Phyllis Nesmith—Why She’s an Ideal Mother

There is only one career for Phyllis Nesmith: being the greatest mother ever to her children. Although she’s a Monkee wife, a celebrity in her own right and a talented homemaker, she thinks that her most important job is being a great mother, and this is what she spends her days being.

Phyllis and Christian spend a lot of time together during the day. Christian comes in to wake Phyllis about 6:30 in the morning and wants her to get up then, but she usually tries to sleep another half hour or so. So Christian will go downstairs by himself to watch TV and wait for Phyllis to get up. Once she’s up, Christian rarely leaves her side during the day. Whether she’s in the kitchen cooking Mike’s meals, or cleaning the house, or working in the garden, Christian is always close-by, keeping an eye on her!

Christian Nesmith, Phyllis Barbour Nesmith

While he’s doing this, he’s also involved in his own activities. Phyllis and Mike don’t believe in manufactured toys because they believe that if you just give a child a stick or a box or a container of some kind, then the child will use his imagination to create all sorts of groovy things out of it. If it’s a readymade toy then the child can’t pretend nearly as much.

In the Nesmith’s new house they use part of the grounds as Christian’s private playground. They leveled off this part of the lot and had a lawn put in with lots of paths for him to walk around on. They do plan to get him a set of monkey bars and a swing set because with these he can do a lot of imagining, but they don’t have any plans at all to put in toy houses or anything like this. Maybe later they’ll put in a tree-house, something simple where he can pretend that he’s king of the world or lost on an island, but that will be the extent of the complicated playthings in Christian’s yard.

Phyllis Barbour Nesmith

Christian’s room is a very warm and colorful room, exactly suited to Christian’s groovy personality. There are lots of stuffed animals for him to play with, little musical instruments to play, and groovy books. Christian loves to read and be read to. Although, of course, he can’t really read, he does a very good job of figuring out what a story is by looking at the pictures and thinking about it. Christian is very quick to catch on to anything.

Phyllis and Christian really understand each other and so there’s not much call for Phyllis to discipline him. But when he needs it, she doesn’t hesitate to spank him. She believes that sometimes it’s the only way to really get a child’s attention.

There are other ways to discipline Christian, too. Mike usually just says, “Christian, that’s not cool,” and Christian will stop whatever he’s doing that Mike objects to. Since Christian is so mature for his age, there’s not much disciplining done.

Phyllis Barbour Nesmith, Mike Nesmith

The big thing in the Nesmith house now is the new baby. Before Jonathan Darby was born, Christian got very excited about all the preparations. Phyllis was very busy getting the new baby’s room ready—painting and decorating—and Christian was constantly asking questions about his new playmate. Phyllis explained that Christian was going to have a brother or a sister, and Christian really dug that, but he somehow couldn’t understand that it would be a little while before he could play with his new friend.

While he was waiting for the big day when he would find out for sure if it was a brother or sister, he spent a lot of his time planning what books he would save for the new baby, what toys he would let it play with, and what games they would play as soon as the baby was old enough. As soon as he would get a new idea, he’d rush to Phyllis to tell her all about it.

Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz

Phyllis and Christian both look forward to the times when the other Monkees come over to visit the Nesmiths. Davy and Peter both lived with Mike and Phyllis at the beginning of the series and so Christian is very fond of them. And he’s grown to know and really like Micky, too. Davy, especially, always used to play a lot with Christian, so when Davy comes over it’s a very special day for Chris.

Phyllis and Christian have a very good relationship which is far more than that of most mothers and sons. For instance, Christian is very sensitive to Phyllis’ moods, and if he feels that she is depressed for some reason, he’ll come over and put his arms around her and tell her everything will be all right. If she doesn’t cheer up immediately, then he’ll just keep doing it until she does cheer up!

He’s a very affectionate child and even when Phyllis is in a very good mood he’ll throw his arms around her and say things to her to make her feel like she’s the most wonderful person in the entire world.

Christian Nesmith

Christian loves to talk to Phyllis and she’s always interested in talking to him. He doesn’t even like her to take a bath or do anything where he can’t be right there talking to her all of the time. He’ll tell her that he wants to go for a ride in the car, or about things that they’ve both done before, or about things that he would like to do. Phyllis and Christian went to the zoo not too long ago and Phyllis is still hearing all about it.

At night Phyllis tells him nursery rhymes or sings songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to him before he’ll go to sleep. He usually asks for “Twinkle, Twinkle” at least nine or ten times!

Phyllis and Christian share so much of their lives together, they are both enjoying sharing their activities with the new baby. Since they’ve had so much fun together, they think that with the new baby things will be twice as groovy!

So if you ever want to see a groovy mother and a groovy son visit the Nesmith’s when you come to Hollywood. They’re the greatest family ever!

Magazine: Tiger Beat
Editor: Ann Moses
Volume: 3
Issue: 8
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Company
Pages: 36–37