Monday, December 3, 2012


It's my job as a mom to teach my kids the basics.  Stuff like how to pick up after themselves, how to pour milk over cereal prepare a meal so they don't starve to death, how to tie their shoes, how to pray.  I'm also their source of cultural knowledge, bringing them places, reading them stories, singing them songs.  Sometimes, for a special treat, I teach them the stuff I learned when I was little.  One night in the car I taught them this song:

My baby fell out the window
We thought her head would be split.
But that day good fortune was with her
And she fell in a pile of 
Shhhhhhhhhhaving cream.
Feel nice and clean
Shave every day and you'll always feel clean.

You people out there in the audience
You've very nice places to sit
But all they gave me here to sit on
Is a great big 'ol pile of 
Shhhhhhhhhhaving cream.
Feel nice and clean
Shave every day and you'll always feel clean.

 I've taught them a variety of jokes and sayings, including my impressive repertoire of  "What do you call a man with no arms and no legs in a _______?" jokes.  (I know over 20 of them--in a pot, on the floor, in a hole, in a lake, on the wall...)

I've taught the boys jump rope rhymes, how to play all sorts of games from cat's cradle to cribbage, and even this cheer that I learned when I was in 3rd grade:

Strawberry shortcake, banana split
We think your team's a pile of 
Shhhhhift to the left!
Shift to the right!
Stand up, sit down FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!
(Totally awesome cheerleader motions optional.)

Last week we were driving home from the dojo in the dark.  A car came towards us and I noticed it had one headlight.  Flashback to my teen years:

We used to drive around at night looking for beer parties something fun to do and we were fond of punching each other in the arm every time we saw a VW Beetle (Slugbug red!) or a car with one headlight burned out (Pididdle!).  Back in the 80's there must have been a lot of burned out headlights because I almost always had a sore arm.  Then, for the longest time, I never noticed any "pididdles."  That may have something to do with how often I drove around at nighttime or improved LED technology or even a better economy.  Anyway, of late, I've seen more cars with one headlight and Mr. B happened to be sitting next to me so I lightly socked him in the arm and said "Pididdle!"

Mr. B turned to me.  "What was that for?"

"I saw a car with one headlight.  If you see a car with one headlight you're supposed to yell 'Pididdle' and punch them in the arm.  Kind of like 'Slugbug.'  It's a car game."

"What's 'pididdle' mean?"

"I don't know.  'Car with one headlight' I guess."


A couple minutes later, he reaches over and punches me.  "Pididdle."  There are no other cars on the road.

"Where do you see it?" I ask him.

"Well, the one from before."

"It doesn't work that way.  You can only say one 'pididdle' per vehicle.  First one claims it.  Otherwise you'd just be punching each other all night."


A little later we're coming into town and he hits me again. "Pididdle!"

I crane my neck and look around.  "Where do you see it?"

"Behind us!  See?  You can only see one headlight!"

I look in my rear view mirror.  "That car has two headlights."

"But you can only see one because it's behind another car."

"That doesn't count.  It has to be an actual car with an actual burned out head--you know what?  Forget it.  It shouldn't be this complicated.  No more pididdle."

"Pididdle!"  Punch.  "Pididdle!"  Punch.  "Pididdle!"  Punch.  "I like this game, mom!"

Spill it, reader.  What necessary cultural knowledge and wisdom do you try to impart?  And are your kids as thick as mine?


  1. Caroline learned punchbuggy over the summer, but she still has a hard time identifying the Bugs so I get punched for Kias for heaven sake!

  2. HA! I hit someone with a pididdle last weekend!

    Forgot all about the "shaving cream" song. :-)

    My father's favorite was
    Rah rah ree!
    Kick 'em in the knee!
    Rah rah ras!
    Kick 'em in the other knee!

    Silly man.


