Thursday, May 2, 2013

How not to encourage your child's obsession


Say your child has an obsession, as kids sometimes do. Say it's a color, a form of transportation, a food, a car wash. Say it's the movie Cars 2, along with every single last bit of branded merchandise that goes with the movie. Not Cars (the original movie) but the sequel, Cars 2. Only Cars 2. Say you wish to avoid encouraging this obsession. Say you might be weary of said obsession. Say you wish the movie Cars 2 had never been created. Say you sometimes feel that if you have to discuss it one more time, you just might have a Cars 2 breakdown.

Well, my friends, here is exactly what NOT to do.


Do not let Daddy get into the habit of taking your child out to breakfast on Saturday mornings, followed by a jaunt to Target to purchase yet another Cars 2 product.

Do not decorate part of your basement with Cars 2 decals.

Do not crack up when you ask your child what he'd name a new baby, if you had one, and he says "Cars 2!"

Do not let the nice lady at school who sews bibs make ones for him with Cars 2 fabric.

Do not allow your child to turn down gifts from friends and family because the items had the Cars logo, not Cars 2.


Do not try to foster your child's musical side by purchasing Cars 2 instruments. 

Do not nod knowingly when he repeatedly shows you that the difference between Lightning McQueen in Cars and Lightning McQueen in Cars 2 has something to do with the tires. WTF?

Do not make plans to visit Cars Land in California, and get into futile arguments with your child when he insists you are going to Cars 2 Land.

Do not fill his underwear drawer with Disney Pixar Cars 2 Briefs that you order in bulk from Kohl's.

Do not let him repeatedly print out images of Cars 2 characters to hang on his wall/door/any blank patch of space, especially because it might cause your other child to screech "MOMMMMY, he is using up ALL MY PRINTER INK!"

Definitely do not let him see the Cars 2 clock available only on a British site, the purchase of which will run you $40 plus approximately 10 million dollars in shipping costs.

Do not let him traipse around clutching a Cars 2 DVD wherever you go—the doctor's office, zoo, restaurant. Although, hmmm, it is nice to see him grasping it so well.


Do not let him go the library where, although you find all these awesome books on cars and trains and trucks, he will spot Cars 2: The Essential Guide and decide that is the only book he wants.

Do not let him repeatedly play the DVD his music therapist made for him of various Cars 2 items, complete with the Cars 2 soundtrack.

Do not allow him to wear Cars 2 pajama tops in public.

Do not smirk when his sister teases him by shouting "MAX HATES CARS 2! MAX HATES CARS 2!"

Do not repeatedly take him to Party City and let him buy Cars 2 plates, Cars 2 cups and Cars 2 napkins for his Cars 2 birthday party, especially if 1) It's not happening for another seven months and 2) You are not planning to have 2000 people over.


Do not buy him Cars 2 tissues, either.

Do not offer to let him type his first Facebook status, knowing full well that he is going to post (wait for it) "Max liks Cars2"

Do not, at bedtime, grudgingly sit down at your computer with him on your lap, type "Cars 2" into the search bar and scroll down page after page of Cars 2 merchandise.

You've been warned. And you've just gotta trust me on this one.

32 comments:

  1. Oh dear. I've failed.

    Ours is Sonic the Hedgehog...

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  2. Ours is Toy Story 2...make sure you get that right. It's 2, not 1, not 3. For a little girl who cannot speak, she definitely makes herself heard. "Yeehaw cowboy"!

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  3. Good thing it's been such an enduring enterprise! What happens when they stop making the stuff? (Sounds like there will still be a huge stockpile available on-line for a while...)

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  4. How fun! I would love to have my daughter obsessed with a character. Instead we get stuck with bugs. Which her walls are filled with posters, framed dead ones, frozen bugs in the freezer. Entomology supplies everywhere. We have to pin dead bugs.

    Did I mention that I am jealous of you all!!! Hee Hee. Never a dull moment.

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    1. I suddenly have a WHOLE new perspective on Cars 2. Thanks, Renee! And, er, EEEEEEEEP.

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    2. It never ceases to amaze me what a mother will endure for her child. Hope your daughter grows out of her bug obsession Renee.

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    3. Renee that is a strange and somewhat disgusting obsession. Are they from the garden or the park?

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  5. Ours is Curious George. I have stuffed monkeys coming out of my wazoo!

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  6. My brothers one is Sesame Street...do you know how many bert and Ernie's we have lying around the house?!

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  7. Today's post made me laugh out-loud. My son's obsession is Caillou.

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  8. Okay, first of all, if there's an "Essential Guide" to Cars 2, then Max is not the only one who's obsessed.
    Second: How could you ever say no to that face?

    One of my (7-year-old)daughters has been obsessed with "Monster High" for a while. If you've never seen it (and she hadn't, so I'm guessing it's something she picked up at school, like lice), it's about a high school populated by the teenaged children of monsters; so there's DracuLaura, Frankie Stein, Rochelle Goyle...you get the picture. Oh, and they all dress like hookers. Monster hookers. And for a while there, every time she drew something, it was green and had stitches. She even painted her face green, drew big stitches on herself, and ran around with Halloween vampire fangs in her mouth. No amount of reasoning ("But honey, vampires are like the undead") gets through. We have actively discouraged this, and she still wants "real" vampire fangs. So you may as well give in.

    Thankfully, she seems to be moving on to a new obsession: squids.

