Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The Power of DisMAY
Like a terrorist on "24", the Disney Marketing Around Youth (DisMAY) machine unleashed a powerful nuke on our household yesterday. We had no idea of the true strength of the machine, until my wife decided to throw out Natalie's toothbrush.
It started when Jessica decided to get pinkeye. Though not overly serious, pinkeye is highly contagious. My wife felt it would be wise to scrub the kids' bathroom and, while she was at it, toss out the kids' toothbrushes and replace them with fresh ones. That was a mistake.
Natalie had selected her Disney Princess toothbrush, with an image of Aurora of Sleeping Beauty fame on it, during a visit to Target about two weeks ago. Mind you she put more thought into the selection of this toothbrush than I will probably put into the purchase of my next car. And she was not ready to part with it.
My wife had already purchased a replacement toothbrush, and it was in fact a Cinderella model. Not good enough. Natalie was in the Aurora zone, and she wasn't interested in second best. She is quite picky about her princess branding. My wife also failed to inform Natalie of what she was doing, so the kid discovered Aurora in the trash, discarded like so much old salad.
"Why is my Aurora toothbrush in the trash???!!!" She exclaimed. We tried to explain the reasoning behind the new toothbrush, but she would have none of it. "But I just got it! I'm not ready to part with it!!!!! You can't throw it out!!!!"
We argued and reasoned with her, and finally (we thought) convinced her to leave it in the trash and accept Cinderella as a stand-in until the next toothbrush purchase opportunity. But Natalie had another plan in mind.
Only a couple of minutes after the screaming died down, she announced she had to go to the bathroom. I noticed that when she did, she closed the bathroom door. This is not normal for her, and I knew what was on her mind (you see, I often think like a six-year-old) She was enacting a plan to free Aurora from her state of refuse. Natalie "flushed", then left the bathroom and turned the corner, headed down the hall. I popped my head into the bathroom to see a trash can devoid of toothbrushes.
"Natalie!" I bellowed. "Bring it back!"
This prompted more screaming and tantrums, a lengthy timeout, a lecture on dental hygiene, and even a eulogy for a dead toothbrush. when she finally calmed down, she pulled out her art kit, and drew a picture of her Aurora toothbrush to enshrine upon her bathroom mirror like so many presidential portraits gracing the walls of the Capitol building.
And people wonder why we haven't gotten a dog yet.