The Dreaded Many-Eyed Watcha-ma-tingle! (A “Wee Turtles” Adventure)

With its many arms, how can you run away?
With its many eyes, where will you find to hide?
You’ll know it by its– its– I cannot say;
“Indescribable!” Further adjectives defied.

Jonah was three and Justin four when Jonah was invited to Morgan’s birthday party. This was close to Halloween, so naturally the children were to come in costume.

“What would you like to go as?” I asked little Jonah.
“A ‘Watcha-ma-tingle!” cried out an excited Jonah.

(Oh, terrific. What the heck…?)

“Honey, Mommy isn’t sure she knows what a Watcha-ma-tingle is.”
“It’s a Watcha-ma-tingle!”.

(Of course it is. Stupid Mommy.)

Terrifyin', Ain't It?

Terrifyin’, Ain’t It?

“What does one look like?”
“Like a Watcha-ma-tingle.”

(inner head slap)

Demonstrating my Asperger’s, I turn to Jonah’s big brother:

“Justin, do YOU know what a Watcha-ma-tingle looks like?”
“Yes, Mommy. It looks like a Watcha-ma-tingle.”

NCIS Head Slap

I’m Literally Feeling One of the Joys of Parenting

I finally wise up. After learning the boys have no pictures of this mysterious creature in any of their books, nor at any at their preschool, I ask for details about its appearance. These come in a rapid stream, with both little boys jumping up and down excitedly, shouting them out:

“It has lots of arms!”
“Lots and LOTS of arms!”
“They stick out all over!”
“And lots of eyes!”
“All over its head!”
“They stick out too!”
“It looks really silly!”

OOhh-kay, then. I guess I have enough to go on. Six pair of black pantyhose later, I have constructed a sort of cape of octopus-like “arms”, stuffed with fiberfill.

Black Pantyhose Octopus Costume

A Bit Like This, But I Would NEVER Do That Embarrassing Center “Leg”


A sad flattened kickball with a slow leak is sacrificed.


A Happy Pre-Leak Kickball

I cut it in half. Applying a black magic marker, several white ping-pong balls are transformed into eyeballs, and applied with hot glue to the half-kickball. Jonah’s eyeball-hat is ready.

It is now two days before Morgan’s party. I call Jonah, and Justin, over for the trying-on. I tie on the arm-cape, place the eyeball-hat, and position Jonah before the full-length mirror.

“Is that what a Watcha-ma-tingle looks like?”
“YES! That’s a Watcha-ma-tingle, Mommy!” both boys gleefully shout out.

Best Mom Award from

royalty-free image from

I am so proud. Jonah and Justin take joyful turns playing at being the Watcha-ma-tingle. Afterward, I put the costume away until party day.


We must leave at 11:00. It takes only ten minutes to drive to Morgan’s. It is 10:30.

{{ominous music}}

I call Jonah over and put on his costume.
He bursts into tears.

“What on earth is wrong?!”
“THIS isn’t a Watcha-ma-tingle!” he sobs.

Of course it isn’t.

Yet, I foolishly try to convince my weeping three-year-old otherwise:

“But it has lots of arms, sticking out! And lots of eyes sticking out! And you and Justin SAID it looked like a Watcha-ma-tingle!”

Justin pipes up:

“Mommy, that doesn’t look ANYTHING like a Watcha-ma-tingle”.

The traitor.

(Just you wait ’til you want that second helping of mashed bananas tonight, buddy…)

NOW what? It’s not like I was going to force my toddler to wear a costume he hated in order to teach him a lesson. He was too young to understand it.

I took off Jonah’s tingly bits and tossed them in a corner. I dried his eyes and told him everything would be all right—because that’s what good mommies and daddies do.

I went into the boys’ bedroom and found the oldest plain sleeveless shirt he owned (we live in L.A.—it was a beautiful warm day ) which happened to be a “muscle shirt”.

I quickly used fluorescent green iron-on letters to spell out “POWER MAN” across its front.

