Things I learned from Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Image via Wikipedia

I woke up this morning with the sun streaming in through the windows. I love sunny mornings. Sure there is still 3 feet of snow in my yard, but blue sky and sunshine lifted my spirits as I reflected on my week. It was a tough one, I am not going to lie. Yes there were highlights, but many more lowlights. I expected those and will delve deeper into it with Mo. As I stared out the window, a song popped into my head:

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor!

Oh Mister Rogers, I hadn’t thought about you in ages! Immediately I was thinking about when I was 4.

When I was 4, my grandma was the same age I am now. She had 4 grandchildren, GULP! I was and still am, the eldest. So that means no one adopted anyone older than me. I still wear the crown. My grandfather had a print-shop in part of his house and my mom helped him run it. Those were the days when most of the moms I knew didn’t work. My mom brought me and my brother to work with her everyday. Grandma kept us in the main part of the house or outside. For me and my brother, it was like growing up in my grandparent’s house AND growning up at home. We felt equally comfortable at either home. I knew where the cookie jar was at home and the red cookie tin at grandma’s. I knew how to turn the dial on the TV at home ( to watch 2 crappy channels plus CBC French) and how to watch CABLE at grandma’s. Oh cable, how interesting you were then! PBS actually had kids shows on it. What kid knows about PBS for kids today? I was allowed to watch 2 shows before preschool everyday. Sesame Street was on everyday. This is where my love of Muppets started. Kermit was my first boyfriend. I still know all the songs and jingles associated with numbers and letters. I remember when Snuffy was Big Bird’s figment of his imagination. There was no Elmo, only Grover, Harry and Cookie were the Monsters. Good times!

Before Sesame Street, there was a different show on everyday. I watched Romper Room, Electric Company (starring Rita Moreno – Broadway star, Morgan Freeman – He played God and Bill Cosby, more than just the Jello guy), Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant and Mister Rodgers.

Mister Rogers was not a show I would ever tell my friends I watched. Shocking how at the age of 4 I learned that I would be ridiculed for watching Mr. Rogers. I remember one gal telling me it was for babies. BABIES! YIKES! I wasn’t a baby, I was 4, so I kept that little nugget to myself. I remember laying on my tummy in front of the TV, watching Mister Rogers walk through his front door, singing to ME, getting his cardigan out of the closet and putting on indoor shoes. Then he would let me know who was coming to visit him that day. He would get his chores done and then we would solve a problem using Make-Believe.

I spent a good portion of my “laying quietly in bed” time thinking about good old Mister Rogers, so I made a list. A list of things that I learned from Mister Rogers that I use in my Adult life, in spite of the fact it was a show for “babies”.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Learning Lessons from Mister Rodgers

  1. Wearing shoes inside is weird, but if you do – put on clean ones.
  2. Wearing a cardigan inside saves money on your heating bill.
  3. People like to know sequence of events. It brings serenity to your life when you have the sequence of events in order.
  4. Looking people in the eye when you speak or listen to them makes them feel  important.
  5. It is comforting to know the people in your neighborhood.
  6. Solving problems using a “what if” scenario just makes good sense. It utilizes those predicting skills you learned as a child.
  7. Staying calm in a crisis keeps the people around you calm, then a solution can happen.
  8. The world is not just filled with nice, caring people, but we need to show tolerance for the “less nice” people too.
  9. Mister Rogers introduced me to Jazz – thank you for that Fred, smooth jazz still soothes my soul
  10. Children can spot a phony, say what you mean and mean what you say – then follow through. Mister Rogers always did what he said he was going to do.
  11. I loved riding the Trolley into Make-Believe. Now I want to go to San Fransisco to ride one as an adult.


And now for something completely different: Bill Cosby and Rita Moreno in Electric Company


13 thoughts on “Things I learned from Mister Rogers

  1. Hey Robin
    I enjoyed this post today as I have enjoyed some of your other musings. You’re a talented writer Robin, keep it up! Say hi to everyone for me.

  2. I must have been a baby, too, because I also loved Mister Rogers. And Sesame Street and Electric Company (the Spiderman skits were my favorites!). They just don’t make TV like that anymore, do they?

    …although Sesame Street is still on. You’re right, though – Elmo didn’t exist. (I think it was better without him – his voice makes me want to eat glass).

    1. I forgot about those Spiderman Skits!!! I thought he was the REAL Spiderman – not the fake animated one. All those kids who thought only babies watched Mister Rogers Likely don’t even blog 😉

  3. 🙂 This post makes me happy ET! Mr. Rogers (God rest his soul) was definitely under appreciated at least in my household! You want to jump on the Trolly and head to Make-Believe land soon? I feel an inkling to do so soon….I miss being a kid!

  4. I don’t recall ever watching a show called mister rogers….. We only get stuff years and years later. Haha. BUT sounds like an awesome list to learn from a show. Mmwaah.

  5. Oh yea…the days of Mr. Rogers…I sure remember it. I also know what you mean about the print shop (that brings back memories too)…I worked in one for almost 17 years!

  6. Oh isn’t that the truth that kids can spot a phony right away. Especially phony teachers. Recently at my current teaching job, a poll was asked “How many students know who the good teachers are?”. Only two people replied “all of them”. SMDH. Great fun post. Thanks!!

Keep the conversation going!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s