(Planet Me)
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Pester Power.

See him? He isn't just my son. No. He's a target market. He's a consumer. Already he's formed relationships with children's movies and products. He sings the theme tune to his favourite TV show. He pushes a branded piece of moulded plastic along the garden happily and says his name - "McQuee!" - as we garden. I mow, and strim. Sometimes he gets scared of the roar of the lawnmower and stands against the wall saying Mummy! Mummy! as she pushes the mower. Only DaddyCuddles can help at that point.

He points at the recently cut front garden and says sadly, "All Gone". I think he liked it full of foilage.

At Nursery, where we pay them to look after him, they tout him as an asset to be exploited. A firm comes in and videos him playing which they wish to charge us £20 for. He's moulded in an assembly line and asked to sit in a chair with a toy. A camera clicks 6 times. Then we are presented with an option to buy a 4 portrait set for a mere £34.99 unframed, £39.99 framed. My child is touted around to make money for opportunists whilst he is at the nursery we pay for him to go to.

He's not just a child anymore. He's an opportunity to be exploited and something to be made money from by entrepeneurs. Already, he is being corrupted by the world around him and the motives of adults, and I am powerless to stop it.

I adore him and I try my best to be the best Dad I can. I don't always succeed. But I always try. He reaches to me and pulls at my little finger to show me his toy trains. We giggle and push thema round the track. As he leaves for nursery in the morning, he walks towards me, chin up, lips pursed to give me a kiss goodbye. Sometimes, he turns around and waves. "BYE!"

It's always wonderful to see him again when he returns.

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