Friday, September 17, 2010

Cheap, Battery-Powered Crap!

DS (who will turn 3 in late Oct) recently saw that popular animated movie trilogy that rhymes with "Soy Glory," and it is like toddler crack to the child. Which on the one hand is nice because if I need him to just sit for awhile while I take care of something uber important like food or changing an exploded shit-filled diaper, I can use it as a babysitter. But as it turns out, I created a monster, with several downsides...

First, it has caused some behavioral issues: "Soy Glory" taught him how to say "SHUT UP!" Which he says all the time and has become a Real Issue around here. Ok, so truthfully, he probably heard us saying it, too. But in the great American tradition, I'd rather blame The Media for all of my parenting failures.

Then came the introduction of the Cheap, Battery-Powered Crap featuring all of this movie trilogy's cast of licensed characters that started finding its way into our home. People found out DS liked the movies, so they keep giving him more of everything emblazoned with it. It's on helmets, and sippy cups, and Pull-ups, and potty seats, and butt wipes, and more Cheap Plastic Battery Powered Shizz! And it is even at the friggin' supermarket! DH came home from getting groceries with this Cheap Talking Stuffed "Fuzz Brightbeer" toy in tow, that cost about 1000 times more than it cost to make in China (so like $6). DS played with it so much the very first day that the batteries ran out. Oh holy hell. Not good. Not good at all people. Let's just say DS was pissed to the highest level of pisstivity that his beloved Fuzz had suddenly started "ignoring" him.

Time to change the batteries then. But wait, unlike other toys, this one was apparently designed to be thrown away after only a few weeks of play? There was no velcro opening to access the battery panel. So I had to pull out the cheap stitching and remove Fuzz's furry white innards to get at the battery pack, which was encased inside a fabric pocket that was sewn shut. Then I had to cut that mofo open, and find a tiny ass screwdriver to finally open it up. Then I see that instead of using the more popular toy battery sizes like AA or AAA that we coincidentally have loads of both in bulk and in rechargeable form, it requires 3 of those 1.5 volt round silver batteries.... The ones that mama can't find anywhere in Podunkville... except of course at the big box store that is FULL OF LICENSED CHARACTER SHIZZ FROM THE SAME MOVIE!! And that we can't take DS into because the temptation is just too great, and because I don't want to have to leave a cart full of stuff I didn't even need so I can carry a tantruming toddler back to the car to go home early. Thank gawd... without being reminded, DH saved the day by bringing some of the requisite batteries home one day. (He correctly sensed that the need was acute.) Luckily I had some no-sew Res-Q Tape on hand to put a freshly-batteried Fuzz back together again. The smile returned to my child's face as he hugged his cheap little friend tightly, and then scampered off into the sunset to play.

A friend of a now 7-year old girl was recently lamenting the fact that for years all of this Princess shizz kept somehow seeping into their house under the front door. Now I totally get what she was talking about. IT'S EVERYWHERE!! All of this marketing of cheap plastic crap, of fast food, etc to little kids using all of these licensed characters really is unsavory. Yet, short of keeping the kid at home all day with no TV - or running off into the woods - there is just no avoiding it. Or maybe there is avoiding it, but I am too lazy to do all of the rearranging of our lives that would make it possible. Like no TV.


Claudia said...

Damn it, technology is making me rewrite my comment.
The upshot being, I have my own battle with rhymes with Hell No, Shitty. I have kept it reasonable so far, but I know it's only a matter of time.
The resident junkie is 4 and nearly a half, and we've got a good thing going so far: tv doesn't pour it into your subconscious every single minute, she doesn't go shopping with me very often, she gets to hear 'no' quite a lot if she does go shopping with me, and I'm thinking of instituting a toy exchange program soon. If she gets something new, she needs to give up something old. I think it'll be necessary come Christmas.

Good luck, it's a powerful industry we're up against.

Melba said...

hahahaha! I am laughing out loud (and I don't do that often) at Fuzz Brightbeer and Hell No Shitty. Seriously funny!

A group of 6, no make that 7 thanks to the most recent movie, perma-smiling biotches have filled my house with pink frilly crap. Bed sheets for crying out loud with three of their life-sized faces on the pillow. I have to kiss them goodnight for fuck's sake (these ladies on the pillowcase are however, almost solely responsibe for night-time potty training Rosie. Wouldn't want to pee on them now would we?). I can't come up with a clever rhyme but I think you know who they are. Eff off you annoying saved-by-the-prince beauties that have taken over my home. EFF OFF.

