Sharing Your Childhood Likes With Your Kid

I’ve been having a rough time blogging of late so I wanted to write something personal yet fun because despite all the turmoil I’ve gone through recently, I’m seriously enjoying Sienna’s current verbosity, her ability to mimic and the accompanying glee that comes with it.

I’ve already taught her plenty of animal sounds so if you see her and ask what a crow says, she’ll answer you with a smile and a loud, “CAAAAAAAW!” But what I’ve found even more enjoyable (and clearly more hilarious) is teaching her pop culture words and phrases from my childhood. In a way, I feel it further connects as Daddy and Sienna. Sure it might be utterly ridiculous and have no redeeming social value, but it absolutely feels special because I’m teaching her a part of myself and we both love it.

It all started when Sienna was just a few months old. She made these noises that reminded me of Gizmo from Gremlins so of course I immediately went out and got her very own Mogwai (not a real one, people…they don’t actually exist!):

Sienna and Gizmo copy

Now she asks for Gizmo when she goes to bed and I couldn’t be happier. She’ll also cheerfully squeak, “Bright light! Bright light!” when you ask her what Gizmo says. So cute!

I also find it cute that she loves the theme music to Alf. I’m not sure why she does, but I made sure to put it on her YouTube list (we don’t let her watch much television and instead created a playlist filled with classic Sesame Street and Muppet skits and songs as well as “Let It Go” and a bunch of other things which we let her view on occasion). She recognizes the first note from the theme and goes, “Alf!” and I grin like a fool.

Just like Daddy, she says, “D’oh!” when she drop something echoing this famous character:


If you ask her what this guy says, she yells, “Cobraaaaaaa!”


If asked what Peter Venkman says, she’ll repeat the famous Ghostbusters line, “He slimed me!” though it sounds more like, “‘limed me!” She’ll shout, “Yo Joe!” if you ask her what Roadblock says. She’s working on, “I’ll be back!” (complete with accent) when asked what Schwarzenneger says. She giggles and goes, “How you DOIN’!” if I ask her what Joey says (wrong emphasis, but still impressive, and though it might not be from my childhood, it’s still pretty funny. And once she gets those down I plan to teach her John McClane’s awesome “Yippee ki yay!” (sans the MF, of course).

She even starred in her own version of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which you can see here:

Teaching Sienna this stuff is not for the benefit of others, though sometimes I can’t resist watching people crack up when she throws out an 80s reference. Teaching her these things along with numbers, letters, colors, songs, manners, names of things, etc., is a way for me to bond with my daughter and pass on some of my own loves. I also adopt her own as I taught her to say, “Drums! Drums!” when she sees the Muppets’ Animal because she gets excited whenever he comes on screen. Her other favorite is Beaker (who happens to be my chosen Muppet), but she picked up on his, “Mee mee mee!” without me having to do anything.

I tell you, there is nothing cuter than seeing a 2-year-old girl refer to Batman as “Na-na!” thanks to the 60s theme song unless it’s hearing her say, “Braaaiins!” when asked what a zombie says. I promise to make sure she knows that not only do the zombies on the bus not say, “Brains! Brains! Brains!” by the time she goes to school, but that she understands there are no zombies on the bus. One day she’ll be ready for zombies and Gremlins and Ghostbusters and G.I. Joe and hopefully we’ll sit, snuggled up, bowl of popcorn in our laps, and watch some of Daddy’s favorite things, but for now the objects will remain abstractions, the words and phrases echoes, just things for the two of us to laugh about and share. Oh, and Sienna, if you’re reading this, we need to keep working on your Chewbacca imitation.

So what am I missing? What other 80s references should Sienna spout? Something from The Breakfast Club since it’s celebrating its 30th anniversary (ugh!), right? Send me your suggestions!

9 thoughts on “Sharing Your Childhood Likes With Your Kid

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 26, 2014 at 5:58pm

    Glad she is entertaining you. It’s cool that this is helping you bond. Enjoy her new phase.
    Btw, I loved Gremlins! Cute pic of Sienna w/the gremlin.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      March 28, 2014 at 4:34pm

      Thanks, Larry! Gremlins was awesome and Gremlins 2 was severely underrated!

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 27, 2014 at 11:02am

    Don’t know about the 80s, but the Fonz’ “ayyy” with the thumbs up is a classic. Also:
    Steve Urkel’s “Did I do that?”
    Vinnie Barbarino’s “I’m so confused”, and “What?”
    The commercial “Where’s the beef?”

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      March 28, 2014 at 4:34pm

      I actually started her on Fonzie. Forget to mention that one. Staying away from Urkel!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    J. Parrish Lewis

    March 28, 2014 at 5:58pm

    That Gizmo is fantastic. I also like to get my kids hooked on 80s stuff, like watching cartoons on Most of the good shows are there, for freeeeeee.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      March 28, 2014 at 10:43pm

      J. Parrish, will def have to check that out! Thanks for the heads up!

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    RC @ Going Dad

    March 28, 2014 at 11:18pm

    I love this. My daughter is only 4 months right now, but as a huge Ninja Turtle fan when I was a kid (okay, I still am!), I will make sure to share these green mutants with her as much as possible. I think Ninja Turtles are perfectly fine for girls, right? Better than the typical Barbie!

    Thanks for the great read!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      March 29, 2014 at 12:44pm

      Of course they’re ok for girls! Just like Frozen is perfectly fine for boys! Thanks for the compliment!

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