Today Mommy, Daddy, Bean and Goobs all went to the store together to get a belt and some new shoes for Daddy. Being that Mommy is super duper classy and not at all cheap, they first went to Marshalls hoping to get a good deal on both shoes and belt. Mommy doesn't usually just buy things for Bean willy-nilly, but he had gotten all his stickers on his chore chart for the last two weeks and she had promised him something. So, after helping Daddy pick out some shoes, Mommy and Bean stopped by the toy section. Anyone who has been to Marshalls knows that this section is a mish-mash of unwanted toys from last year. Sometimes there are a few good finds, but most often there is nothing. Mommy directs Bean to the clearance shelf.
Bean: (Pulling a large Star Wars mask off the shelf) "Mommy, can I get this? Is this too expensive?"
Mommy: (Looks at the really ugly toy. It is big and it is loud. Not something Mommy wants floating around the house. She doesn't even look at the price tag) "Yep, too expensive. Find something different."
Bean: (Pulls a truck and small car that have Spiderman on them) "Oh Mommy! This is it. This is what I want. Look! Spiderman!"
Mommy takes the toys and looks it over. Size is right. Doesn't make noise. Price is right. The only problem is that Mommy has worked really had to limit Bean's exposure to all those commercial things that kids seem to become obsessed about. It isn't for any real moral reason except that this stuff is everywhere; cereal, granola bars, sneakers, underwear, it is hard to escape the princesses or superheros wherever you go. Ever since Bean started preschool he has been asking lots of questions about Star Wars and various superheros. Mommy and Daddy have just sort of avoided the subject and danced around the issue. Looks like it is do or die here. Mommy has to make a decision. Does she let this toy into the house. It is just a truck really and seems relatively harmless on its own. But does buying this toy mean that she is now condoning the mass commercialization of our children and handing her own children over to those greedy mega corporations that are too willing to allow her child to become a mindless drone.
Maybe she is putting too much thought into this. It's just a truck Mommy.
Mommy: "Sure, I guess this is fine. Let's go find Daddy."
Mommy and Bean search for Daddy and Goobs and they manage to find them in the miscellaneous section. Bean shows Daddy the Spiderman truck and car.
Bean: "Look Daddy, it has spiderman on it."
Daddy: "Oh, well, I found something else I thought you might like. You will have to pick though. You can only have one."
Daddy proceeds to show Bean a flashlight that can be worn on your head.
Daddy: "This could be good for detective work and looking in dark places. And it's great for rescue work."
Bean looks down at the cheap, plastic, over-commercialized toy in his hand and then he looks at the headlamp that Daddy is holding. He doesn't hesitate for a second.