December 9, 2008


I'm generally a big fan of The Disney Channel on cable. Turn it on, plunk the kids down, and get a half hour of work done. The morning shows don't even have commercials on during them. But they really kill you with the few minutes of airtime after the show is over. As soon as "Tigger and Pooh" ends, a bevy of short, public service type ads roll out in front of your child's vacant eyes. Remember to exercise. Being nice is cool. Apples are the new ice cream. You get my drift. Apparently they are running a new blurb about being eco-friendly. I only know because I'm one of the victims of the ad.

Out of nowhere, my four year old Pixie has started following me around the apartment turning off light switches. "We need to save electricity, mom," she says. "No we don't," I respond.

Imagine I'm going to the kitchen to make her a sandwich. She follows me, turning off the lights behind me, and when I get to the kitchen she flicks on the switch so I can see the peanut butter deep in the cabinet. I reach for the peanut butter. Off goes the light.

"Are you done now," she asks?
"I haven't even gotten the bread yet."
"You need to hurry and finish. We need to save electricity."
"Honey, it's fine if I have the lights on in the kitchen. Please turn them back on."
"But we have to turn out the light to save the electricity!"
"No. We don't."
"But mo-om!"

And around and around we go. Living with her is like living in that dream where you can only see 10 feet in any direction and the rest is obscured in darkness. She truly believes that electricity is on the same level as the endangered panda or perms. How could I treat it so wastefully? Heaven help me if she ever learns about recycling.

She's in bed asleep now so I have the entire front of the house lit up like a Viking pyre. I can't help but revel in the hum of precious electricity as it comes to it's pointless doom in my light bulbs. Just goes to show, parents should spend more time passing down their vices and less time with the television on. I should have known better.


S'mee said...

ah yes I remember those kinds of days well. When the Hygienist was about 5 she burst into tears because of my "drinking and driving!" (sodas) and also great concern for her little 2 year old sister who had a "drinking problem and need help." (constantlt spilling.



Kelly said...

They are smart about the advertising, for sure. I have now been informed by both my kids and my friend's little girl that I need an aqua-globe for my plants. A what? I didn't even know what it was, but it was a commercial in between whatever they were watching. Very clever, huh? And no, I didn't get the aqua globe.

1stdaughter said...

Yeah, well, you may want to be prepared for the recycling bug because not only do they have an energy saving "PSA", but they also have a recycling one as well. So, good luck! Eeck, I'm so glad my son is only a year and a half and hasn't figured this stuff out yet, I think I'd pull my hair out!

Janell said...

Just tell her the tv runs on electricity!

Hollywood said...

Genius, Janell. Sheer Genius.

flip flop mama said...

Instead of the TV drilling that in my daughters head, that was me. I hate having lights on in rooms where no one is, so I make her turn them off when she leaves a room--except for the kitchen or the living room which need lights on most of the time for ambiance. But if I leave the bathroom light on while I go to the bedroom for something-planning on coming back-she'll tell me, "You need to turn the light off mom!" LOL Oh how impressionable they are :)

Clyde said...

Don't worry about recycling, not yet... elementary shool will take care of her green education. For sure!

Colleen said...

I remember being the light switch police when I was a wee lass. I still have to check my tendencies from time to time. I definitely don't skimp when it comes to keeping my house at a comfortable temperature though. 74 degrees, baby, year round. I'm not going to freeze/roast just to save a few bucks.

Lisa Loo said...

Viking pyre--I had to go look that one up. Just wait till she makes you pee in the dark---very scary stuff.....

Michemily said...

I'm so glad to have your witty writing back!

bythelbs said...

It is kind of scary how easily kids are indoctrinated.

Hey, at least she wasn't asking you to buy anything.

Boy Mom said...

My favorite scold from my children is probably a combination of public service announcements and animal planet. "Mom, don't kill that spider, bugs have rights too ya know!"

Explaining that technically spiders aren't bugs doesn't help.

CJ said...

You have some weird ads on your page!

chattypatra said...

Hahaha! Oh, gosh, I still turn off the lights when I leave a room - except in Winter, when this small, stupid apartment gets so dark that it drives me nuts!

You can imagine how Winter makes me feel, having lived most of my life on a tropical island (where of course, it didn't matter if all the lights were off, there was so much sunlight!).

Jillybean said...

Sounds like we need to get the Disney channel. My kids walk around turning all of the lights on. At night I go around and turn off all of the lights after the kids go to bed, yet in the morning, they're on again.

Emily C said...

I'm with Janell--tell her the TV runs on electricity! And it takes much, much more than a light bulb does!

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