    1. Hahaha!!!!! Thanks for reminding me of that one! My dad loved that one too. :)

  3. Good songs/cheers/games all.

    When someone says, "Guess what?" to me, I can't help but reply "Chicken butt." Kids say "guess what?" way too often.

    1. I say "Squat! You're a monkey and I'm not!"

  4. Kids... they'll play any game that gives them the opportunity to punch their parent. LOL

  5. Movie trivia. I'm always giving them movie trivia.

  6. OMG. I had totally forgotten the shaving cream song. Love it!

  7. One of the things we used to do while traveling down the road was go through the alphabet with state license plates and signs, road, theater, anything that began with the next letter...sometimes we'd go for miles and miles before finding q,x and z. or we'd see what we could see in the clouds...tricky if you're the driver wanting to stay on the road. Then there were the songs, etc. I love that you are instilling these memories in your kids. They will love mimicing Grandma someday with their own kids.

  8. I felt it necessary to teach them EVERY song I learned at camp from my whole entire life (Bazooka, Zooka Bubble Gum being a personal favorite). I have enjoyed it enormously. They have not.

  9. I've never heard of the shaving cream song. I'm thinking that's a good thing?

    We used to do punchbuggy when Emma was younger. Rob likes to play highway bingo, which I hate. I make him play with Emma when I'm driving. One car game Emma was quite terrible at was I Spy. She'd always be spying things that we passed the second she said "I spy", so Rob and I had no chance.

    If it's just me and Emma in the car, we play music and sing along. We can do that for an 8 hour drive and never tire of it :-)

  10. I am approaching this parenting thing all wrong. I haven't taught my kids any of that.

    I always LOVED the shaving cream song. I think I first heard it on the Dr Demento radio show, which I listened to late at night. But I didn't know about pididdles until I got to college. I felt like such an idiot. When I was a kid and we went on long car trips my brothers found plenty of good reasons to punch me in the arm, without claiming any pididdles. It is good you are teaching this to your kids now so they will be in the know.

  11. We had our kids take Danish lessons :D when we went to Denmark my son said, "I love your cheese."

    He meant to say, "I love your view." Guess mine our thick too.

  12. My friends and I used to punch the ceiling of the car when we would go over railroad tracks or through a yellow light. Then we could make a wish. ????? I don't know.

    I recently taught my kids a song that my dad used to sing.

    "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
    I'm gonna eat some worms.
    The long, skinny, slimy ones slid right down,
    but the short fuzzy ones get stuck.
    So I'll bite off the heads of the short fuzzy, wuzzy ones,
    and suck all the custard out!"


  13. My girls are getting a thorough grounding in 80s music and movies. :-)

  14. Thank goodness my son grew up in the 70's and 80's rather than me. With that said, I have to admit we did really boring things like counting cows. Such was life in the fast lane.

    At least your kids will have a great sense of humor.

  15. Never heard of "pididdle" but have head of "punch buggy" which is the same as "Slugbug" we also have something called "slap combie".........

  16. The list of pop culture references I am giving my daughter as we go along is far to extensive for one comment, even one blog post. Pieces of her parents' puzzle fall into place with her the more she watches old movies with us. For instance, she realized our tv watching policy is straight from Raising Arizona ("No more than two hours a day of educational programming or football") and after watching Mary Poppins at Thanksgiving, she realized that I have truly taken to heart "In every job there must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! the job's a game!".

    We call it punchbuggy and we've added a 'no punch backs' rule, but you have to call that. So our game of punchbuggy goes like this "Blue punchbuggy, no punchbacks".

  17. We used to hit the roof of the car and say 'pididdle'. Maybe our mom just didn't want us slugging each other. My boys say 'PT Bruiser' and hit each other when they see a PT Cruiser.

  18. I did the pididdle thing too. We used to hit the roof of the car when we crossed the county line. That was a beer, no wait, pop thing too. I think I have taught my kids way too many inappropriate things. Beans, beans the musical fruit........ Still do it.


Spill it, reader.