We bought Small Fry a clock radio for his birthday. It's shaped like a giant Lego brick (a two-er, if you're interested) (red) and it has since become an unexpected source of joy and consternation in our house. As is often the case with such things, the joy is his; the consternation mine.
Small Fry L-O-V-E-S his clock radio. He spends every morning dancing around his room in various stages of undress, and I spend every morning yelling PUT. YOUR. PANTS. ON! RIGHT NOW! But every song is a song he loves, and songs he loves just make him dance around naked. No amount of parental disapproval or threats of tardiness for school are going to change that. He's gonna be a hit in college.
If it was just music, that would be one thing. But there are also ads, and announcements, and news on the radio. Small Fry will come bolting into my room - usually naked - and announce breathlessly, "Mommy! There has been a multi-vehicle collision on the Calf Robe Bridge! Emergency services are on the scene!" then run back to his room to catch the next thrill coming down the pipes.
Thanks to Small Fry's clock radio, we have learned A Great Many Things at our house. We have learned that Calaway Park was opening (dammit!). That a wine festival was happening on the weekend (sweet!). That komodo dragons and a rhinoceros are coming to the Zoo. That McDonald's now offers three delicious flavours of iced frappe: coffee, caramel and vanilla chai tea. That Hooters is the ultimate Father's Day destination ("Mommy, we have to take Daddy to Hooters! My radio told me!"). That if we shop at Old Navy, we could win an incredible Brazilian adventure to the World Cup.
(Good golly. I just commissioned a Brazilian adventure expressly for Father's Day - do I really have to suffer through Old Navy and Hooters too?)
I had sortof forgotten about this Eerily Accurate Recall Stage (EARS) -
Medium Fry went through it too, years ago. Seeing EARS in action again
really strengthens my resolve to limit my children's exposure to
advertising, because I find it seriously disturbing to see just how
effective it is on the impressionable young mind. Just like smoking, I guess you've gotta catch 'em young if you want them to tirelessly campaign to go visit the new rhinoceros or celebrate Father's Day in an olde-tyme fried food and misogyny theme park, because surely no one else is listening.
But he drew a portrait - a loving, detailed, and vaguely Cubist portrait - of his clock radio on the table at Montana's the other night. With the numbers all square like digital clocks show them, and a happy stick version of himself dancing beside it. (Probably naked.) And my resolve to save him from the dangers of Hooters ads weakened.
Besides. I wouldn't have known about that wine festival if he hadn't told me.