When you are so grateful that you can identify a potential “teaching” moment as it is happening

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life65 Comments

Aidan was home sick yesterday (and I use the term ‘sick’ loosely, but hey, the kid never misses school and if she says her head hurts, even though she proceeds to watch old episodes of Lost on her iPod all morning, I’m still giving her the benefit of the doubt.). Around lunchtime, she switched from the iPod to the laptop to peruse songs and shows at the iTunes store.

See, I owe her a bit of iTunes money because I inadvertently spent some of her iTunes gift card on the season finale of—I can’t believe I’m copping to this but—Rock of Love  (does he EVER take the bandana off? Seriously?)

Anyhoo… as she’s looking through all the stuff on the iTunes store front, she notices that Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson have some new single out, and she plays the song sample and says, "I didn’t know Paula could sing."

And I realize immediately that THIS is a moment that me and YouTube can help her to understand even better as I say, "Oh yeah… Paula was a pop star back in the day…wanna see some of her videos?"

As we click through the various Paula Abdul YouTube selections, I go on to explain how originally she was just a dancer/L.A. Laker Girl who became a singer, and that some questioned whether or not she even did the singing, but look how fun it is that she’s dancing with a cartoon!

And as I’m sharing this with her, it struck me like a ton of Acme bricks: THIS very moment is what ALL those parenting manuals and articles really boil down to: Sharing the breadth of your life experience with your child to better prepare them for all of life’s coming challenges, and doing it in a calm, rational and pertinent manner.

Because you never know when she might find herself in one of two situations: a) participating in a 90s Useless Trivia contest, or b) at a dance club with cartoons.

Cathy ZielskeWhen you are so grateful that you can identify a potential “teaching” moment as it is happening

65 Comments on “When you are so grateful that you can identify a potential “teaching” moment as it is happening”

  1. #2
    kristen

    seriously. i’m laughing out loud right now. rock of love…the BEST. its one of those strange ‘i’m watching this because it reminds me that my life is really good’ shows…reminds you that you are really normal in every sense of the word…cause those girls (and him) not so much. ha! kristen in nor cal

  2. #3
    Julie

    I can’t BELIEVE you watch Rock of Love!! I’m totally addicted I’m ashamed to say! And no, I don’t think he ever takes that bandanna off. Would show off his hair extensions on his bald head!!!

  3. #4
    Anna Beth

    That is one of the best videos ever, seriously!! I remember watching it on MTV as a preteen. Paula Abdul rocs!!

  4. #6
    Stephanie

    I am sad to admit that I was a HUGE Paula Abdul fan “back in the day”! I wanted to be “Forever Your Girl” to some cute boy…never happened! Thanks for that flash back…

  5. #7
    Lisa

    *Sigh* I lost my Paula Abdul cd in a custody dispute with an old boyfriend. I guess he wanted Paula to be “Forever (his) Girl.” Thanks for the flashback! Lisa

  6. #8
    Leanne

    That is hilarious, and since I’m the same age as you, I remember all of this too. What fun times from the 80’s and good old Paula. Thanks for sharing.

    Leanne in CA

  7. #10
    suetreiber

    It’s good to know that the useless trivia clouding my brain will not go to waste. Straight up.

  8. #11
    Jill

    How funny! My 9 yr old DD didn’t know Paula could sing either. I’ll have to look those videos up.

  9. #12
    Bec

    What a touching, poignant memory for your child to not only cherish…but to be able to look back on…and to draw on…in the years to come when she has the opportunity to share similar nuggets of her own “pertinent” breadth of life with her own offspring……can we look forward to some sort of insightful parenting video from you in the near future?…I found your latest addition,”The scrapbooking indoctrination video they tried to suppress”, extremely riveting watching…and again….so pertinent!!!…

  10. #14
    Tina

    Re: Rock of Love…yes, Bret DID take off his bandanna (once) in the first season. It was noooot pretty.

    Receding hairline, anyone?

  11. #15
    Pam

    ROFL! We had this same conversation the other night when a Paula song came on in the restaurant we were eating at!

    Can’t comment on Rock of Love that is one reality show I’ve not seen!

  12. #17
    SusanH

    That’s wonderful that you can spend that “quality” time with your kids – after all, those “old time” memories would be gone if it weren’t for moments like this. And a friend of mine pulled out an old album to play on his turntable (you remember those?) and his 8 year old looked at it and said “what kind of CD is THAT?”

