No More Commercial Television

Apologies for my large gap in posts. I took a sabbatical as I was executing, and subsequently recovering from, another Brazilian Birthday Party. More about the event, and the alarming eruption of materialism that comes with throwing a large birthday party for a child, later.

On the topic of materialism…

My daughter informed me that she wanted Santa to bring her a big truck that she can drive. She saw this on television.

When we lived in the U.S., she never watched commercial television. We have Apple TV, which allows us to buy kids shows, and we had access to a commercial-free Disney channel. We also had an arsenal of DVDs. Luckily, little ones have no problem watching the same things over and over.

In Brazil, we let her watch regular kids channels because we though it would help her learn Portuguese. But it mostly helped her create a list of things she wants. The items on the list are not limited to toys, but include horrible pseudo-foods like Cheetos. She’s also begun to recommend household products, like toilet bowl cleansers.

I had only caught the tail end of the commercial that ignited the desire for a truck that she could drive. As we are getting closer and closer to Christmas, this morning I went into one of the big chain toy stores to see what I might be dealing with. The truck is HUGE. Not only do I not know where on earth she would “drive” this thing, as we do not live on a farm, but I have no idea where we would store it when it wasn’t in use! Oh yeah, and it costs R$900. (I don’t think so.)

So no more commercial television. I’ll start renting kids DVDs in Portuguese from the place around the corner. Only problem now is how to explain why Santa didn’t bring what she requested, as we’ve already written the letter to him that included a truck that she could drive and a baby doll.

Maybe I’ll just be honest and tell her Santa couldn’t fit the damn thing in his sleigh.

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15 Responses to No More Commercial Television

  1. Y aknow, I relly htink you are being stingy about the truck. Angelina and Brad just ought their kid a tank for his 7th birthday. The least you could do is a truck!

  2. Alex says:

    I missed you! I’m glad you’re back!

    And about your daughter and the truck… least it isn’t a truck that tells her to smile and calls people while you are sleeping. Just saying.


  3. Meredith says:

    LOL about the toilet bowl cleaner.

    I guess the truck won’t make it there, but the baby doll can, right? Just not one of the creepy ones you’ve posted here :).

  4. Shelley says:

    At my daughter’s parent teacher meeting, one of the coordinators said that in Brazil, children make the majority of the decisions about what products to purchase while grocery shopping. Crazy! I think that marketing is targeted towards children children, children watch a lot of TV, and that Brazilian parents here are not as “rigid” as Rachel said. Hence, the kids are ruling the roost when it comes to purchases…

    • Wow! If that were the case we’d be eating Cheetos for every meal (she’s fascinated by that particular commercial because it shows how they “make” Cheetos – she’s actually dragged me from another room to show me) and use the stuff with the duck on it for everything. I know that U.S. advertisers market to kids too, otherwise MacDonald’s might not still be in business, but this is my first experience with it and I’m dazed and confused.

  5. Shelley says:

    I love hearing my children talking to the TV, “I want that, and that, and that…”

  6. Danielle says:

    R$900?!?!!??! I think it’d be cheaper to take her to Hopi Hari every day for the whole year.

  7. Insane, right? Even if I were willing to shell out the R$900, I can’t ignore the fact that we have a nearly unused tricycle and scooter in our “maid’s room” because there really is no place close by to ride these items. All I need is a gigantic, unused truck to trip over as well when I’m going to dig out a roll of toilet paper.

  8. My daughter wants an iPad. An iPad. I don’t have an iPad. I don’t have an iPhone. My Blackberry has a cracked screen and I plan to use it for as long as I possibly can. I think I may need to tell her that Santa knows what she will enjoy the most, and that Angry Birds is not as much fun as she thinks. Wish me luck.

    • Oh my. Good luck with that. I tried to explain to Sophia that Santa wasn’t going to be able to get that big truck she wants down the chimney. And she responded with “He can use the door.” Now she doesn’t want to go up to the mountains for X-mas where my father-in-law has a house with a chimney, because she figures if we stay in our apartment for X-mas, Santa will HAVE to use the door. They will out smart us.

  9. I came from a working class family, and we always got some toys. I remember th year I got Jenny and Mary dolls- it was exactly what I wanted! Isn’t it strange how high the bar has been raised? From $30 worth of dolls to iPads and trucks? I’m still giggling over ‘he can use the door’, however. lolololol

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