Sunday, August 21, 2005

My little sponge..

Lauren's "drop of golden honey" remark from the cereal post got me thinking. She has always had a really amazing memory. Maybe every kid does this, but since she is my first I wouldn't know. Her memory is freakishly good. She knew how to get to Costco at our new house before my husband did (she was only 2). It is still not uncommon for my husband to ask her how to get places. He is what you might call, navigationally challenged. At one and a half she could drive down the El Camino (our version of Main Street) and point out locations and tell me what was coming next.

"Look mamma, the movie store" (Blockbuster)

"Look mamma, the chicken nugget store" (Jack in the Box).

"Look mamma, the hold the baby store". (Goodwill--I let her hold the baby dolls while we are there, then she has to put them back).

"Look mamma, the macaroni and cheese store" (Boston Market).

As you can see, the had her own names for things, and most of the places she knew involved some kind of food. I guess I didn't cook much then either. The point is, she was and still is a very perceptive child. She has a really, really good memory. I do too so I guess she gets it from me. Unfortunately for me, I only remember really silly things like the name of the sister of my grocery checker, or what I was wearing (or eating) on a memorable event. I hope that we can teach her to use her power for something that actually adds value to the world, like being a mathematician or a gossip columnist.

I have also noticed that she is a marketers dream. She remembers commercials. Seriously. She will remember the songs, the catchphrases and pull them out at a moments notice. She used to call the grocery store the Red store (Safeway) and the Blue store (Albertsons). One day we were in Albertsons, checking out and she shouted "Mom, this is Albertson's because there is a picture of that lady". Sure enough, hanging from the ceiling was an ad with Patricia Heaton on it. Huh? Do they even advertise Albertsons on the Disney Channel? Another time we were sitting down to watch a movie and she said "oh goody, now for the featured presentation".

By the time she was 2 1/2 she could sing the entire song "We belong" by Pat Bennetar, most of the Beetles White Album and several Spice Girls songs (not my fault). One time I was driving down the road and heard from the back seat "What's the best tuna? Chicken of the Sea". Last week we were driving down the road and she saw a Best Western sign "Mom, wherever life takes you Best Western is there".

Maybe every kid does this and I just never knew. She is my first after all. I just wish that there would be commercials that said things like "Barbie loves to clear her plate from the table" or "Elmo never leaves his clothes on the floor". Her head must be so full of catchy jingles that she forgets to do the things that I ask her to do EVERY DAY. This child can remember the preschool that she went to when she was one, outfits she had from when she was two, and the time she got a million splinters in her finger whe she was 21 months old. Can she remember not to sass me? No. Can she remember to speak quietly when the baby is napping. Of course not because there isn't a commercial about that yet (here is a free business idea for all you actor/producers out there. Kind of like the "More You Know" series but for kids).

Obviously she gets this stuff from TV. I am sure that the people who do focus groups and write the is stuff would be proud to know that a 4 year old in California is soaking up every manipulated image and word. Do you know what would make this even better for the test marketers? If she had money.

17 comments:

compulsive writer said...

My advice...let your sweet little sponge watch lots of Barney. The clean-up song can come in quite handy and my baby (6) and I had lots of sweet moments singing the "I Love You Song" to each other (much to the pain of my oldest [16]). I'm going to try to hang onto those memories when my baby is 16.

Bek said...

Thanks compulsive writer. I forgot to mention that she is a huge fan of childrens TV. She could hum the Teletubby theme before she could talk. She still LOVES Barney.

Now that she is 5 I MISS those things. All she wants to do now is talk about Bratz (hate), Babie (indifferent) and Tinkerbell (love).

:-)

lisa v. clark said...

She's smart. It's your fault. And maybe, just maybe, she'll grow up to be Kristen or Ted Casablanca! ;0) Miles and Lauren need to marry and breed superbåbies. . . blonde superbabies.

Christy said...

My 2 1/2 yr. old has a variety of commercials in his repertoire. "Sears. Good Life. Great Price." "Save Big Money at Menards." "Claritin Clear." "Stanley Steemer Makes Carpets Cleaner." When he plays with his teletubby dolls he'll have them pretend to say, "From viewers like you. Thank you."
We only get 2 channels and don't watch TV all day. I tell him to do things a million times a day and each time he looks at me like I'm speaking Portuguese. Maybe I should talk to him in jingles?

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...

sounds like you could make some money off her...put her into a talent agency.

Bek said...

Whew, so it isn't just my kid. I guess they wouldn't market things this way if it didn't work.

I will never forget when Miles turned 4 or 5. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he said "blow pens". Neither Lisa or I knew what they were. He had seen a commercial. :-) Just yesterday we were in Walmart and Lulu saw this bear thing that you can write on and then put in the washer and she basically quoted the commercial while trying to get me to buy it.

Lisa, isn't that what Hitler wanted? Blonde Superbabies? You know that the children of two smart, cute blonde people are just destined to be homley and thick. Murphey's Law!!

wendysue said...

Talk about a marketers dream. . . Madison woke up early a few days ago and was watching TV while I dreamed away. She came in with this little piece of paper and said, "mom, I have to show this to you." I managed to shoo her away for a few more minutes. When I got up she ran up to me and handed me the paper (it was a 1-800 number she had copied off the TV). She said, I think you would really like this mom, it's a ladder called "The Little Giant" and it does so many cool things. . . she went on the recite the whole infomercial!! Maybe I should get her into sales?

Suzie Petunia said...

My daughter has been known to write down 1-800 numbers and quote jingles while trying to persuade me to buy her something, too. I'm really hoping this good memory means she'll soak up knowledge in second grade this year! These smart ones are tough cookies, don't you think? The smarter they are, the more stubborn... They think they're always right. Unfortunately for me (and my not-so-good memory) my daughter usually IS!

Bek said...

Suzi!! You are back. You disappeared for a while--I think it was a vacation in Utah? Right?

How was it? Welcome back.
Rebecca

~j. said...

Are you still taking votes for a Baby Boy name?

Carrie Ann said...

You mean you DON'T give your 4 year old spending money? What kind of mother are you. Do you want her to be made fun of at pre-school? At least you've got her trust started...you DO have her trust started don't you?

Bek said...

Oh Carrie Ann, we had her trust started (and her preschool applications in) before she was born. What kind of parents do you think we are???

YES we are taking votes and ideas for boys names. The next official due date is one week from yesterday...this poor baby needs a name. Help.

~j. said...

Skippington.

Bek said...

Skippy Bingham....if his personality is anything like his brothers that name is very fitting.

I like where you are going with this..

La Yen said...

I found you off of Jenny's blog, and I am so glad to have read this. I WAS that kid, and I have turned out ok, but am still waiting for a paying position where the qualification is being able to recite the old "Pete Ellis Dodge" jingle from LA. (Every time I took a bath I would raise my leg in the air and say "before you dress, Caress." I also studiously avoided saying "I don't know" in case of green slime. To this day my husband calls me the perfect consumer and won't let me order ANTYHING off of tv.)

Christy said...

In regards to your comment on my blog, Bek...Caleb was Mr. T his first Halloween. I made him a onesie that said "I pity the fool!" and we got him some gold chains to wear. It was convenient that he had his own mohawk at the time. I'm glad it finally filled itself in, though.

Good luck with the adoption! Caleb votes for the name Tinky Winky Bingham. A close second is "Wake up Jeff" Bingham. Let us know if either one wins!

cyndi k. wren said...

I have to point out that just today, lauren pointed at Jacob's package of pampers diapers and said "oh wait, I know this one". Then she sang "I've got the power..." Which is technically for the pull-ups but I wouldn't have remembered it...