Leaving the house with children can definitely be extremely stressful, right?
I can remember one warm sunny summer day, when my two year old daughter was wearing the most adorable outfit. It was a peach gingham shirt with delicate white ruffles, peach ribbon trimmed bell bottom jeans and little white sandals. She was cute as a button with her hair pulled back in braids tied with tiny white bows. Unfortunately, she did not feel the same way as I did about her appearance. As we headed towards the car, she began screaming, which turned into a full blown meltdown, complete with shoes flying and braids unraveling. As fast as it began, she suddenly became silent. She reached down…pulled up her shirt… and BLEW HER NOSE IN IT! “Mama, my shirt is dirty now. I need a new shirt.”
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!
Our mornings were often filled with yelling, crying or frustration, but somehow once the car left the driveway, it felt like we went on a little vacation thanks to Mindy Thomas from The Absolutely Mindy Show on Sirius XM KidsPlaceLive! For those of you who may not know Mindy, she is like a super cool babysitter to entertain your kids while you drive, so that you can gain back (some of) your sanity.
She has the incredible magical powers of an imaginary Fairy Godmother, granting the wishes of all of her listeners!
I had the great pleasure of speaking with her on the phone last week about her crazy amazing imagination skills! I have to say, I was a little star struck, because she played such an important role in my children’s childhood! We have spent countless birthdays following her Wacky Birthday Missions and we always discussed her hilarious Would-You-Rather questions. My kids favorite Would-You-Rather question to date is when she asked the listeners, “Would you rather shoot chocolate chips out of your belly button or toot rainbows?” Their answer, of course, was “toot rainbows!”
Mindy’s goal on The Absolutely Mindy Show is to create a “shared listening experience” for parents and children in their cars, as a way to “diffuse their stress.”
Every day she follows a different theme for her listeners. “The Backseat Breakfast Club was created for kids who never seem to have enough time to eat breakfast at home.” The Hot Mess Express discusses comical reasons “why one might be late for school that day.” Tuesday Traffic Parade is for those who are stuck in traffic jams and want to discuss why they are going so slow. She asks listeners to “imagine their cars, as if they were remade into parade floats.” Mindy brings laughter into your morning struggles, so that you walk away with a smile!
How exactly did Mindy become a wish granting imaginary Fairy Godmother?
It all began in Tampa, Florida, when she was a little girl in love with the Q Morning Zoo Show. By using character voices and musical parodies, the radio show brought comedy to the presentation of the day’s news. Much of her childhood was spent playing radio with her brother, where they created fake commercials and took calls from imaginary listeners. She loved to pretend she was older and very important. Some of her favorite imaginary friends were Rose from Golden Girls and Diane Keaton’s character from Baby Boom!
She still feels like she is playing radio today!
Her most recent radio show creation with Kenny Curtis, Senior Director of Kids & Entertainment Programming at KidsPlaceLive, was The A-Cat-Emy Awards, complete with red carpet and meow sounds! They interviewed famous movie cats, like Tom Cat Hanks! Purr-fectly paw-some, Mindy! She “loves being able to pretend,” creating an atmosphere for children to believe in the impossible.
“It’s like theater of the mind!”
One of her favorite imaginary games to play with her listeners is to pretend to deliver a surprise imaginary box to each child’s house. They need to call in and tell her what is inside that box! Mindy “always comes up with something in addition to their idea to make it even cooler!” Oh I see! So, it makes them think OUTSIDE the box, right Mindy?! He he!
But how did Mindy get started at KidsPlaceLive?
Mindy graduated with a Television News Broadcasting Degree. She had done some commercial radio in Tampa, but had always found that she was just “acting like a news reporter” and didn’t really want to be one. The day after she graduated from college, Sirius/XM was just launching a kids channel. Kenny Curtis loved her, calling her “delightfully twisted.” She sent in an idea for a show and the rest is history! Mindy has been on KidsPlaceLive for 15 years now!
What was Mindy’s greatest moment in her career so far?
She had the special opportunity to interview Julie Andrews on her new book series The Very Fairy Princess. Julie had said to her “Something tells me you let a lot of sparkle out, Mindy!” Mindy thought in her head, “OMG! Mary Poppins just said I had sparkle!” Mindy loves to make her “inner 9 year old” happy! I think that would have made my “inner 9 year old” happy too, Mindy!
Back at home, Mindy has two young children with very active imaginations, as well!
They love to find imaginary ways to ride in to the playground, such as imaginary roller coasters or even imaginary ponies. Mindy’s children have a pet cat, but if they could have any pet in the world, it would most definitely be one of Mindy’s forty five imaginary stunt cats with helmets! They run crazy around her office, shooting each other out of cannons! How awesome is that?! I need to meet these cats! I wonder if they ride tiny motorcycles too…
Now, you are probably wondering, why did I create a silly portrait of Mindy roller skating with a purple polka dotted elephant?
My kids are HUGE fans and wanted to ask Mindy their own Would-You-Rather question…“When you were a child, would you have rather played on the monkey bars with a wolf wearing a blue sparkly dress or gone roller skating with a purple polka dotted elephant?”
As it turns out, Mindy LOVES rollerskating, both when she was a child and still now very much as an adult. When Mindy was little, she and her friends would put on their rollers skates and pretend they were ice skating. “We would make up a routine with dance costumes and put on a show.” When I asked if I could create a picture for her, she responded “You know I own a pair of roller skates, right Julie?” Absolutely Mindy! I imagined you would be just as fun off the air, as you are on the air!
I can guarantee your kids won’t ever let you turn the station again! Mindy Thomas is absolutely entertaining for your morning commute! Mindy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me! I love what you do!! I definitely would not be where I am today in my career without your fun imaginary adventures of the mind to inspire me!
What do you love about The Absolutely Mindy’s Show?
Let us know what makes you smile!
Blog Images: Roller skating picture from Julie McGann Fine Art Portraits, Elephant stock from Lydiard Wildlife, The Very Fairy Princess from Amazon, Kids Place Live logo, Sirius XM Logo and Abby Cadabby picture from Sirius XM, Kenny Curtis/Mindy Thomas picture from McCarthy Photo Studio, Toddler Cartoon by NickMom
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