  13. #18
    Kelli Johnson

    now what I have to know, before you showed her that video, were you able to “Cat Rap” for her, without the words!? LOL (this really just makes me feel old.)

  14. #19
    Festi

    Yeah, Bret took it off one time in the first season. Rockin’ the majorly thinning top of the head thing for that moment. Not a good look – but, really. Is the bandanna thing working for him either? LOL

  15. #20
    Debbie P

    Hi Cathy,
    I’ve never responded to anyone’s blog before-got info on yours from Stacy Julian’s blog. As I was browsing through January’s entries I came across your “scrapbooking” video from January 16th. I about fell out of my chair. It is totally one of the funniest parady’s I’ve seen on any of Cruise’s antics! Very, very clever!!!!

  16. #21
    grungedandy

    Yep there is nothing like preparing them! You never know when she might be on who wants to be a millionaire! LOL You made me laugh so hard thanks! Seeya hugya *G*

  17. #23
    Amy Sorensen

    LOL…I LOVE moments like this, when your children suddenly realize how intelligent & brilliant their mother is. I mean, not EVERYONE knows Paula used to sing, right??? 😉 And, if it makes you feel better, right in the middle of the 1st season of Rock of Love, my sister called me to moan about being sick, and how she felt guilty because all she’d done lately was sit around and watch America’s Next Top Model reruns, but hey, at leas she wasn’t one of those people who watches Rock of Love, and then I had to clue her in and admit that *I* was one of THOSE people. It’s like a train wreck…you don’t want to look but you can’t look away! Glad to know you’re in the club, too! 😉 Amy

  18. #24
    Sara

    I used to idolize her as a kid! I still know all the words (rap too)!! How sad & old am I?

    In theory you could say you were “home-schooling” her because you taught her a very important lesson today!! LOL!!!

  19. #25
    Katie Scott

    Can’t wait for Lost on Thursday night! Totally agree that all children should be well versed in the pop culture of the 1980s, mine certainly are 😉 – but whats kinda scary / makes me feel a bit old is when people I work with don’t know this stuff – I think some of my co-workers were born in the 80s for goodness sakes! Have you seen the You Tube on the spiders on drugs yet? – completely funny.

  20. #29
    Sinead

    Oh you had me laughing my head off!! Hilarious! (and I’ve been sucked into Rock of Love 2…I’m even DVRing it–HOW SAD!)

  21. #30
    reyanna

    Ha! That made me laugh out loud. I love sharing useless 80s-90s trivia with the youngins. 😀 I mean, I don’t have my own kids, but you know… I still know some…

  22. #33
    Dawn

    Oh My gosh, my husband and I were watching Rock of Love last night and I asked the same Q about the bandana! He must have something seriously wrong going on under that thing. It never comes off.
    Any what happened to VH1? I thought that was the “Tame” version of MTV. Uh, not on this show!

  23. #34
    melanie

    Haha!!
    I recently did this with my 10 year old son, who is suddenly enamoured with all Weird Al songs. He had no idea ol’ WA was a huge 80’s phenom, so I hooked him up to YouTube and set him straight. :p

    And totally off topic… may I say that I’m seriously depressed that I won’t be able to meet you at CHA? I was so hoping you’d be there. 🙁

  24. #35
    dianne

    So …Rock of Love – I really thought I was the only person on earth who watched this show (while no one else is home, of course). I wonder if there is any hair under the bandana and really, the guy wears more eye makeup than me.

    And the Paula video – I remember being grossed out by this because of the line “He likes to smoke”. Ahh, the judgemental years of early college.

  25. #36
    mariep

    You know, it’s not the dancing with the cartoon cat that gets me, it’s the near-makeout session with the cartoon cat that seems kinda weird. And the clothes, oh, the clothes. You all may be scoffing but you know we all wore blindingly white tennies with the huge oxford-cloth shirt! C’mon, admit it. You know you did.

  26. #38
    tracy f

    Yeah, when my SIL last month told me she had never heard of ‘Wake me up before you go-go’ by Wham, I just about keeled over. Sigh. So young.

  27. #39
    Cherie

    Thanks for that Blast from the Past! I was totally in college when that video came out. Wowza I wonder if my kids know…..
    hhmmmmmmmmmm

  28. #40
    ThatOtherSharon

    Thanks for sharing!!! I adored that video, and it was FAR more complicated to create back then compared to doing it ‘these days’. Don’t forget, Paula was a very in demand choreographer (believe she did Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation tour) AND better yet, this video is actually based on a scene from my parents’ day wherein Fred Astaire danced with a cartoon (cat?) something that had to do with sailors.

