Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Age of Innocence and Media Influence

I think one of the things I miss most as my kids grow from babies to toddlers to school age kids is the decreasing frequency of funny things they say. Thats not to say they're not still very entertaining, just in a different way. When they're toddlers, its the innocence that makes it so funny. I think what is so amazing is the way when they're 2, 3 or even four they pick up things you never even think they'd notice and then it comes out later and you're left open-mouthed. Its like a video camera, always recording (big ears on little people.) We've always known Piper is listening (hence her nickname of Nosy Rosy early on) but we were never really sure with Carter. He's a lot like his Papa, sort of meandering through the day, happy as a clam. Both figure if they don't let on what they know, we won't ask much of them. Isn't ignorance bliss? But Carter is definitely listening. He is our resident grizzly bear in the morning and spends his first hour or so watching Nick Jr. I think he's become less interested in the shows lately though and more tuned in to the commercials. Its amazing the influence the media has on our kids. I am continually summoned to the TV to watch a commercial so I know what to get him for his birthday (he has no concept of exactly how far away December is.) But now he has also started calling me to see things he thinks I need. Namely, the topsy-turvy tomato plant growing contraption "so we can grow 'matos for Finley," and the rotating mascara brush which he told me would make my eyes look so pretty. Damn, I must look pretty tired these days - and I thought I hid it well. I think the kicker was when he was watching the Bulls game with Tim and saw a Geico commercial with the talking gecko. He looked straight at me and said, "Oh, he's the brother to the money." It took me a minute, but I realized he was talking about "the money you could be saving with Geico" money with eyeballs. He then asked "is his name Geico too?" Sometimes I get disturbed thinking about the way the media corrupts our kids - mostly when Piper wants to model her wardrobe after Hannah Montana, or walks off the bus singing "f-r-e-e that spells free, credit report dot com, baby." Apparently thats what all the second graders are singing these days. Duh!! But, then again if I were to say 588-2300, I am fairly certain you would all say Empire. And we turned out okay. Though I feel like my kids are getting too smart, too grown up too quickly, I am left smiling with tears in my eyes every time we drive on 355 near the factories in Lemont since Carter pointed to the smokestacks pouring smoke into the air and told me that is the "cloud factory" where they make clouds. Yes, it is sweet one, yes it is!!

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