I grabbed a pair of the coolest mirrored Ray-Bans I could find.

I came out to where Jonah sat and said
“How’d you like to go to Morgan’s party as the coolest super-hero EVER? You’re going as ‘POWER MAN’!”

Then I showed him the coolest shirt and glasses ever.

Both kids bought it! Jonah couldn’t have been more excited. He couldn’t wait to get that shirt on. His costume was a hit at the party, and a good time was had by all.

Power Man Lego

I was SO Freakin’ Ahead of My Time. Now, There Really IS a Power Man Super-Hero!!

Score one for Mommy.

Take THAT, Watcha-ma-tingle!

Two Wee Turtles

Watcha-ma-tingle Slayers:
Two Wee Turtles (a bit older)


(ew–that sounds a little bit dirty, thanks to St. Augustine)

Weeks later, I’m sitting with the boys, watching one of the Winnie-the-Pooh videos I’ve recorded for them off the TV (I didn’t allow them to watch television because of the ads), when suddenly they start shouting and jumping around on the bed:

“There it is, Mommy—Look, look! THERE’S the Watcha-ma-tingle!!”

Winnie-the-Pooh is coming over the crest of a hill with all sorts of debris stuck all over him. Piglet, not recognizing Pooh within the mess, thinks he’s spotted a new type of monster: A ‘Watcha-ma-tingle’.

Jonah and Justin are right: The costume I made looked nothing like a debris-adorned Winnie-the-Pooh.

If only we’d had Google Translate back then to help out in little clarifying discussions between Adult Aspies and Wee Turtles.

The Dreaded Many-Eyed Watch-a-ma-tingle--In the Flesh!!

The Dreaded Many-Eyed Watch-a-ma-tingle–
In the Flesh!!

Leave a comment


  1. Good Mom always saves the day! Cute story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As another mother of boys, I feel for you. You have my admiration for keeping your cool on party day and so stunningly rescuing the situation. (it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you sell it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, MoSY.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gee, MoSY, how un-gracious was I for your “stunningly”. THANK you!! I’m sure–very sure–you, Master of Everything and Mother of More than I, have pulled off some stunning stunts of your own in the parenting arena. (Yes: “Arena”… “Coliseum”… appropriate image, at times.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t care what they said, that costume was waaay beyond supercool. Kids get all the cool stuff, so much so that they fail to appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very kind, Greg. My ego is coping this morning with the flatline in hits on this one. I thought it was written well, if not brilliantly, and the story comic and adorable–had planned a bunch of Wee Turtle posts–but apparently my objectivity is in doubt, for obvious reasons.

      I may still do the other posts. Whose blog is this, anyway?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I go through the same thing. I write what I feel is a stellar post and the response comes back tepid. It never fails and I try not to let it bug me. Or at least I tell myself, I try.

        I don’t understand the WordPress Gods. They are fickle to be sure – but ignore them. They are not only fickle, but they are assholes as well. There I said it. I called the WordPress Gods a bad name…. (shaking his fists to the sky) Do your worst, I am but a plaything of the Gods.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Creativity unbound!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A delight. Pure mom genius (and quick recovery time) at work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So hard to keep that vital one step ahead!! Quick thinking helps…I believe you have that talent!! ;

    Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly do, in the episodes I choose to reveal online, and in some of the wit I can muster in written replies after that handy time-delay plus a bit of googling.

      In person, I’m just your average onion-headed tongue-tied “Darn! Why didn’t I think of that THEN?!” schmo.

      (Perhaps, a BIT more fun : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have some episodes that I wouldn’t put online!!! They’d raise an eyebrow or two. Thank goodness you can’t get arrested for bad rude words said in front of one’s sons!! They’re 28 now,my twin boys, and still sometimes bring on my bad language!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re a better parent than I. I’m not sure if I could have come up with PowerMan on the spot. I would have sent my kid to the party as a crying Watch-A-Matingle.

    Liked by 1 person


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