If our television is on and Gene isn't watching baseball, football or racing, it is usually tuned to the children's channel Nickelodeon. The kids rarely just sit and watch tv, but it's often on in the background. I've worked from birth to convince them that tv advertisements are rarely truthful and that everything advertised is made to look much, much better than it actually is. This has worked for the most part. They rarely want specific toys just because they've seen them on tv. Food is a little bit different, but at least they eat it!
Some of our recent purchases due to heavy advertisement are Reese's Puffs cereal, Fruit by the Foot, Danimals Crush Cups and Fruit Roll Ups with wacky fortunes. The cereal is fantastically delicious and no more expensive than any other kiddie cereal. I can usually get good deals on Fruit by the Foot at Big Lots. Fruit Roll Ups are the same price at Wal-Mart whether they have tongue tattoos or fortunes or peel out stars. The fortunes turned out to be hard to read (and really stupid) so Logan got over those with one box. The biggest rip-off were the Danimals Crush Cups- single serve yogurt in crushable cups so you don't need a spoon. Crush Cups are way overpriced and the fact we still have 2 out of 4 in the fridge from 3 weeks ago indicates they aren't all that tasty.
Logan tends to be much more influenced by advertising than Kaylin. He truly enjoys commercials and likes to quote them or even reenact them. Infomercial products are the worst. They play certain commercials so often on Nick that you can't help picking up on the ads. Last year it was Bendaroos. Kaylin and Logan banded together in their desperate desire for the waxy pipecleaner toys. My dad got them a box to share for Christmas and they both loved them and played with them for hours. Bendaroos are way overpriced, but I'll admit I was surprised at how well they worked and how much the kids enjoyed them. We still have an entire wall of Bendaroo creations by the front door that peel off the wall leaving no residue :)
The latest over advertised product has been a mystery to me. It's an ugly, overpriced toothpaste dispenser called the Touch 'n Brush. Once again, the kids have banded together in their fervent desire to own something Seen on TV. The problem? This piece of plastic crap costs $19.99 plus $8 shipping. No. We'll wait for it to show up in stores. Meanwhile, the kids continue to be in awe of the junky thing, assuring me that when we get ours, they'll brush their teeth 97 times a day and will no longer complain about brushing and will happily brush and even get each other's toothbrushes because now the horrendous chore of squeezing a bit of paste onto your brush will be replaced by a slight push and the perfect amount of paste automatically dispensed onto your brush every time! Oh yes children, I'm sure it will revolutionize our lives!
Yesterday we all went to Wal-Mart. We shopped for groceries, school uniform pants and Halloween costumes. On our way to check out, there it was... In all its junky plastic beauty, the Touch 'n Brush! The kids couldn't have been more excited if SpongeBob Squarepants was in line in front of us. Please, please, please. Ack! Still $20. But at least no huge shipping charge... Fine. But you WILL brush your teeth at least morning and night and not fight about getting toothbrushes and you will like and use this thing. Yes, yes, yes!!!
They took turns holding the box on the way home. While Gene and I were putting away groceries, they figured out how to put toothpaste in and hang the thing (suction cups on the mirror) all by themselves. Then they started a long afternoon of brushing every time they thought about it. They made the neighbor kids come over and see it. When the commercial came on tv they ran back to use it and brush yet again. Excitement all around! By bedtime and the last brush of the day, Kaylin was beginning to admit it dispensed more paste than she liked. Logan was still gung-ho about its awesomeness.
I'll give it today and then the lesson can begin. Bwa ha ha ha. Oh, no, you guys PROMISED you'd brush before school without complaining. Logan, you PROMISED you'd get toothbrushes for both of you EVERY night. Hee hee. It was a horrible waste of money, but I'm gonna milk it anyway.