Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Perspective changes

There are things you don't really notice until your perspective changes, just a little bit. Changes you don't notice until you're there.
Take, for example, the Barbie aisle. Our girls aren't there yet, but are edging toward it. I acknowledge this, and while not a big fan of Barbie (as another mom put it, "Barbie never ends"), at least she's been monogamous, to college, a career woman, a bride, a mom, and well-traveled.
But she doesn't seem to be the clotheshorse she once was. I noticed a variety of dolls and lines, but no clothes sold separately. What happened? That was part of the fun! Were the clothes discontinued because the profit margin was too narrow? Was I just in the wrong store?
Another example is the coloring book market. Yes, there are still coloring books marketed for every personality that might be remotely familiar to any child (and some who shouldn't be so familiar), but there's a new component to those racks.
The workbooks. When did these come about? Am I just noticing them now as a parent and homeschooler? Seriously, folks, if you haven't been to that department in your local grocery/department store, check it out. You can get a fair shake at a whole early elementary education curriculum from your friendly neighborhood Kmart. Language arts, math, health, science, flash cards, the whole schtick. No joke.
Now, because I'm the kind of person I am, I wonder why. It can't be all the homeschooling market, it's not that big (yet). Seriously, if every homeschooling kid got their entire curriculum from the grocery store, that would be what, two million? Three? In a nation of how many? Three hundred million, says the voice from the back of the room. One percent of the population? It can't be the homeschooling market.
So is it the "helicopter" parents, those whose kids are in violin, soccer, and oil painting by the time they're four in order to give little Ashleigh a head start? Would that be enough? Hmm. Maybe. But when would they have time around enrichment lessons and parents' work?
Or is it the rest of the parents? The ones who see invented spelling and fuzzy math and watered down "social studies" instead of real spelling, math, or history? It seems they would be the biggest market.

Hm. One of those things I wonder about.



At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ashleigh" or "Cody" or "Taylor" or "Kendra" or "Tyler" or whatever. Yuck. Where do they come up with these names?

Somebody at work the other day was saying how she just loved "names that could be for either a boy or a girl!!!!"

My head is going to explode. Sorry, off topic. (/rant)

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Steve, you're okay. As a former schoolteacher, those androgynous names get on my nerves, too. Taylor, Hunter, Dakota, Jamie, etc. confused the snot out of me. I didn't know whether I was looking for a boy or a girl!
(Jamie as a nickname for James is okay.)

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Milehimama said...

What really cracks me up, is one of my kids is named "Patrick" ... and someone at the grocery store once remarked, "What an unusual name".
What planet do they live on every March 17?

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Patrick? You saddled your poor child with a name like Patrick?

Why not something more normal and easier to say, like Aloysius, Athanasius, or Boniface? Then there's still Eusebius, Josaphat, Kessog, and Procopius.

I'm kidding. How did you keep a straight face?


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