As the mother of young children and a longtime How I Met Your Mother fan, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about the show in recent years is watching the characters of Lily and Marshall — played by Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel — raise their adorable little baby Marvin.
It’s a sitcom so, of course, parenting situations are exaggerated for comic effect. Still, a number of parenting-related subplots on certain episodes ring very true — among them, the agony of endless bedtime routines, the difficulty of finding the right babysitter and the challenges of a long-distance trip with a fussy infant.
But it was in this past week’s episode that HIMYM really reached the pinnacle of hilarious parental verisimilitude. During one scene, Marshall and Lily were heard shouting off-camera across their apartment at each other while a very messy Marvin sat covered in pasta on the floor. (The scene, a jump backward in time, was used to illustrate their ill-fated vows to “keep the romantic spark alive.”)
Here’s what made it funny — Marshall was yelling about trimming his nose hair, while Lily used some colorful language to explain that she was, ahem, occupied on the toilet.
Both were trying to convince the other that they couldn’t watch Marvin.
“I watched him all morning, Lily. I need a break,” Marshall declared.
But can a break really consist of trimming your nose hair without bouncing a baby on your lap? I’m willing to bet there are plenty of harried dads who would say, “Absolutely!” As for the desire to use the bathroom without a small child staring up at you … well, just about any parent can attest to that. Heck, there’s even a best-selling book about parenthood titled I Just Want to Pee Alone.
How I Met Your Mother is in its final season; the series finale is next week. While there’s already a How I Met Your Dad sequel in the works, I, for one, would love to see a different sequel — one all about Marshall and Lilly’s family life. As another HIMYM character would say, I’m sure it would be legend — wait for it — dary.
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Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS © 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc.