I remember back in the day when I would let the kids watch a few cartoons in the morning. I loved Noggin. It had zero commercials. But then they grew out of it and now they watch shows that occasionally take commercial breaks so even the DVR can not shelter them from the constant advertisements of toys, clothing and food items.
I also remember taking the time to talk to the kids about commercials and about how they make things look so much more fun then they sometimes really are and the difference between wanting something and needing something. I didn't expect Jadyn to really get it but for Jake, on some level it seemed to sink in.
Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago when I brought Jadyn home a new pair of sneakers for fall - my goal is always to go with cute, stylish and maximum usage ability based on what will go with the largest number of outfits, not to mention that she got Joe's Fred Flintstone feet and still needs wide width, which almost always means her shoes are from Strite-Rite. So I take the shoes out of the box and show them to her for approval and she says, "I love them Mommy. They look just like the Sketchers I saw on TV!". My jaw dropped to the floor. I guess I never realized just how much information they retain from the commercials, especially apparently her.
Then the other day, she had just finished watching an episode of Dora and was getting ready to turn the TV off when a commercial for Moon Dough came on. She promptly stopped me from turning it off and said, "Look Mom! This is the dough that doesn't dry out!".
I simply thought to myself how well she will do when she has to start memorizing stuff for school.
This last week, Joe got bit by the nostalgia bug and bought the game of Life for us to play as a family. The kids got a kick out of it and Jake can pretty much play along and "gets it". We knew Jadyn probably wouldn't understand all of it but of course there was aspects she enjoyed. Joe cheated a little and gave her the career card to be veterinarian, since that is what she wants to be when she grows up but when we told her what her job was going to be, she got upset and said, "No I changed my mind. I want to be Mommy!". Imagine her surprise when we told her that she could choose to be both a vet AND a Mommy. Her face lit up and she squealed in delight and then went on to completely by chance, end up with 5 kids in the game, while Joe and I both only had one baby and Jake remained childless (as well as insisting on calling his wife his girlfriend for whatever reason).
Sometimes you just have to laugh at it.