I’m one of those evil mothers. You know the type, the kind that doesn’t let their kid eat sugar, and believes in playing outside, the kind who doesn’t let their kid watch TV, insists on nutritional meals and buys overpriced, educational wooden toys for their children to play with. It’s exhausting, but that’s the kind of mother I am. It works for me. Now, before you start berating me, I’m not judging those who do it differently, but my husband and I made our parenting choices, and we’re sticking to them.
However, as the festive season approaches I’m finding it difficult. For example, I decided it might be time for my little girl to move up from onesies to little girl nighties. I trawled one large retailer’s website, looking through their sleepwear. There were loads of nighties, but not a single one that was not related to a Disney princess, a marlin fish, a mouse in a polka dot dress, a pig or a sheep. It was ridiculous! Where is the clothing for kids who aren’t wild for Shaun the Sheep?
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And don’t get me started on Elsa from Frozen. That chick is everywhere! She’s on beach towels, lunch boxes, even cupcakes! Now, I appreciate some kids love her – my niece is a HUGE fan – but my kid doesn’t know who Elsa is. My kid gets excited when she has a reachable button on her clothing, she doesn’t need a cartoon character to keep her amused. When we celebrated Halloween at childcare 70 per cent of the little girls were Elsa – my girl, on the other hand, was dressed in leggings and a t-shirt as naughty mum and dad didn’t realise it was dress-up day. Sigh.
I start to question what we do. Am I a mean mother for not allowing my child to jump on the commercial bandwagon? I’m not anti-TV. The whole reason for our baby-TV ban is due to the government advising parents that television provides no educational benefits before the age of two. What’s the harm in waiting? But in the meantime is my kid missing out? Is the fact that my kid doesn’t attempt to sing Let it Go detrimental to her social wellbeing?
I suspect not. But in the meantime I have a message for the big retailers out there – some of us don’t want to buy television/movie-themed products! Offer something for us! Until that time I will continue to shop at my overpriced indie stores in order to get something fun for my child. It’s not good for my wallet, and it’s not good for the big guy’s bottom line. Get on board!
Side note: For anyone who has already bought missy a cartoon-related present, don’t worry, we’re not monsters, she still plays with them! She just doesn’t know who they are in the context of TV land.
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