Written by Fredia Lucas | Editing by Alana Anderson
Butch Hartman immediately had me at “obtuse, rubber goose, green moose, guava juice, giant snake, birthday cake, large fries, chocolate shake.” Of course, now, all of my chocolate shakes are made with oat milk.
In May 2001, I was an eight-year-old third-grader, and Timmy Turner was a ten-year-old fifth grader. The pilot episode, which released on March 30, 2001, introduced us to the chucklesome life of our pink-hatted protagonist Timmy Turner. His Fairly OddParents, Wanda and Cosmo, his nonmagical but enthusiastic Mom and Dad, his two ten-year-old best friends and classmates, AJ and Chester, and his babysitter, who very much needed a personal relationship with a licensed mental health professional, Vicky.
Starting Easter weekend, Netflix (USA) has acquired the rights to the first three seasons of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series, The Fairly OddParents. Netflix has licensed 39 episodes, representing seasons 1-3 of the show which are the seasons that originally ran on Nickelodeon between 2001 and 2003.
As a kid, watching Timmy Turner on-screen was as ecstatic as eating an entire bag of Fun Dip in one swallow. Timmy was a kid with access to unlimited wishes, which at the time was preposterous. I mean, look at Aladdin. He only had three wishes and had to almost die to meet Genie. Shit, Princess Tiana only had one wish, and she had to wish on a real shooting star. When was the last time YOU saw a shooting star?
In the pilot episode of The Fairly GodParents, the first wish we witness Timmy put to use risks it all, as he wishes himself into adulthood and forfeits his access to Cosmo & Wanda. After a series of belittling experiences at home and school, Timmy concludes that being an adult would be a way better life than being a kid and wishes Cosmo & Wands to turn him into “older Timmy.” Now, as an adult exiting out of her first full decade of adulting, I’m pondering, is being an adult better than being a kid?
Is being a Kid better?
At almost 30-years old, I’m still waiting on my Fairy Godparents to arrive. I’m also waiting to turn into a witch so I can simultaneously pull up to Halloween Town and enroll at Hogwartz all in the same year.
The one caveat? Fairy OddParents can only be assigned to kids, and a part of me definitely wants to be a kid again. It’s usually the part of me that has to pay my bills. I never thought when I was singing along in 1999 to Destiny Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” that I would be the triflin'/good-for-nothing type struggling to pay my telephone and automo’ bills. As an adult, this week has been a doozy. I found out that I owe the government $11,000 in taxes. Short story long, I didn’t want to pay my taxes, and I thought the government wouldn’t notice if I didn’t deliver. You’re going to laugh when I say this, but they did, in fact, notice.
There’s a scene in the pilot episode “The Big Problem” where “Older Timmy” goes to a restaurant and realizes he doesn’t have any money to pay for his $200 plus bill, and at the moment, that’s how I feel about a lot of my expenses. I don’t want to use my own money to pay for anything. I miss the days when my mom would give me $15 a day for lunch to eat at La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill, and I yearn for the days when people were more excited to provide me with presents than for me to get them gifts. My parents keep hinting that it would be nice for me to buy them a Tesla, but with whose coins is that happening with Mom and Dad?
Adulting is undeniably expensive, but does that mean being a kid was better?
F is for Fairy Godmother
I want to put ten toes down and say, being an adult is way more poppin’ than being a kid. Sure, I have additional responsibilities, but I also have additional rewards. Yes, I have to pay for my own breakfast, but if I want half a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, I will make it happen, and nobody can stop me.
I remember being ten years old and wishing I had my own money to spend, dreaming of the day I could decide what time I woke up and went to bed, and craving to be in the era of my life when I could finally be involved in “grown folks’” business.
Now, I’m not just in grown folks’ business; I am the grown folks, and despite the debt, doubt, and reoccurring dismay of how hard life can be as an adult, I also find myself constantly marveling at my own maturity. If the eight-year-old me could see me now, I know for sure she would think it’s incredible that I have my own apartment, that I work in entertainment full time, and that I have a super hunky man who is totally in love with me. I mean, she would just eat her little heart out if she saw me today.
Rewatching the Fairly OddParents these last few weeks has been enlightening because, like Timmy Turner, I yearned more than anything to be bigger and older. Even now, at my big ol’ age of twenty-eight, I still crave a future me who is somehow more equipped to traverse this adult landscape. A woman who always has a fresh french manicure set, all her bills are paid on time, her refrigerator is always stocked with delicious foods that she actually bought from the grocery store, and her personal shopping budget is expansive. Sure, it’s a version of myself I get to see ever-so-often, but only after my ever-so-humble failures.
There is a whimsy of childhood that I still long for. The lack of expectation in childhood made it much easier to be a star in the eyes of parents, teachers, friends, and most importantly myself. As a kid, I underpromised to myself, but now I’ve realized I’ve over-delivered as an adult. Over the last five years, I’ve pioneered a life for myself that encapsulates my foundational childhood lessons—a life of fun, creativity, and magic. I might not be the most well-versed adult, but I do feel complete. Alike to Timmy Turner, sometimes the odds may feel like they're stacked against me, but I also have enough sense to know when the life I’m living now is much better than anyone I could wish for.
I think the difference between what I knew then and what I know now is that as a kid, I felt that I needed Fairy GodParents to live a life beyond my wildest dreams, and now as an adult, I realize that I just need to choose to be my own Fairy Godmother.
Stream the Fairly OddParents now on Netflix.