Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gators and Poptarts

Yesterday morning I was confronted with absolute proof that my darling angelic boys--have horns.  And possibly a tail.  I suppose every parent at some point faces the human fallibility of their prodigy, but mine slapped me in the face at 8am; shortly after waffles and kisses and "have a nice day!s."  I waved good-bye as they left for the bus, one by one, and then went to tinkle. (three cups of joe before dawn will do that to you)  And there, staring at me from the bottom of a yellow pool...was Pebbles.  Not Bambam, not Fred or Wilma....Pebbles. 

Someone had ditched their morning vitamin and forgot to flush.   Ooooooh, I was peeved.

A peeved mum in our house leads to lost allowances and days without television...and cold cheese sandwiches for dinner.  (seriously, ask my boys, tick me off badly--especially by being ungrateful--and I completely go on strike)  Three growing boys used to home cooked menus containing bacon wrapped roasts and homemade bread and scalloped potatoes suddenly reduced to cold sandwiches and apples will surprise and delight you with rapid apologies and changed behavior. 

At any rate, confrontations were had, the culprit confessed and handed over the cost of a bottle of Flinstones (about two week's allowance) and promises of future honesty were made.  When we don't like something, we discuss.  We don't lie, cheat or steal....or flush hard earned money down the toilet, dammit!

However, last night I was shocked repeatedly as glaring examples of exactly that--lying, cheating, & stealing--were paraded across the television screen accompanied by a catchy tune, nifty tag lines, and the ever present laugh track.  Welcome to American advertising.

Example 1.  Sad boy is about to ingest deplorable poptart when he is rescued by generous girl from such a blunder by her offer to share her delish toaster strudel.  How does sad boy respond to this kindness?  He snatches both halves of the strudel and runs off yelling, "You can have the poptart!"

Example 2.  Famous race car driver is "insured for almost everything" by some insurance company but when he accidentally drives a golf ball through someone's window; famous-wealthy-adult race car driver sneaks off.

Co-workers steal each other's food, wives belittle their husbands, and little Timmy in "time out" plays like madman in the kitchen with no supervision.  Twenty minutes of any "tween" show on Nick or Disney elevates destructive behavior, deceit, and theft--all draped in the absolute stupidity of any adult in the room--to entertainment. 

And the laugh track runs.

There will always be the discussion about media reflecting reality or dictating it, but I cannot help but wonder as we are setting our children down for "entertainment" that is full of mean girls, moronic adults and a complete lack of responsibility--how can we expect anything different in our own living rooms? 

Well.....I refuse to give in.  Again.  I will block channels our neighbors watch, rampage like a lunatic about stolen yogurt commercials, and attempt to find creative ways to make the consequences fit the crime.  Sometimes I feel like I'm piloting a cruise ship on a tranquil sunny sea.....other times I'm barely poling my raft of ruffians in a hurricane while alligators snap at my heels. 

Parenthood.  Why they make whiskey.


Suzanne Medairy said...

I love your last line! "Parenthood. Why they make whiskey." I so agree with you. There's a ton of crap out there. At least there's Phineas & Ferb. ;-)

Chantel said...

Suzanne--so true! lol

Wow, that was awkward said...

I did a speech in high school about the negative effects TV has on children - violence, hyperactivity, idiocy, etc. It was based on a formal research study. I can only imagine how magnified the problematic results would be today.

Out on the prairie said...

My mom used to tell us we were the only cause for her hair having a few grey areas.She sometime just tore into us when we finally tripped her fuse.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Choices have consequences. Working hard to make the punishment fit the crime, as you do, is the most powerful way to counteract the messages coming from the media.

Chantel said...

Brett--love how you lumped "idiocy" in with "violence!" Is that a measurable thing? lol

Prairie--every mother has her breaking point!

Bliss--I do hope so! (although I've considered snipping the cord off the back of the tv as an alternative...)

Slyde said...

yeah, the media and its lack of morals will kill us all one day!

but getting them to confess was aces! well done!