Tuesday, July 21, 2009

As Seen on TV

My child is extremely brand aware. Extremely. He is a marketer's dream - a true product of a modern society inundated with advertising. He chalks cityscapes on the driveway for his matchbox cars filled with Best Buys, Dairy Queens, Targets, and McDonalds. He draws marker and crayon pictures of company brand logos -- in fact, I recently found a rather charming depiction of the money you could be saving with Geico.

I hate this!! He should be daydreaming of super heroes and race cars, not the mass subsidiaries of Corporate America!

A while back, I remember learning that it is illegal to directly advertise to children 6 and under. Which explains why Noggin, Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr. do not have commercials. Happily, I contained his television-watching to these stations to cut down on the all-consuming brand awareness. However, five year olds seem to hit this point where they are not babies anymore and lose all interest in "baby shows". All of a sudden, he wants to watch Suite Life with Zack & Cody on the Disney Channel and the ever-delightful SpongeBob on Nickelodeon... All of which come with those obnoxious "As Seen on TV" five-minute commercials.

A few weeks back, I hear him calling me into my bedroom. I run in and he points to the TV and he says, "Mommy! Mommy! That thing on TV will grow tomatoes upside down! And there's the number you call to order it!"

Great. My five year old is brainwashed by the "Topsy-Turvey" tomato-growing wonder. This is the power of advertising, folks. Charlie won't even EAT a tomato. If only they had big budget commercials with celebrities and jingles aimed at getting kids to eat vegetables... now that's a commercial I could go for.
If that were not enough, I sent him back to his bathroom yesterday to brush his teeth before camp. He comes running back to the kitchen with his toothbrush in one hand and an almost completely empty tube of SpongeBob toothpaste in the other.

"Mom! I tried to get the last bit of toothpaste out, but it's stuck! If only I had a Touch n' Brush, then I could get out the bottom drop of the toothpaste and brush my teeth!!"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Charlie's Conversations with Service People

Today was a big day for errands. Charlie, my little sidekick, came along with me.

We went to some stores, and then stopped in to get the little man a much-needed haircut. I normally have a woman named Barbara cut his hair. I try to stick with Barbara when I can because she's already used to and adores his percocious personality. For example, their first haircut together, he told her all about his wife in preschool AND all about his girlfriend in preschool. And how he's going to work at McDonalds when he grows up (she suggested he might want to work somewhere else to support a wife AND girlfriend). And then he went on to tell her how he was a "little bit nervous" about her cutting his hair. And to top off the whole cut, he pointed out that she has a different color skin than he does and they had a long discussion on their racial differences as I sat on the edge of my seat wondering where his little mind and mouth would take that...

But today, Barbara was on vacation. So, a young, blonde girl with streaks of pink in her hair got the job...

Charlie, not one for being quiet, began the conversation like this, "What job did you have before you had this one?"

She told him this was her first job.

"Well, what kind of job are you going to have next?"

She told him she'd probably still have this job.

"Well, I think you should go work at that five-dollar-footlong store."

"You think I should work at Subway?" she asked.

"Yeah, because then you could make sandwiches."
*The photo attached is the picture of Charlie having two post-haircut suckers at a time. Because one sucker is for suckers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What do boobies do?

Charlie and I have a special time in the morning that we call, "Snuggle Buggles". That is the time when he first wakes up and climbs in my bed and we cuddle and have little chats.

This morning, he climbs in and gets all comfy with me. I was telling him all about the day that was coming up... art camp in the morning, then a few hours at day care and then swim lessons... when he turns to me, points to my chest and asks, "What do boobies do?" (Don't you love how out-of-the-blue five year olds think?)

For a moment I was going to make something up, but then remembered my neighbor who had a baby when her daughter was three and a half. Her little girl was not given any fair warning that the new baby would be breastfeeding and was quite shocked to see her new brother suckling away at the teet. So... as always, I made an attempt at reality and decided to fess up on the true functionality of boobies - watered down slightly for a five year old.

I said, "Mommy's boobies are going to make milk for your baby brother to drink when he is born." I waited for the shock to appear on his face at this, but funnily enough, this news did not even phase him. He was more enthused than anything. He lifted up his shirt and pointed to his nipples and said, "Yay! When will my boobies make milk!?"

"Boys can't make milk and boys don't really have boobies."

"Well, then what do these do?" He wonders as he investigates his nipples.

"They don't really do anything. They're decoration, I guess."

"Decoration?! You mean, like for a party!?"


Dear god, I am just now praying he doesn't decide at some poor child's birthday party to lift up his shirt and suggest he decorate the festivities...