Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Marketing Fairy

As we veer around the proverbial block for the second time, I have decided that there is another, not-so-mythical creature in the ranks of the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Clause. And I swear, this one is real.

We first (unwittingly) crossed paths with the Marketing Fairy about three years ago. One day, Clare was a two-and-a-half year old who liked Dora and the Care Bears, watched The Wiggles, and generally lived a well-rounded life. Overnight, she was somewhat obsessed with Disney Princesses. Tableware, pajamas, books, toys - anything we would permit to cross our threshold, she coveted. And of course the movies! Oh, did she love to watch those movies. Her poor babysitter had to watch Sleeping Beauty more times than I have fingers - and we didn't have a babysitter all that often. I do credit the combination of the movies and the princess panties with finally getting her over her potty-training issues. But I have really enjoyed the last nine months or so, when the princess fervor has died down significantly.

Naturally, such parental peace rarely lasts more than a millisecond. Sometime in the last month or two, the Marketing Fairy struck again, this time with a shot of testosterone. Spider Man is the man of the hour, as far as Danny is concerned, with Batman a close second. Our superhero arsenal is currently limited to too-small pajamas, a motorcycle toy that is one of Danny's all-time favorites, and now valentines. Because really, nothing says romance and love like a man with weirdly goggled eyes and red tights who spews spider webs. (He does, right? I better get this straight soon.)

I was tempted in the past to blame the influence of older cousins for Clare's princess interest, and then the Plummer Boys for Danny's superhero fascination. But these older kids were clearly touched themselves, and so it really seems obvious: it's the work of an unseen but all-powerful force. I'm starting to think President Obama should make the Marketing Fairy a Cabinet member.

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