Friday, February 15, 2008

blurred boundaries

It used to be, back in the good old days of When We Had A Baby as opposed to Now We Have A Tantrum, that if we saw something we liked for our son, we would buy it for him and decorate him with it. Most everything one purchases for a baby is either a necessity or an accessory - nappies, check; butt-cream, check; cute little shirt, checkerooni! Most everything one purchases for a toddler however is purely acquired as a way of keeping the damn thing quiet.

There is something that marketeers like to call 'Pester Power' which basically means that they fluff their products in soft-core toy commercials until Snookums has practically torn off the cuff of her parent's sleeve begging for one. I thought, as one would, that I had a few years to go before my small one understood TV commercials enough or was subjected to playground envy enough to begin this assault on my wardrobe, however it appears I was severely underinformed.

The other day we were in the play park, me and my little pumpkin, happily playing in the sand when he spotted a pink doll's pushchair that somebody had left behind. Jumping up and down to be hoiked out of the sand he was practically apoplectic and once out, he ran, which is no mean feat, ran to the buggy and played with it, giving it all his attention for nearly half an hour.



Embarrassingly, a nice lady had to take it from him and give him a biscuit as he refused to give it up for me even though we were both freezing and the wardens were locking the park gates. The next day we had the same story and for nearly a week he would thieve any buggy whose owner was idiotic enough to be out with it in public. Yes, that was me, the mother hiding in the corner while her over-sized son wrenched the dolly's buggy away from your sweet little girl, half his size.

So the frog and I went reluctantly to buy him one and the frog to his relief found instead a nice, butch, toy lawnmower. Handle, wheels... same sort of functionality, Spud loved it, great.



Next day we're out in the park, spud happily pushing his lawnmower around until... what's this? A doll's buggy, you say? He threw, I kid you not, he threw his lawnmower aside and chased after the owner of the doll's buggy, crying and shouting and pointing until the poor chap let him play with it. It turns out that the buggy belonged to another little boy. I have since seen about 4 little boys with doll buggies. Something to do with it having wheels and needing to be controlled perhaps? But I digress.

The upshot is that he now has his very own doll's buggy and he hasn't stopped playing with it since the moment we bought it - Pester Power 1, Parent Power 0.




At least we're getting away with pesters for under a fiver. On evidence it will be short months before he's after his own computer so he can start his own blog and leave me to dribble weakly into my buggy.

16 comments:

She's like the wind said...

Love the pictures, boys and their buggies! At least you know the Spud can hold his own.

'keeping the damn thing quiet' how funny are you? you crack me up every time. x

Dhor said...

Sorry Sparx, I think he wanted the pink one. Ah well, get him the pink one and put a bunch of Girl-Army-dolls in it. That way it's pink but he just looks like a ladies man.

:P

Too cute !! I love the pictures :)

DJ Kirkby said...

N3S has had a pink toy pushchair for years and is now moving up to a pink handbag, puurse and lip balm...be afraid, be VERY afraid! There is no gender division any more.

Jen said...

Um, maybe he already believes in equal parenting and he is practicing early? Yea, that's it. I am finding it incredible myself that all of a sudden, Dylan wants specific things to eat when for the past 14 months it was just cry=eatSomething.

jenny said...

try 3 girls fighting over the same damn doll, when there are 2 identical dolls at their feet totally ignored. Oldest is tugging on the doll's right arm, Middle is tugging on the left arm and Youngest has the feet in her fists. Oy!! I point out that there are 2 dolls on the floor just like the one they are fighting over, but Oldest tells me that THIS one has her hair in a ponytail! So I rummage around under the couch looking for a hair band (don't ask! They all end up under the couch) and find 2 bands, and then do up the other 2 dolls' hair into ponytails. The peace is restored, until they fight over something else.

Love the Spud and his stroller. I have one for each kid, too!

Rosie said...

A brilliant read! I know a little bot who loved my daughter's pink buggy so much that his mum had to go out and buy a blue one because he kept kicking up a tantrum when he had to give it back.
Pester power is a pain. I, too, used to have a baby and now I have a tantrum (aged 4) - these days everything I buy her is simply to keep her quiet. It never seems to last for long though. Damn!

ilana (Helen) Pengelly said...

The Spare's favourite colour has been pink for yonks. We have pink (piggy) slippers, pink running shoes.............oh yes and a pink snow board. Good luck with the butch choices ............. little buggers, I mean, darlings have these wretched minds of their own! Blessings Helen

Sparx said...

She's like the wind - hold his own - and everyone elses! Great to see you!

Dhor - Girl army dolls? Oh my merry aunt, he'll never grow up to be a cowboy... Great to see you!

DJ - no, there isn't and rah for that. Looking forward to seeing what their generation are like! Great to see you!

Jen - I know, it's cool though hey? The other day spud went into the kitchen and pointed at the cereal, clapped when I picked up the box and happily sat on the sofa eating dry cereal out of the bowl - we didn't even know he'd worked out what came out of that packet. Grea tot see you!

Jenny - good grief - all that for a pony tail? Wonder what it's going to be like with 4 of them!!!! Great to see you.

Rosie - you are kidding - 4 and their still like this? I may have to climb under a rock for a few years... Thanks for the nice comment and thanks for coming by!

Helen - I think that's great. Is the Spare the one who went dressed as a witch for halloween as well? Great taste. I don't think spud cares about colour at the moment, it's just the functionality that counts for him! Great to see you!

Helen said...

We have TWO babydoll buggies in our house. My daughters use them to drag race through the kitchen while I'm making dinner. Which would explain why my cooking often looks like road kill...

Wait until he wants a doll baby to go with that buggy. That'll be fun ;)

Sparx said...

Helen - I love the thought of the girls racing their buggies through the house - sounds as though they should have racing cars instead! Great to see you.

Jonny's Mommy said...

OK...this is totally my toddler...we had the same problem with a pink stroller at the doc's office a couple of weeks ago. I swear my hubby was mortified by the whole thing..wondering what his fascination was with the pink stroller! He did refuse to let me put a doll in it though.

Raz said...

The pram? I wasn't allowed one for ages, but I did have a baby seat that I used to balance on the back of my bike. Not a small play one though, a real one.
He just sounds so adorable, I can't help thinking 'I want one'.
At least he appears to be learning good taste in shoes quite quickly.

Sparx said...

Jonny's Mummy - no, I would't put a doll in it either but we have had Teddy in there. Shame they don't come in racing black or something more macho! Thanks for the comment!

Raz - well, you should have one then! Or are you talking about the buggy?! And, good taste in shoes is crucial. I haven't mentioned it but The Frog is a little partial to a bout of shoe shopping... Great to see you!

Joni said...

I, too, am noticing that the spud's wheels are NOT pink...whew! :o)

codeMama said...

What exactly is the problem with a little boy pushing a doll in a stroller? My husband pushes our son in our stroller (which is blue, not pink). Isn't part of play time about mimicking grownup activities and don't we want our little boys to grow into men who take care of their babies?

I was reading another mom's frustration about her husband not knowing to help get the kids ready to go out to eat. Maybe if we let our sons have dolls, they will grow up to have a natural parenting instinct and their future partners won't have to nag them to help out.

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