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  9. Ours is Curious George as well. Although I will admit I purchased Cars (not cars 2) to see if I could wean her at bit. She likes it but it didnt dethrone George. Also, I think the difference in the tires is that in Cars, Lightning McQueen gets white wall tires. (It was kind of a big deal to Luigi). While in Cars 2, he has his racing tires. It is possible I've watched too many children's films.

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  10. My son is now 18, so I guess he's almost from a diff. generation than your kids...but for him (and us) it was Thomas. We must own stock in the company by now, with all the trains, tracks, and pricey extra characters/buildings/movies. When we work now on money skills with him, and his assignment is to go with me to Barnes and Noble and buy something (please get a book!)...he comes out with the latest train character. Thankfully, teen underwear does not have characters on it!

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  11. If this is your biggest Max problem I'm happy for you LOL :)

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  12. My oldest son has an obsessive personality and when he was 2 or 3 years old, his obsession was Snow White. He had the record album of the sound track, one of those old LPs with pictures imprinted on the vinyl. He would hurry through his dinner, asked to be excused, and go to his room and put the record on his little Fisher-Price record player. There he would sit, mesmerized, watching the record go around and listening to the songs. In school and at home, he always dressed up in dresses in the home center or in my nightgown and dance around like Snow White. Once, in a doctor's office, he took a plastic apple from a decorative fruit basked on the coffee table, took it over to a perfect stranger, and held it out to her. "Would you like a bite of my poison apple, dearie? Go ahead, take a bite." I decided it had gone too far at that point, so I went home and hid the record at the top of his closet. That took care of it, right? Not exactly. The next time we were in a doctor's waiting room, he sidled up to a stranger and whispered, "I have a Snow White record and it's at the top of my closet and when I'm grown up, I'm going to get it down."

    Not to worry, however. The Snow White obsession did fade a year or two later, only to be replaced by an obsession with Cyndi Lauper. A year later, she was replaced by Madonna, who lasted for at least 2 decades. And, yes, in case you're wondering, he's gay.

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    1. That's my kid--only it's anything pink, to include the singer of the same name!

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  13. Be glad it's not an obsession with horror movies, fantasy movies, rap music or Johny Depp. Heaven help my mother for coming into my room & she hears rap or Johnny Depp's voice.

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  14. We have a Cars freak here although he will do either of the movies. We just went to Carsland for Spring Break. We all loved it. Hope you can take Max.

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  15. My daughter is really into Little Einsteins at the moment and when she is having a bad day/moment I sing the theme song to her over and over.

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  16. I totally hear you. My son has autism and we've fed his obsessions because developmentally we saw something positive happening, e.g. he'd get into a plot and understand sequencing, and then we'd indulge him in it and he would wake up thinking he's Luke Skywalker. Now he's into Harry Potter, which we told ourselves was a good thing because other kids his age like Harry Potter, but again he's gone to the point of no return. We have no one but ourselves to blame since we fed the obsession. We're trying to find a new interest for him and keep ourselves from going overboard.

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  17. This post is both hysterical and adorable! And probably more typical of special needs parents than we realize! I get just as excited as(maybe even more excited than) my daughter does when we spot another item that matches her latest obsession! It's one way we can make our kids happy!

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  18. Elmo is IT at my house with tolerance for Ernie and Cookie monster in a pinch. But for movies he will alternate Elmo with Veggie Tales "Little Joe". Wish we had a bib maker at our school- I order mine online from Mom2Mom and I loved your comment about how well he grasps the dvd!

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  19. Ok, I love this, but I have to ask...why Cars 2? The brand manager in me has to ask why he eschews Cars the original. And what happens with the inevitable Cars 3 comes out?

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  20. I like lime green, insects, and the flute.

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  21. With my daughter it was Cars, the Movie. Did I mention that she was my precious first born, and that I had lovingly filled her room with all things pink & girly? Yet as soon as she was able to make her wishes know it was made clear to me that her favorite color was BLUE and that she was seriously, madly in love with Lightning McQueen. Was this an easy thing for me- I am ashamed to admit it was NOT! We had not one but TWO Birthday parties with a Cars theme, before she moved on to Baby Jaguar (not Diego, mind you, just "Baby Jaguar" which she insisted was her real name.) And I was so relieved because somehow Baby Jaguar was far easier for me to accept than Lightning McQueen! :D BTW- she's 10 now, and her "Toothless the Dragon" phase has just ended- which has me wondering what'll be next! :)

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  22. I totally trust you on this. You seem to be an expert on Cars2. :-)

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  23. All I can say as a mom who recently unexpectedly lost her five year old Phineas and Ferb loving son: embrace it. Because if you should ever be in my shoes, those will be special memories. I gotta admit: it is heartbreaking to read that anyone would complain at all about their child's obsession with anything good or safe. Just please enjoy having a child who is alive and can be a child.

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  24. Mine was Teletubbies. I used to watch it and I had the dolls of the characters.

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  25. 1. Do not let her join cadet band.
    2. Do not let her get a flute.
    3. Do not buy a Rubank Intermediate book for her because Essential Elements got too easy for her.
    4. Do not let her audition for the LVYO-in her first year.
    5. Do not let her go to Desert Winds concerts.

    Me on my obsession with the flute

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  26. My 7 year old kiddo was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism two years ago. She's been obsessed with death, autopsy, mummies, anatomy and physiology for two years. After the first phone call from her teacher about her "disturbing and not normal" answer to the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" question... Her answer was "Bones". Teacher asked her what she meant. "I want to do 'topsies, solve bone puzzles and lock up murderers, okay? Geez." We encourage learning about science but try to downplay knowing what a "Y" incision is.

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Thanks for sharing!



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