‘Full House’ upside down

This column first appeared in a newspaper in the spring of 2005.

I hopped over another parental hurdle this week.

I learned how to put our 7-year-old daughter Emma’s hair in a ponytail.

Ha! That’s a joke. Emma hasn’t let me touch her hair since she was three.

No, the parental hurdle I hopped over was the TV show “Full House.”

Thanks to the magic of reruns I know understand “Full House.” I used to think that “Full House,” was a lame situation comedy featuring a few adults and several kids that, for some reason, was allowed to stay on TV much longer than you would have thought it should have been allowed.

And on one level that’s probably true. But I have recently discovered that there is more to “Full House,” than it appears. Don’t get me wrong, from my perspective, “Full House,” is still mostly a lame TV show but at least now I understand why it’s been allowed to stay on TV as long as it has.

Seven-year-old girls.

Emma loves “Full House.” And when I say Emma “loves ‘Full House,’” I mean that in the sense Dick Cheney “loves” the Fox News Channel.

Because Emma is seven, she doesn’t exactly have a long attention span. Goldfish have longer attention spans than 7-year-old kids. Except when it comes to a television show that grabs their attention. A television show like “Full House.”

Emma normally starts watching a TV show sitting in an upright position in one of our living room chairs. If she likes the show, after a few minutes, she’ll sort of slump over to one side so her head is leaning on one arm of the chair. Then, if she thinks the show is really interesting, she’ll swing her legs and feet over the other side of the chair. She will then gradually start moving her feet up over the back of the chair while, at the same time, slowly move her head to the bottom of the chair. At this point, Emma is completely upside down, yet somehow still engrossed in her television show.

Emma loves to watch “Full House,” upside down.

Sometimes, when I’m in the kitchen, I’ll hear someone laughing in the living room. So, I’ll walk into the living room, look at the chair and say to myself, “That’s odd. There is a pair of feet laughing at ‘Full House.’ I don’t get it. The show’s not that funny.”

Then I’ll go back into the kitchen.

I don’t ask a lot of questions in our house.

Now, if my wife were to walk into the living room and see a pair of feet laughing at “Full House,” she would say, “Emma get your feet off the chair and sit up.”

My wife pays attention to detail a bit more than I do.

She’ll, for example, will notice the chocolate Pop-Tart crumbs on Emma’s face as she is walking out the door to go to school.

Wife: Emma did you wash your face?

Emma: Yes, and Daddy said I did a good job.

Wife: Mike!

Me: I said “good” not “great.”

I’m not given much responsibility in our house.

Here’s what I now understand about “Full House.” What is lame to an adult is pretty much the exact opposite to a 7-year-old girl. Emma thinks “Full House,” is fall-down funny. As in Mel Brooks fall-down funny.

Here is a typical scene from a “Full House” episode.

The guy with the big hair will walk into a room and do, what appears to be, an impression of Elvis Presley. Then the guy who plays the alleged comedian walks into the room and says “Cut…It…Out,” and the skinny guy who went on to host that “Sort of Funny Video” show comes in and says “I love you guys,” for no apparent reason. And finally one of the Olsen twins (does it really matter which one?) waddles in and says “You got it dude.”

At this point in the scene Emma is laughing so hard that tears are running down her cheeks.

Well, actually the tears are running up her cheeks.

That’s what happens when you’re laughing upside down.