What is it with Daniel Tiger? Any kid I know who has watched that guy is completely mesmerized by him. And any mother I know spends her days singing his songs in hopes of somehow dislodging them from her brain.

I might not remember what I’m supposed to do today, but I sure as hell can sing to you about getting to the potty on time.

The more I thought about this, the more I began to believe that that tricky little tiger has an ulterior motive.

The Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood website says that “Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key social skills necessary for school and for life.” What they neglect to mention is that he’s also sending out secret messages to moms.

5 times daniel tiger was speaking directly to moms

What Daniel Tiger says: “When you feel so mad that you wanna roar, take a deep breath… and count to four!”

What he means: Get it together, woman! It might be the three hundredth time this morning that you discovered a mess had magically appeared in a spot that you just cleaned and your foot might really hurt from stepping on that LEGO, but get in touch with your inner yogi! Indoor voices!

What Daniel Tiger says: “When you have to go potty… stop… and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.”

What he means: Girrrrrl, how do you expect to potty train when you dance around the kitchen like a maniac trying to finish all of the things before you pause for a bathroom break?

What Daniel Tiger says: “We gotta look a little closer to find out what we wanna know.”

What he means: Did you really expect to find out who wrote with permanent marker all over the newly-painted walls just by asking? Nice try. If you want to get to the bottom of this mystery, you’re going to have to check the hands, clothes, faces, and possibly mouths of all of your suspects.

What Daniel Tiger says: “Keeping trying, you’ll get better.”

What he means: You might have had a shitty day, but that doesn’t mean you’re shitty. The house may be a mess, you might need a doctor to look at that LEGO injury and you might’ve yelled once or twice (or fifty times), but it happens. Tomorrow is a new day. Pep up, buttercup.

What Daniel Tiger says: “Close your eyes and think of something happy.”

What he means: At the end of the day, what really matters is that little blubbering, boogery mini human that you love to bits—even though she did fully expose you to passersby while clutching at your shirt in the throes of the most epic of tantrums. If you stop and think about her squishy arms wrapped around you or the giggle fit she goes into when you tickle her, all of the bad will melt away. Well, at least some of it will. Ugga mugga?

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Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.