is have the twins watch Youtube videos on my laptop. See? That's nothing like TV. Using my laptop, on the table, I can get them distracted enough that I can feed them, or they'll feed themselves, and they won't die of starvation or live solely on the ice cream I share with them at night.

They watch three videos, always in the same order, and I keep repeating them until done. I don't change the order of the videos, and I don't insert new videos, because they will get mad and start yelling and throwing mushed carrots around.

They watch Mahna Mahna:



Then they watch Baby Laughing!





And, finally, they watch "The Lions Sleeps Tonight."



And the others in our house have adopted my method of keeping the babies happy on those days. They do the same rotation, which has given me a chance to decide what The Best Part of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is: It's the part where they guy goes "Oh! Oh" about 2/3 of the way through, right after part where the lion sleeps near the village, and he does it again right after his darling is not supposed to fear because the lion is sleeping tonight.

That's the Best Part because it's the part everybody does, and the part everybody agrees on. The world can't agree on almost anything, including what they're saying in the background (I say it's "Weem-0-weh" but a lot of people, crazy people, say it's "Weem-o-way." Nutcases.) Around our house, around America, around the world, no matter what else you do with your life -- watch TV, constantly change your last name in a desperate bid to establish an identity, eat toothfish but call it sea bass, -- whatever else you're up to, when it get to those parts, you chime in with "oh! oh!"

It's the great unifier. If politicians could harness that, if countries would band together to have a national day of singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and have the entire world go "Oh! Oh!" at the same time, just imagine what we could accomplish.

It might distract the babies, at least.




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Doubt me at your peril! Listen closely to this version of the song -- sung by children who have NEVER had contact with anyone from modern society...

2 comments:

Kate said...

Your sweet potato is NOT a yam. Even though the entire american food industry (and populace) has confused the issue for years and people buy cans labeled "yams" that are truly sweet potatoes. The traditional american diet doesn't include real yams, just two kinds of sweet potatoes, the tan ones that are yellowish inside and the reddish purple ones that are orange inside (as shown on your blog). Real yams belong to a different plant family, and from all I can tell are not pointy at the ends. You can read about them on Wikipedia and about the difference at http://homecooking.about.com/od/howtocookvegetables/a/sweetpotatodiff.htm, among other places, though online there's a ton of confusion about the whole topic!

DJ Emir Mixtapes said...

I don't personally like Sweet Potatoes, at least not the way they used to prepare them when I was younger, but I love the cross cut sweet potato fries a few restaurants have started making. They are a perfect cross between salty and sweet making them a great alternative to regular french fries, I mean FREEDOM FRIES. - DJ Emir Mixtapes