Shannon Dittemore



As a child, I had a major addiction problem.

My dad, the Pastor, thought the best way to address it was at the dinner table.

“Shan,” he said, his mustache bristling, “tell me, just who is the Master of the Universe?”

I knew what he wanted me to say. I knew the right answer. I did. Really.

It’s just that He-man was so stinkin’ cool and I couldn’t betray my hero by handing his title off to someone else. Even if that someone was God. Even if, in the back of my seven-year-old mind, I knew there would be consequences for answering him my way.

Consequences mean little to addicts.

So, with my fork held high, I answered proudly, “He-man is the Master of the Universe!”

My dad raised his eyebrows at my mom and I knew I was in trouble. But my sisters were giggling, encouraging me on. Before my dad could say another word, I jumped from my chair and shouted,

“By the power of Grayskull…I have the power!”

Needless to say, I wasn’t allowed to watch He-man anymore.

Now, I have to tell you, my parents weren’t super strict about the whole cartoon thing. I mean, we were even allowed to watch the Smurfs. It would have been hard to stop us, honestly, considering Nana and Papa had an entire bedroom dedicated to the little blue guys.

Matt and I have pretty much followed suit. We’re not overly strict, preferring to discuss just why things are incorrect or immoral with our children. But, as my kids are growing, I find that certain things rub me the wrong way. Certain cartoons or television shows are just inappropriate for my five-year-old to ingest and get addicted to. Certain discussions shouldn’t have to happen when he’s five.

For all the parents out there, just how do you handle this sort of thing? And for everyone, are there things you find yourself believing–true or not–simply because you learned them as a child? Simply because a brightly colored cartoon character told you so?

Just curious.

It’s a curious kind of day.



  • Comment by Steph — February 23, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    For quite sometime I thought I was a Ninja Turtle. I took the sweeper part off of a broom handle and painted the broomstick black and BAM…right there I had my weapon. THen I just put on my ninja turtle costume and I was completely unrecognizable as a little girl. I had completely morphed into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle…sorta. 🙂

  • Comment by Shan — February 23, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    OH MY GOSH! I totally forgot about the broomstick! Hilarious!

  • Comment by Lacey — March 5, 2010 @ 6:33 am

    I’m pretty sure that I was oddly obsessed with being any and every character on the shows I watched growing up. I was certain that being Jem would be awesome and that I would rock as Rainbow Brite. Today I still find myself believing that I am some sort of superhero. That I can do it all and be everything to every one. But I have no magical earrings and no special horse to ride on.

  • Comment by Shan — March 5, 2010 @ 8:43 am

    Dude… I totally forgot about Jem (or was it Gem?). She was rather cool. But, you’re right. It’s fruitless without the earrings!

  • Comment by Lacey Neuman — March 5, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    It was Gem. I guess my brain doesn’t really work that early in the morning.

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