Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Leave Cookie Monster Alone

I thought I had heard the end of this argument, but apparently not the case. I'll warn you, I feel pretty strongly about this one.

You see, Cookie Monster was a pal of mine growing up. Absolutely loved him! (Elmo wasn't around yet). I loved everything about him. He was furry and lovable and hugable to all the kids on Sesame Street. He kind of talked like I did at that young age, not quite completing full, grammatical sentences. Mostly, he cracked me up.

I remember absolutely squealing when he would attack the tray of chocolate chip cookies with such gusto that the tray would go flying and cookies and their crumbs would topple in, then out of his mouth and all over the place, and he would continue this action until all cookies were demolished and the narrator came in to tell me about the letter "C". "Ynyum...ynyum...ynyummm..." he would growl, "ME LOVE COOKIES!".

Sometimes he would just sing a song with a friend, sitting on a porch. "C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me." Well, let me tell ya, Cookie Monster was good enough for me, and now some people are messin' with my pal.

This is where, in defense of my furry friend, the Breakfast Club in me wants to say "hey, don't mess with the bull, you'll get the horns." Then I pause and think, wait a minute...Cookie Monster doesn't have horns. He's got fur, he's got big white balls for eyes and the fuzziest, floppiest fingers around. He doesn't have laser guns or the video version of bloody skateboard injuries, he doesn't wear midriff- showing doll clothes or sweat pants that say "juicy" across his rear end. He's a big blue fuzz ball that digs his cookies.

And here lies the problem. Apparently there are those who think Cookie Monster is one of many culprits to the rising of obesity in children. I have a problem too. My problem is that Cookie Monster is being forced to eat carrots and celery! He's not a frickin' bunny people, he's Cookie Monster.

Of course, there are children who may prefer Cookie's menu of choice, or choose to emulate his not-so-desirable table manners. Well, guess what? That's what parents are for. It's up to parents to actually teach their children better manners by explaining that Cookie is a funny monster and is supposed to act like the silly guy he is, and that little boys and girls act differently.

This is exactly what makes Cookie so funny, because he is so silly, he can do things we know we shouldn't. And oh boy, what a treat when a child gets to have a cookie just like his furry blue buddy. The key word here is "treat" and again, that is up to the parents to control how many cookies their child consumes. Not far enough for you?

If you loathe the idea of giving your child a cookie (and their are many that are full of transfats and other awful, yet tasty ingredients), there are brands available that are a healthier option for a treat. Kashi is one that makes an awesome variety of cookies that are practically good for you.

With all of the crap--yes I said a four letter word, forgive me---that is out there exposed to our children, can we please leave the harmless classics, the fuzzy, friendly, innocent and delightful loves of our childhood alone?


People who sign up to be part of an organization, a voluntary organization, should be sure and actually do some of the volunteering. Before volunteering, ask yourself:

1. Why am I volunteering? Is this an organization I am really excited about and care about, or will it just look good on my resume to be listed as a member?

2. Do I have the time to actually commit? For most, the initial answer will be "no way." Fret not, there is always a way. Sharpen up on your time management skills and realize if you commit to an organization than you need to put in some of the work. If you really can't find the time, then gracefully bow out. You'll be more respected for stepping down than for being unreliable.

3. The more the merrier. Are there others who can join you in your venture? Whether it be family (some volunteering is a great way for families to spend more time together) or professional colleagues (can help with team building at work), having someone with you keeps you accountable.

There are so many great organizations that need good volunteers, and the personal gratification you get from helping out does really feel as great as they say it does. If this kind of reward is what you are after, then volunteer away. If there is an ulterior motive in your enthusiasm, perhaps you should rethink it.