Family Zone - It Just So Happens
by Cheryl Butler
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Jeopardy--The Motherhood Edition
© Cheryl Butler
I don't know about you, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find decent programs that I can comfortably watch with my kids. If the content of the show doesn't make me squirm then the commercials certainly do. I mean, how many times do we need to see an ad for Beano or feminine hygiene products? Please! Even game shows are a bit of a risk. It is quite humbling when you're gathered on the couch watching "Jeopardy!" with your middle schoolers and have to cough or sneeze because you haven't a clue what Alex Trebec is talking about when he states "Glycine is the simplest one of these, the essential building block of all proteins and your sixth grader shouts out "What is an amino acid?" And here I thought the answer was Sweet & Low. Not good!
That wouldn't be the case, however, if good old "Jeopardy!" decided to shake things up a bit with something many women in my circle could relate to--say "Jeopardy! The Motherhood Edition." I can picture it now--women all across America vying to get a spot on this show and tuned in every evening at 7:00 PM no matter how many dinner dishes were piled up in the sink.
Mom Contestant #1: I'll take "Body Noises" for $100, Alex.
Alex Trebec: This happens every time you ask for help with the garbage, cleaning their bedroom or telling them, "No, you will never have a pet snake in this house."
Mom Contestant #1: What is whining?
Mom Contestant #2: I'll take "Last-Minute Chaos" for $200, please.
Alex Trebec: It's 10 PM on Thursday evening and your sixth grader looks at the clock, then at you and says, "Mom, I forgot to tell you something I still need to do."
Mom Contestant #2: What is a full-blown last-minute Science Project due the next day, Alex?
Mom Contestant #3: May I please have "Family Members" for $500, Alex?
Alex Trebec: They are the most difficult species of all human beings to decode. One moment they kind of like you, the next-you're a dundering chowderhead. Staple wardrobe items may include a touch iPod, ear buds, low-rise jeans and a scowl. They can text faster than the speed of light and you must never let on that you know them out in public.
Mom Contestant #3: What is a teenager?
Mom Contestant #1: "Favorite Statements" for $1000
Alex Trebec: This question is part of every child's vocabulary at birth. Many times you will hear this on a rainy day, but millions of mothers are attesting to the fact that they hear it even when their offspring is surrounded by state-of-the art electronics, dozens of books and games, paradise-filled backyards and lots of neighborhood buddies or siblings to play with.
Mom Contestant #1: What is "I'm bored! There's nothing to do around here!"
Mom Contestant #2: Alex, I'd love "Losing My Mind" for $1000.
Alex Trebec: The phone rings and it's the school nurse calling. You let the machine pick up because you are dealing with an electrical crisis where your dryer and dishwasher seem to be shorting one another out each time they are used. Two of your children are already home sick with the stomach bug and your husband is out of town on business for the week. You assume your third child is now sick as well, but when you actually speak with the nurse, you learn it's much worse.
Mom Contestant #2: What is being told your oldest child has just wet his pants in school?
Alex Trebec: That is not correct.
Mom Contestant #1: What is being told your daughter and her classroom have head lice?
Alex Trebec: Absolutely correct!
Mom Contestant #3: I'll take "Housekeeping Duties" for $1500, please.
Alex Trebec: For centuries this task has literally brought housewives to their knees. Originally mastered in the great outdoors, modern technology has practically made this job mindless, but women everywhere agree, no matter how hard they try, it's never something they can keep on top of.
Mom Contestant #3: What is cleaning a toilet?
Alex Trebec: No, I'm so sorry, that answer is incorrect.
Mom Contestant #2: What is laundry?
Alex Trebec: Yes!
Alex Trebec: Ladies, we are almost out of time. Please listen carefully to our final clues. "Her wardrobe is usually several seasons (make that years) behind the times though she's known to raise a few brows when she wears her big, red cape. Sleep deprivation cannot dampen her spirits and neither can a disappointing gift from her husband like that of a toaster. She's known as selfless, tireless and is always willing to go the extra mile (literally) for the people in her household. She collects no paycheck for the multitude of tasks she performs 24/7 and though she may not be Martha Stewart, she can kiss a boo boo better than any other set of lips in town. Throw in her ability to fend off all monsters living under beds and gives the best hugs in the world--well, she's truly one in a million."
Alex Trebec: Folks! Please, quiet down. I am not able to hear one of our contestants because the entire audience and every household in America is shouting the answer so loudly it's deafening.
What is a mother?
Alex Trebec: YES, you are all correct, and I urge families everywhere to never forget it!
Now that's a show I could watch with my kids. How about you?
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