    Who IS that guy on Rock of Love??? And why is ANYBODY interested in him, anyway???

  29. #42
    Michelle

    Girls, don’t be ashamed of watching Rock of Love…be proud! I am. Bret Michaels was one of the hottest guys of the 80’s. To me anyway! I am sad that he has to sift through such trash to find his true love though. LOL! And the bandana thing..you are right, what is under there is not pretty. I think this season he actually has fake hair under the bandanna. It looks a lot thicker that it did last season!! So rock on ladies!

  30. #46
    Tracey

    My little one is home today sick too. I started playing the video and he gave it his patented weird look. I asked if he didn’t like it. No. *shakes head* Kids.

  31. #47
    O

    LOL too funny….my “little” (is 6′ tall, “little”?) one stayed home the day before yesterday but he came home from school yesterday, talking about this very thing: Paula Abdul in a new music video. So, I had my opportunity to share my vast knowledge of ’90’s pop culture too. 😉

  32. #48
    O

    *add-on to my previous post: I went to Paula Abdul’s concert with my friend in 1991, when I was pregnant with my son (the one I commented about in my previous post). I told my son, “THAT is the reason why you’re such a big Paula Abdul fan!!” Groans, moans, eye-rolling and a “ya, right!” followed. hee heee heeee

  33. #50
    Chris

    Even better, you could have shown her “Rush, Rush” starring a fairly unknown Keanu Reeves, before he was all about knowing Kung Fu.

    Now that’s some history, right there, dude 😉

    And are you watching the trainwreck that is season 2? I almost peed myself when I read this line at TWOP:

    “In one particularly spirited tussle, the largest of the Derby Dolls makes off with one of Baby Bret’s arms. Angelique (the super-scary-ass, always naked French chick) is thinking about how she might repurpose that little plastic limb in her upper lip. The little fingers sticking out on the side will only add to her charm, and would probably make it easier to eat chicken wings.”

    Comedy gold, man. Comedy gold 😉

  34. #51
    theresa

    Straight up, now tell me: was Paula a hit with the youngun’?

    And, if you loved that, you should YouTube Family Guy when Peter (I think it was Peter and not Chris) participated in his own version of the video. Priceless.

  35. #55
    Trude

    Wow, that really takes me back! Only 24, and I feel dated just knowing the younger generation only knows her as an Idol judge! 😮

  36. #56
    Angie O.

    I am laughing my ass off! Sister, I am so with you on so many things & I too hate to admit publicly that I love Rock of LOve! I love how you write…you definitely have a gift and make me laugh…Thank You. I needed a really good laugh to end my difficult day.

    P.S. I especially love your videos…don’t stop doing them!

  37. #57
    Abby P.

    Okay…going back a couple posts for a comment here…this: “I really am just three to five good stomach flus away from my goal weight” is so doable! I swear…I woke my husband up with my guffaw (spelling?) at this one, Cathy! It’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking milk or I would have (insert visual here)…

  38. #58
    Sara in Roch, MN

    So true! Same thing at my house last summer- but it was Star Wars and my son, 9. He found his dad’s childhood Star Wars pop-up book at his grandparents. Couldn’t believe it wasn’t a new movie… It bought back memories of second grade when a childhood friend showed me that the re-wrote the ending! Thanks for sharing.

  39. #61
    vicki Boutin

    I seriously love you, Cathy. You make me laugh and that is such a great personality trait!

    And Paula…saw her in concert in Buffalo back in the day with Color Me Badd…I Wanna Sex You up!!! Ahhhh…those were the days!

  40. #63
    Shannon

    Bret’s promo photo on the Rock of Love web page on VH-1.com is sans bandanna. NOT that I’ve ever been to the Rock of Love web page.

    Ahh, I’m glad someone mentioned “Rush Rush.” That is the sort of video that all videos should aspire to be. “Hurry hurry lovah come to me…” and it’s Keanu Reeves. Nice.

  41. #65
    Megan @ Disorder2Order

    Hi Cathy – Longtime reader and first time blogger (I think). I have to say, I am still stuck on the “Paula was a singer…” kind of makes me feel a little old.

    You are so right about the point. I bet it feels really good to share your earlier life knowledge with your kids.

    By the way… HUGE FAN OF YOUR WORK! 🙂

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