Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Wild Animals

Word of the day: Wild!

We live in western Connecticut. Marty likes to call it the country although we have plenty of fast food joints, strip malls and main streets lined with specialty stores. Still, there is quite a lot of undeveloped land around us, and houses tend to sit on several acres of wooded property. So, we have many wild animals that co-exist with us. The usual suspects: deer, raccoons, rabbits, opossums, squirrels, skunks, and chipmunks. I have spotted fox. I have heard coyotes. And these are just the mammals! Countless birds (both prey and song style), turtles, toads, frogs, snakes and salamanders have been duly noted over the years. (We’ll leave insects out of the discussion.)  We teach the girls their names, where they live and to respect their wild natures. We recently spotted a water snake on a hike and Ripley ran to grab it, which prompted an excellent learning opportunity. “DON’T TOUCH IT!” We also were privileged to witness an encounter recently between a domestic and wild animal, which ended with a laugh rather than the usual dire result. A raccoon had climbed up onto our back deck to sample some of the left over cat food left in a bowl. We hushed the girls and beckoned them over to the glass sliding door. Right as we arrived, our cat Titan came out of nowhere, and batted that poor raccoon right off the porch. It’s a tough life in the great outdoors!

Here are our girls doing a project to give homes to some of our wild birds:

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A New Bunny

We love our animals out here in the country; the domestic and the wild, as long as the deer don't eat too many of the plants and the coyotes keep away from the cats. Our system seems to be "keep an open mind, and the pets will come."  Our little Cavalier Spaniel, Nell, came to us after Annie's Mom passed away (a formerly un-housetrained pain in the neck who is now most dear to us), the cat was my oldest daughter Lauren's when she was 12 (she is 28 now and the cat is still here), the turtle Bob (Evans) was a castoff of our goddaughter in NYC who had grown too sophisticated to own a reptile, my dear rooster, Larry, was a fertilized egg left by a house sitter, and people keep gifting us with bunnies. Our Bernese Mountain dog, Beary, is the only pet we actively sought out. During the October freak snowstorm a branch fell on our bunny corral, “Feckless" hopped out, and was taken by (most likely) an owl. Recently we were gifted with a new bunny; "Loolee the Princess Bunny", as named by the girls. The following film is a short chronicle of her first day with us.

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Mother's Day

I have been a mother for three years. My mother has been gone for almost four years. Like many daughters, I always imagined how I would do a better job raising my kids. Then I had them and I find myself doing and saying the same things I swore I wouldn't. "I'm going to count to three!” "At least three more pieces of broccoli or no dessert." "Please stop the whining!"

 

Blog: Mother's Day 2012

It is by far the hardest job I do; much harder than writing scripts for Sesame Street. What I find the most challenging is having the patience required to do the best job you can. Trying to get the bath done, pajamas on, teeth brushed, and into bed when all they want to do is run in circles and play mermaid. They're so easy to love, play with, cuddle, squeeze. They make us laugh with the crazy things they say; the connections they make. Even when they say things like, "If you stop talking I will feel better." make me smile. It's when things get tough, and both are throwing mini-tantrums in different directions, that I have to work hard to stay reasonable and not lose it.  Sometimes I fail; sometimes I think I deserve a medal. Sometimes we all just end up in the calm down chair. To all mothers this week: I wish you some down time in your own private calm down chair, some great hugs from your kids, and perhaps a massage and reflexology.

Counting the Number Zero

 Number of the Day:  Zero

Counting is very big in our house. It started with counting for “Hide-n-Seek” (where they started saying “eleventeen” which tickled us to no end.) Then came counting Snow White’s Dwarfs, and mermaids, and horses, and, and, and... Basically, any moment in the day can be a counting opportunity, as you will see in Marty’s video of the girls at the Aquarium:
 

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I started the girls with counting backwards recently and was astonished when I went down from 10-1 and then Lyra said, “What about zero?” 

“Zero?”

I have no recollection of ever teaching her zero. How she knows it is a wondrous surprise. She really gets the concept, too. Just the other morning, they were looking in the mirror at who had little sticker gems on their foreheads. Ripley had two. Lyra had zero and her doll had zero. She came running in to tell me the results and I was bursting with pride.    

 

Sister Chanel

Word of the Day: Sister

Marty’s daughter, Chanel, is living with us for the moment. She’s a brilliant artist, bathing suit designer, as well as an excellent big sister. She has been an incredible addition to our little “happily family” as Ripley calls us.   

I’m really not “crafty.” My parents never broke out the paints, glitter, and hot glue and got the kitchen table covered in material and paper to make projects. Chanel is constantly doing art with them, for which I am eternally grateful.   I want it to be instinctual for them to create art just as it is for her. I’m afraid it’s too late for me, but I am happy to read books all day long, or dance and sing to princess songs! In keeping with today’s topic of butterflies, Chanel helped the girls make winged creatures to fly around wearing their fairy wings.

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Like your family we have twins, boy/girl, that turned three last month. I saw your blog entry for January and it looks like we have something in common, potty training twins. Like one of your girls, my son WILL NOT pee in the potty but his sister was doing well until she caught on to "Bubbie" not trying. I was just letting things run their course but our local pre-schools/mommy day out programs require the children to be potty trained and this mommy needs a day out. Bribery isn't working. Have you had any success?

Sommer

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How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

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I read in 40 Years of Life on the Street about an incident involving Snuffy's puppet where a sombrero caused the wood frame to collapse on you and Bryant Young. Did they rebuild the puppet after that or did they just make a new one?

Edward

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I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. My daughter Kylie (who just turned two yesterday) loves to ask if we are going to see "the babies." Thank you so much to you and Marty for bringing the joy of Sesame Street into our lives every day.

Kendal and Kylie Montreal, Canada

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I've noticed that there are fewer Muppets and people in an episode now than there were twenty years ago. Does everyone show up on the set for filming days or only certain ones? Who decides who gets to play the Anything Muppets? There are some voices I hear more than others.

Glenda

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