who are you being?


Fifteen years ago, I worked as a personal assistant in the home of a little girl named Nunny (don’t ask) who loved reruns of Full House. Every afternoon, Nunny would clamber up onto the cushy velvet couch while I tapped away nearby on her mother’s computer. “Who are you going to be today, Amy?” she’d ask. “Hmm, I’m not sure, who do you think I should be?” I’d hedge. “Well, I’m Michelle,” she’d say (she was always Michelle, which is who I suppose anyone would pick, if they got to go first). “Then I’ll be Uncle Jesse,” I’d respond.

“No,” she’d say, “you should be Kimmy,” and although I don’t think anyone would freely choose to be Kimmy, Nunny saw a resemblance between us I could not deny.

Still, I loved this curious idea that while watching a show, you could “be” one of the characters. It’s kind of a “Blue Skidoo, you can too,” kind of thing, and those of you in the know will know what I am talking about. And I’ve been waiting for six and a half years for one of my children to play this game. In fact, I’ve even asked, “Which toy are you going to be?” when putting Toy Story on for the seven hundredth time. “Are you Mr. Potato Head?” In return, blank stares. I thought maybe it was a girl thing.


Then, this morning, I put on a show for my boys I had never seen before–Bigfoot Presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks. The title is less than promising, to say the least, so I did not have high hopes for the programming, but as soon as it came on, Cooper and Fergus went nuts.

“I’m Bigfoot!”
“I’m Meteor!”
“I’m the blue monster truck!”
“That IS Meteor!”
“No, I mean the other blue monster truck!”

and so on.

I have nothing to offer in terms of the larger significance of all this. I just think it’s really, really cute. And all too fleeting.

I don’t remember ever doing it at all, except that when I watched Say Anything, I was totally Ione Skye.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mari May 22, 2009 at 12:24 am

My 2-year-old twins aren’t quite at the stage yet when they can “be” someone or something else. But … I totally get the “Say Anything” reference. My husband and I watched this movie a couple of weeks ago. He had never seen it. I told him it was every girl’s dream to have their guy hold a boom box above his head and play “their song” full blast. He looked at me as though I had two heads. Still, I insisted that if I every got really super duper mad at him, doing the boom box thing would get him out of trouble. The only problem is … we don’t have a song.

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Scott May 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Every night before bed, I am either Dora or Boots. Usually Dora. Maybe that’s different from what you’re talking about, but maybe somewhere inside, I always wanted to be an obnoxious short Hispanic girl.

You’re hilarious. I’m enjoying your blog.

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kristirufener May 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I don’t remember if my sister and I ever did that with television shows, but I CAN tell you that whenever we played “house” that I was always the dad… Maybe that has something to do with my never brushing my hair and not wearing make-up problem?

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Juggling Act May 24, 2009 at 11:28 am

Apparently I have been assigned the role of Aunt Gertrude from The Hardy Boys. Her main role is to cook and worry about the boys. Sounds about right.

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Amy May 24, 2009 at 3:45 pm

The Hardy Boys?! I haven’t started in on those yet, how old are your kids?

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