Ahh. End rant. Thanks for posting this hush, it is so hard to fight this battle and not even really worth fighting most of the time. And it really does help... plugging in the DVD when you really need to get something done, using the cheap crap as a reward for something... it does its job.

Oh, and @Claudia, recently Rosie and I went through all her toys/dolls/stuffies/books and filled two big bags of stuff to donate. She was surprisingly realistic and generous and understood that some old stuff had to go to make room for the new stuff. She decided on what to donate all on her own and did a really good job. So maybe your Hell No Shitty junkie will be willing to donate some things too?

Jac said...

DS (3 today!) is also in love with Soy Glory and we have the crap to prove it. The movie watching has become a real crutch for me in this pregnancy - I have my own expansive Disney collection of DVD's which is getting really worn. He also loves rhymes-with-Frek which taught him to yell at random children at the playground "There's an arrow in your butt!". I actually enjoy these movies myself, but there is something really insidious about all the marketing that is geared towards little children (says she, who has bought her darling Soy Glory tooth paste, a Minding Bemo toothbrush, and three sets of Tightening McBeen pyjamas).

Claudia said...

@Jac -- happy birthday to the little dude! Love that he yells, "There's an arrow in your butt!"

I find myself also sickeningly tempted to get that ridiculous Hell No, Shitty purse (she has three backpacks and two purses and never uses the purses) cuz I know she'll think it's cool for 9 minutes. But I slap myself and move on. It's sick!

Cloud said...

Oh god, the princess crap. I am about to throttle one of the day care teachers because she is totally into it. Luckily, she left on Friday.

The only known antidote to the princess crap is The Paper Bag Princess, which is one kick-ass book.

mom2boy said...

Um, yeah. I'm amused that Tate's favorite character is Splatman. He's never seen anything Splatman related other than all the CPC in stores. We have a bit of all sorts of character themed CPC post-birthday party. Whee.

Nice emergency surgery teamwork to get Mr. Fuzz working again.

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Hush, you deserve a medal for taking apart Fuzz and replacing his shiny, impossible to find battery heart. I probably would have just made up some lame excuse about how "Fuzz is sleeping" (like, permanently) and left it at that... then again, the look on his face when the thing magically worked again must have been priceless!

We don't have any of the big name DVDs in our house, not because I'm all holier than thou about TV watching but because we have this TINY apartment with a television right in the middle of it, and the month I had to spend with Elmo's Christmas Special last year almost sent me over the edge. So my son is hooked instead on classical music DVDs, and honestly (I hope) doesn't know that our TV can play anything else.

So, I haven't been flooded by all the marketing crap yet, but I am not naive -- I know it's only a matter of time, now that he's in school.

caramama said...

We are trying to get my girl to stop swallowing the toothpaste so we can start using the kids toothpaste that has flouride in it. The bribe? "If you want that Dora toothpaste we saw in the grocery store, you have to start spitting out the toothpaste in the sink." After a great week, I now have to go buy her some Dora toothpaste!

So far, we have not been TOO inundated with characters. Partly because I've been pretty vocal with friends and family about not getting them character things. But also in large part because my daughter simply does not seem to get attached to those types of things... yet. I'm just waiting, though, cause I know it's going to happen.

hush said...

@Claudia - Love the need to give up something old to get something new idea. In fact, I should follow that rule with my own closet. "Hell No, Shitty"= tee hee that was funny. I just really like saying it.

@Melba - "perma-smiling biotches have filled my house with pink frilly crap" ha!!!

@Jac - "There's an arrow in your butt!" = funny, yet oh so humiliating at the same time.

@mom2boy - Splatman! Love it.

@Parisienne Mais Presque - "the month I had to spend with Elmo's Christmas Special last year almost sent me over the edge." I really shouldn't laugh at others' misfortune - but I'd be taking crazy pills if I had to sit through that, too!

@caramama - I think my DS swallows too much toothpaste. He brushes his teeth so infrequently though that I hope ill effects to his health are minimal! We have had a lot of luck with this strawberry flavored stuff, and berry-flavored mouthwash.
@Cloud - I will have to check out "The Paper Bag Princess" - thank you!

Jac said...

@hush - not too humiliating - I've been known to pretend that he is not mine on occasion.