Monday, May 22, 2006

Family Motto

I was recently reading a very touching piece in The New Yorker by Calvin Trillin on his late wife, Alice. In the article he mentions a family motto that he, his daughters and Alice had, "Pull Up Your Socks." Trillin recalls Alice lamenting that this motto may have been too "flippant." It got me to thinking that maybe we need a family motto. I found it odd, in fact, that we didn't have one in place already. My family, my little fiefdom, should have a motto to look to for inspiration. A few came to mind right away - "We're Out Of Milk," "Where Is The Remote?," "Your Shoes Are On The Wrong Feet." It will need to be a motto The Trio can take pride in, something they can shout from the top step and one day tattoo across themselves, or at least write it in their own dust. I believe any of the aforementioned mottos are a nice enough fit. Other possibilities include "I Want," "Where's Mommy?" and "Don't Touch Daddy's Drink."

Once we come up with a decent motto, though, we may need a coat of arms - something that really strikes fear, or confusion, in the hearts of the other families at the park. Coats of arms have really fallen out of style in the 21st century. In fact, I don't think I know one family with a coat of arms, nothing they're willing to display with pride anyway. So what would our coat of arms look like? Perhaps a shield with a Pop Tart emblazoned on it, or a sippy cup full of curdled milk or maybe just a likeness of me looking addled. Or maybe it won't be a shield at all, we rarely use them around here. Maybe it will be a TV screen or a trash can or a refrigerator door left standing open. Other coat of arms design possibilities include: a silhouette of bedhead, a toothpaste-caked toothbrush and a pile of laundry, possibly clean, possibly not.

Once you start thinking of a motto and coat of arms, then we naturally have to consider a family song, a battle anthem. Currently, on the way to school, The Trio is enjoying "Shake Your Rump" by The Beastie Boys off the album Paul's Boutique and "People Watching" by Jack Johnson off the Curious George soundtrack. Neither of these seem appropriate. I would have to nominate "Goon Squad" by Elvis Costello off Armed Forces, "Fly Me To The Moon" by Frank Sinatra, the version on Sinatra at the Sands, and "Run Run Run" by The Velvet Underground from The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Well, we have a lot to work on around here so I better go. But rest assured and beware, The Trio will soon be coming to a park near you to take over your swings and your slide and your plastic tube they like to crawl through. And you'll know them right away, they'll be the ones marching up with a banner reading "No Shoes On The Couch!" and wearing shirts printed with stylized pictures of a half-eaten waffle and singing "Shake Your Rump" at the top of their lungs.