Thursday, August 18, 2011


A case of SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) is headed for primetime as the sitcom Modern Family has recast the two year old twins who play Cam and Mitchell's daughter, Lily, with an older, more verbal (presumably less poker-faced) child.

While endemic in daytime (see: Every single one of Y&R Victor Newman's children, to start), primetime has had its share of overnight growth spurts, as well. The best-known is probably Family Ties' Andrew, but there was also Chrissie on Growing Pains, Nicky on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Christopher on Dallas (it happened during the dream season; guess Pam subconsciously really wanted her son out of the terrible twos), Grace Under Fire's Quentin (though the alleged reason for that particular recast was disturbing) and Conner on Angel (hey, just because there was a demon dimension involved doesn't keep it from counting).

I'm really going to miss deadpan Lily. I understand that toddlers are hard to write for and even harder to direct, but there was such a unique opportunity there to play a story rarely seen on television: How do you, as a parent, deal with a child - biological or adopted - who is nothing at all like you?

All of the characters on Modern Family are larger than life, over-the-top, theatrical. And into their family comes a little girl who sits through their assorted shenanigans without blinking an eye. Maybe she and Jay (Ed O'Neill) could have bonded over their mutual reticence to get involved? How would Cam and Mitchell have reacted to their daughter preferring to chill in the quiet of Grandpa's house over the chaos of her Dads'? What if she had no interest in the music and drama classes Cam insisted on getting her involved in? What if she wasn't the star of her pre-school class?

When my kids participated in organized activities, the teachers, while handing out balls or hula-hoops or maracas, taught them the mantra, "You get what you get and you don't get upset."

Consequently, I have adopted it as my child-rearing philosophy. (I am also partial to Kung Fu Panda's parable of the peach tree: No matter what you do, (a peach tree) seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.)

I'm kind of sad I won't get to watch Modern Family's experience with the same now....