Friday, February 4, 2011

The only peanuts that make me smile

Peanuts have recently been making my kids crack up. I can even refer to them without feeling like I'm going to be sick to my stomach or thinking about how one speck of the legume could kill my son, who is severely allergic to peanuts and several other foods. I'm talking about the gang led by Charlie Brown, of course.

How could I resist the round-faced boy, his precocious beagle Snoopy, his little sister Sally and her "sweet baboo" Linus, and various friends created by Charles M. Schulz?

I broke out "A Charlie Brown Valentine" yesterday as an early treat to help cheer up my sick daughter and to reward Joseph for being such a patient big brother this week. His giggles were infectious as Snoopy donned a red wig, Charlie Brown got his sleeve stuck in the pencil sharpener or Lucy doled out her psychiatric advice. Pamela was excited to see "love hearts" on Valentine cards throughout the show.

Both of my children developed an affection for the Peanuts gang during the fall when they watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." They watched it over and over again, giggling as Charlie Brown tried to put on his ghost costume, and heartily laughing every time Charlie Brown said, "I got a rock", while trick-or-treating. Pamela loved the Halloween special so much that she requested it well into December. We watched it so often that Joseph and I were debating details, such as the position of the moon in various scenes. The kids also fell in love with the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Happy New Year specials. So I knew the Valentine special would be a sure thing when we needed an extra giggle.

Thankfully, Schulz's characters rise above the name that puts so much distaste in my mouth. Apparently, even the gang's creator disliked the "Peanuts" title that the syndicate provided for his strip, originally called "Li'l Folks." (The Great Idea Finder)

While the name makes me cringe, I'm glad that the Peanuts gang has been so popular. Those kids have made millions laugh for generations and I'm so happy that they can bring comic relief to my house. 

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