Thursday, January 31, 2008

Help we all can do without

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming highlighting dirty, disgusting little boys.

When I was a very young girl, one of my very favorite books and accompanying records (yes, records) was Free to Be … You and Me by Marlo Thomas and Friends. This came to me courtesy of my ever-educating Aunt Jane (English teacher and the first of her family of 11 children to graduate from college) I loved the stories, the quick poems, the hilarious songs, the upbeat, funky rhythms. I played this OVER and OVER until I wore out the LP and had to get another one. I even bought the Book and CD as an adult because I thought my kids might like it. When I listened again in my more mature state, it brought back amazing memories of getting called in from neighborhood galavanting for Campbell’s soup lunches, wetting my pants because I didn’t want to stop playing for 15 seconds, straight-haired pig-tails, denim jumpsuits and Dad bad-mouthing Jimmy Carter. As I reflect on the stories as a parent today, I think it should be renamed GIRL POWER! Yeah, Feminism! and How to Emasculate Young Boys. I don’t want to further emasculate my boys in a society that already teaches them they are hateful and bad if they are strong and manly, but that is not why I don’t listen to it with them. I don’t listen to it with my boys because, well, frankly, they don’t get it - just like they don’t get original Scooby Doo and SuperFriends episodes. They want a computer-animated farting Scooby-Doo and japanimation Justice League Generation 4,317.

But, I digress...

There is one particular song on the album that I truly did not comprehend until I was a parent – “Helping” by Shel Silverstein. (That link will take you to and you can click on 'samples' to hear most of the very short song.) I unsuccessfully tried to find a link to the entire song performed because it really is cute, but here are the words (with guitar chords for those of you musically adept)

Helping Chords by Shel Silverstein,

Agatha Fry, she made a pie
And Christopher John helped bake it
Christopher John, he mowed the lawn
And Agatha Fry helped rake it
/ G - / - D7 / - - / - G /

Now, Zachary Zugg took out the rug
And Jennifer Joy helped shake it
Then Jennifer Joy, she made a toy
And Zachary Zugg helped break it

And some kind of help is the kind of help
That helping's all about
And some kind of help is the kind of help
We all can do without
/ CG CG / G7 C / - GEm / AmD G /

Today’s example of the “kind of help we all can do without:”

My ever-helpful Grant helping to make drop uncooked cheesy eggs (yolks, whites, cheese chunks and all) on the kitchen rug.



  1. Hi Angie , This is Ben Jones. You know, the one from college. Anyway, my wife let me borrow the computer the other day so i looked up john and heather, found heather's blog, snooped thru the comments, and found your blog. i've almost read it all. you all are busy. your all's attitude is incredible. not surprising, that is the way i remember both of you. i would like to talk more. not only to catch up, but also about adoption junk. see you all. now i have to go and get it posted before karla tries to spell check and fix my runon sentences.

  2. HAHAHA,
    What wonderful helpers our children are. What would we ever do with out them? I hope you got my link for a free three column template,I posted in one of your comment boxes. great post

  3. Yes - where is good ol' Scooby Doo? The days of the Road Runner and The Coyote? Things are different these days - thanks for taking me back. Hope you got that egg all cleaned up - I'll bet that sweet little Grant was right there trying to help - right? See you later Angie - Kellan

  4. Hi Angie, you are the winner of my pay it forward book giveaway - the James Patterson book. Please email me your snail maid address so I can send it to you.

  5. Angie:)
    You might be intersted to know that I resurrected a couple of songs from Marlo and Friends when my AP Comp class wrote arguments about gender roles. What a classic album...Rosie Grier sings "It's All Right to Cry."

  6. I love Shel. I memorized tons of his poems growing up, but hadn't heard this song. I guess your rug better matches your kitchen now. It is yolk colored.

  7. I used to LOVE that book.

    Dylan is constantly trying to hand me my wine glass & spilling it. Wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't a red wine fanatic. My poor carpets. Definitely help I could do without! :0)

  8. Isn't it amazing how our perspectives change once we become parents! And how our definition of help gets fine-tuned. ;o)

    OK - now Ben's post has me curious about the adoption thing. I'm going to have to go read your whole blog since there's nothing about adoption in your profile. Being an adoptee who adopted, I'm always interested in other people's stories. TTFN!