Collecting Muppets @ Burger King

March 3, 2013 at 8:15 am (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

You think you’re going to remember everything! You live a life day by day by day and somewhere along the way you stop paying attention. In another lifetime I took care of other people’s children on a daily basis.

In the 1980s, I took care of two little boys from the time the oldest was three months old until he was seven and his younger brother was going to start Kindergarten. I quit to go back to university just before their little sister was born.

Balcony View

It was a Monday to Friday, four day a week gig and I would also come live-in when their parents took their annual ski trip alone. I knew these boys like they were my own. I was there to wake them up, to put them to bed, to take them to the YWCA for lessons, to travel with them on buses and in cars and to take care of them when they were sick.

Our day to day, weekly life set itself into a pattern. I would arrive before eight, they would have breakfast then watch Sesame Street from nine to ten on the days when we didn’t have to go anywhere while I made beds or started the laundry. Once a week we walked to the library, once a week we took the bus to the Y, occasionally I would attend a school event when their parents couldn’t, and every Friday we ate lunch out.

How Much Snow

It use to be a treat to eat out. Every Friday was our day out, we’d leave the house, after beds were made, to attend gym classes at the Y until eleven and then we would go out to lunch, either at the McDonalds with the play area or to the food court at the Mall; where we went depended on whether or not we had the car or were on the bus.

When there was just one child we took the bus. After their second son was born, the parents bought an old car for me to use to drive the boys around. They were good people to work for. The car rides were punctuated with endless questions from the oldest boy and the nonsensical babbling of the younger one. I taught the eldest boy the difference between invisible and invincible (he was into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Invisible is when they can’t see you and invincible is when they can’t hurt you.

The things you remember.

Baby Tree

So, what does all this have to do with collecting Muppets you ask?

Obviously, when you take kids out to lunch at a fast food place you have to buy that week’s toy. Twice in this case; thankfully there was usually a choice so both boys didn’t end up with the same toy. Of course they had to pick out their own. Thankfully, we got there just before noon so we would have our lunch and toys selected before the noon hour rush began.

During the late 1980s, Muppet toys were all the rage. McDonalds had them but not Burger King (my preferred eating place which is why my memory insisted that we were collecting Muppets at Burger King until I started searching the web for information. Thank the Stars for search engines!). In 1987 the Muppet Babies were all the rage.

Alley View

I remembered Gonzo on a trike and that there was Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal as well. They were all on some kind of vehicle – trike, wagon, airplane, skateboard, rocking horse. The vehicles and the babies were interchangeable. At our/their house, Kermit used the trike more than Gonzo did.

Animal with his red wagon was my favourite. According to the Muppet Wiki (Beware! This link has instant talking ads), Animal was only available in Canada.  There were also a Kermit and Miss Piggy with non-removable roller skates for the youngest children.

The boys would spent hours playing with the toys as I cleaned house or relaxed with a book.  It was so routine. Week after week after week the same. The same questions and the same toys. It felt like it would last forever.

Snow Family

You think you’re going to remember everything! You live a life day by day by day and somewhere along the way you stop paying attention.

I miss those boys. I miss all of the children I use to take care of. Parents are privileged because when their children are all grown up they are still there to ask – do you remember?

Do you remember collecting Muppets at Burger King? No, it was McDonalds.

Do you remember walking to the library?

What’s the difference between invisible and invincible?

Do they remember me?

Snowy Fence Border

P. S. Muppet Mindset blog here.

P. S. S. This is how much snow we’ve had this winter (2012 – 2013), posted here so that I will remember how snowy this winter was!

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1 Comment

  1. me2013 said,

    I am sure they remember you with love and a smile

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