Parenting According to Cosby

Friday, February 12, 2010

Every night, Josh and I choose a half-hour long "stand by" tv show to watch before bed. It's just a show to close the night - something in reruns that is lighthearted that we can always count on to bring us a few laughs and see us off to bed with happy thoughts. When we were first married we would end the night with "Friends", then we got hooked on "Frasier" (what I would still deem as my all time favorite sitcom). Then, since both of us were too young to be allowed to see it when it aired, we backed up the Frasier train and watched "Cheers". We loved Cheers so much that, when we found a station that played the episodes consecutively, we watched the entire series twice in a row, back-to-back. Let me tell you, that Sam "May Day" Malone really won us over.
After the second round of Cheers, we were back to Frasier, since so much of Frasier makes so much more sense after having watched all of Cheers. However, no station plays Frasier consecutively, so it wasn't quite as exciting when the only timeline you have is Kelsey Grammar's waning mullet.
Now, we have recently settled on "The Cosby Show" as our latest stand by. We both watched it growing up, but I particularly have fond memories of watching "Cosby" each week with my family. To me, I was Rudy, my sister was stupid Vanessa, and my brother was the non-chalant Theo (remember, I was like 7 - I don't think my sister is stupid now, though I still think Vanessa is kind of stupid). :)
I didn't have the older two sisters, Denise and Sandra, but I did have the wise and doting-all-over-each-other parents just like Claire and Cliff were.
What's amazing to me now is how much I relate to the parents. I suppose that's what happens as you age. No longer am I the stubborn rugrat trying to make jam out of grapes in the blender or sneaking in the neighborhood dog as my secret pet. Rudy is all growed up.
Now I watch "Cosby" and I see how loving and healthy-marriage-centric Claire and Cliff are as parents. There are so many romantic quips and winks throughout each episode, you'd truly believe they are married (and love and respect each other) in real life. Through all of their children's ups and downs, Claire and Cliff never let the stress or strife come between them. Cliff is never made out to look (entirely) useless or stupid and Claire isn't an overbearing nag with the punchline. Their children respect them and get in trouble because they break rules - rules that exist out of boundaries their loving parents set for them.
Remember what it was like to watch shows like this? Remember when you watched an entertaining show that still had a moral to the story and a lesson for the family? Oh yeah, not to mention, is actually funny?
What shows do you remember as a child? I used to think that TV Land or Nick at Nite was for old people - that they only played "I Love Lucy" or something our grandparents would watch. Turns out the "classics" are hitting much closer to home these days. Next time you are feeling a bit nostalgic, or just need a pick-me-up before bed...try a break from Jersey Shore (I kid) and flip over to a blast from the past. I'm guessing you will re-watch it in a whole new, grown-up light...and might even learn a little something along the way.


  1. I grew up on the Cosby show, too. Love it!!

    When I was in grade school, I would get up before the rest of the family and watch Giligan's Island before school. Don't ask me why. :)

  2. Yes...we love Cosby...exactly like you said, what show exists like that today?! Funny, I always thought of myself as more of a Denise character...but I think it was just her crazy wardrobe! Luv ya sis...keep writing:)


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