Do you remember Romper Room? It was a children’s television show when I was a kid. I watched it often and what I remember most about it was the sweet-voiced hostess who closed (and/or opened, I can’t exactly recall) the show by looking through a small open “mirror” to “see” the children who were watching. “I see Joey and Amber and Mikey. Oh look! There’s Tracy and Robert and Millie,” she’d exclaim.
And we believed her, her young viewers. We believed that she did see us watching. Except that she never saw me. Not once did she call out that she saw Lara. I listened carefully every time to hear my name, sure that this would be the time that she finally saw past all the other children and managed to see me. But it never happened. I was un-seeable, unnoticeable. I’m sure it scarred me for life. In fact, I blame all my insecurities on the Romper Room lady’s broken mirror thing.
I don’t know what ever became of that program – how many years it ran or how successful it was. But it did have one marketing success: Romper Stompers. These were a pair of plastic yellow “cups” with long flexible green tubes attached so that you could hold on and walk around on them. They were the commercialized version of tin cans with strings that my mom’s generation would have played with.
Romper Stompers were cool. They lifted you up a few inchers taller and made a clomping sound when you walked around on the linoleum floor or the sidewalk. But they never worked well on carpet. I know. I have a pair.
My children and their friends had a blast clomping down the road of our campground this weekend on those same Romper Stompers. They’re even cooler toys now because nobody else has them. They wouldn’t pass current safety tests (too much chance for slipping and falling or choking on the tube ties). But they still make you taller and allow you to make loud stomping noises.
And you know what? I’m sure if the Romper Room lady were still around, she’d find a way to see Little Miss History, Timid Daughter and the Uber-Princess. I’d make sure of it.