The Wiggles

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Over the weekend, we watched Pitch Perfect 2. About halfway through, the character named Fat Amy announced that she knew three of the Wiggles. Intimately.

My husband and I laughed, but my ten-year-old Aidan paused the movie and asked, "Who are the Wiggles?" His tone indicated that he believed that Wiggles were a secret gay term for some kind of deviance. Alas, 30 years into a relationship, I no longer know the secret language of gays, and I am much too tired for deviance. But I do know the Wiggles.

Stick with me here.  You don't need to have watched Pitch Perfect 2 to get this.  You don't even have to know who the Wiggles are.

Seven years ago, my boys graduated out of Barney, and the next program up was a group of Australian boys known as the Wiggles. They each wore a different colored mock turtleneck sweater and they sang songs like 'Hot Potato' and 'Fruit Salad'. Kind of like Teletubbies, without the antennae.

The Wiggles were a pre-manufactured group, like the Monkees or the Village People. With characters like Captain Feathersword and songs like 'Get Ready to Wiggle', it wasn't a hard market for gay men raising children to buy into. And when my sons were toddlers, they loved them. So much so that I drove down to San Jose to take them to their concert -- yes, four singing Aussies, 5,000 screaming children and me. I remember nothing other than my three-year-old son smiling blissfully and saying "Wiggow."


But now, Aidan doesn't  remember Wiggles, and the part of me who spent a couple hundred dollars in San Jose resented this. 

This is what parenting means sometimes. You watch what your son watches. You hum along to the Wiggly Safari album. And then a little later, your little boy discovers little girls and forgets all about the Wiggles.

Sound hopeless? No. Sounds like life. Turn the DVD back on. Take your children to every Wiggles Concert you can. They won't remember it. But you will.

With a Perspective, this is Kevin Fisher-Paulson.

Kevin Fisher-Paulson is a captain with the San Francisco Sherriffs' Department and manages its community relations programs.