This is going to sound a little strange but, well… I love Muppet feet.
Now don’t go running from your computer in horror. This isn’t a wacky blog post about felt foot fetishes. It’s about the Muppets and how incredibly all-around awesome they are.
Take the Muppets as a whole. They’re all different shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. They’re also one big (relatively) happy family. In fact, their differences only act to bring them closer. Kind of like parents, I guess. You have your happily married couples, your single moms, single dads, divorced couples, and so on. Families just come in so many different shapes and sizes. Just like the Muppets.
But the feet. What about the feet? Well, I just find it downright hysterical when you see Muppet feet. Sure you can see the strings and you know they’re not real, but they just look so ridiculous, I can’t help but to laugh.
Maybe it’s the dad in me. But Muppet feet just remind me of my boys’ feet when they were little. Those chubby little legs that were barely stable enough to stand on, let alone walk. And there’s the fact that just making your kids’ stuffed animals “walk” simply by moving their legs is kind of magical and hysterical.
I know, it sounds nuts but for some reason I find myself looking to the Muppets for guidance. They’re just full of life, fun and complete innocence. In fact, I’ve given this a lot of thought (clearly way too much) and come up with a number of life lessons we as parents can impart upon our kids. So why don’t we get things started with the 10 Parenting Lessons the Muppets can teach us all.
Kermit the Frog
Lesson 1: Never surrender. And don’t eat flies.
More than any other Muppet out there, Kermit displays one trait perfectly to a “T”: perseverance. The little froggie dude happens to be the most serious of the bunch (not counting Sam the Eagle), and always has his eye on the big picture. No matter what adversities come his way (and there are plenty, many created by a certain pearls-wearing swine), he takes them all in stride and keeps pushing on through. He may get down and depressed at times, but in the end he realizes he can’t just give up. And he doesn’t.
Lesson 2: Put yourself first. And practice your karate chops.
The only thing Her Swineness loves more than her Kermie, is herself. Miss Piggy is infatuated with her moiness and grabs center stage every chance she gets. Even when there isn’t a stage handy. I’m not promoting narcissism here, but too many people tend to go the opposite extreme. They worry too much about pleasing everyone else all the time that they forget about themselves. So in life, take the time to do something nice for yourself and remember that you’re the most important person in your life.
Sam the Eagle
Lesson 3: Sometimes you just won’t fit in. God Bless America!
Nobody knows his American history like Sam the Eagle. And that’s a good thing. History is super important to learn, or we’re all destined to repeat the same mistakes. But Sam offers another good life lesson. His stuffy, way-too-serious attitude never wavers, even when surrounded by the insanely madcap adventures of all the Muppets. He most certainly stands out from the crazy crowd and that’s fine. In life, you’ll find that you won’t always fit into every single situation
Lesson 4: Life is dangerous.
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s ever-faithful, meeping assistant can sum up his parental lesson for you in four simple words: Don’t play with fire.
The Swedish Chef
Lesson 5: Bork de Bork de Bork Bork*
He’s always been my absolute favorite of The Muppets. How can you not love the Swedish Chef who seems to roll with the punches every single day? Whether it’s taking on gun-toting lobsters, a cannon-firing turtle, or spaghetti that has a life of its own, the Chef is always prepared for the unexpected. Just like a recipe, in life, sometimes you have to go off the board and add your own spices. In other words, life will throw you curveballs (lots of them), so just get used to changing your plans. Improvisation is the spice of life. Oh, and big moustaches and crazy accents are funny
Lesson 6: It’s okay to be boring.
I love Rowlf, but you gotta admit he’s the most boring Muppet ever. He’s a piano-playing dog. And uh, that’s about it. But he’s still one lovable Muppet, so the lesson here is that you don’t have to be a super-exciting, always-entertaining person. You need the lows in your life to balance out the highs.
Lesson 7: Let your wild side out. Just don’t eat the drums
Some kids are shy. Some just quiet. Some are perfect angels, always following your every rule. Well, I’m not here to say your kids should start trashing your house, but sometimes they just gotta let their wild side out. Whether it’s a whipped cream fight or a primal scream, remember to let your kids just cut loose every once in awhile.
Gonzo the Great
Lesson 8: Be yourself, no matter how strange.
I’ve always loved Gonzo. And not just because he constantly shot himself out of a cannon. He was always the real odd duck out of a flock of odd ducks. Most Muppets are a bit odd, but Gonzo was the King of Oddity. And despite it all, not once did he question his weirdness. In fact, he embraced it instead. It’s ingrained in society to just fit in. But nowadays, it’s more important than ever to let your kids be who they want to be. Let them be proud of who they are, rather than trying to force them into a mold you think they should be. Just don’t force them into any circus cannons.
Statler and Waldorf
Lesson 9: Old people say whatever the heck they want.
I hated those two old coots in the balcony when I was younger. As I got older, though, they got funnier and funnier. The two grumpiest Muppets of all can teach your kids a valuable life lesson: Old people are super cranky and they’re not afraid to talk about it. In fact, old people no longer have that filter in their heads that stop them from saying exactly what they’re thinking. Yeah, it’s grandpa uncensored.
Lesson 10: Don’t take everything too seriously. Fart jokes work every time.
Fozzie may have a skeleton made up completely of funny bones and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a parent, it’s super easy to get caught up in your own world and forget what it’s like to be kid. It’s just easier to bark out orders at your kids for jumping on the bed or staying up 5 minutes past their bedtime. But you have to remember to take a step back and laugh. Enjoy life. Oh, and wear more polka dot bow ties.
Andrew Kardon writes all sorts of crazy things about being a parent over on Singlemommie.com. He also talks about fun stuff like The Muppets, superheroes, sushi, video games and his two boys on his own blog Mommy’s Busy, Go Ask Daddy.