Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stupidity on the Bounty. *Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.)

I am not now, never have been, and never will be a mom.

But if I had been a mom, it would have been back in the Dark Ages, when kids were not allowed – let alone encouraged – to blow bubbles in their milk.

This is on my mind because of what is – to my mind, at least – an extremely daffy, perhaps even warped, ad for Bounty paper towels.

I’m having a hard time getting the YouTube embed to work, but if you go to this URL, or – failing that – Google “Bounty TV commercial, chocolate milk” and you’ll see what I’m talking ‘bout.

Here’s the plot:

Mom stands in the kitchen, beaming fondly at her sons, the older of whom is loudly blowing bubbles into his chocolate – of course, it’s chocolate! – milk. While big brother does his reverse straw thing, his toddler little bro chortles, “Again, again.”

We then cut to chocolate milk cascading over the side of the kitchen table, while beaming, benevolent, mom’s voice over asks,

“When we’re having this much fun, why quit?”

Come on.

I understand that I’m an old fogey, and that none of my old fogey friends who happen to be moms would have ever – not in a million years – condoned, let alone encouraged, this sort of behavior. Believe me, it would have been nipped in the bud well before that chocolate milk began Niagara Fallsing onto the kitchen floor, that’s for sure.

I can even imagine what the real life voice over would have been:

“Knock it off.”

“I told you to knock it off.”

“Okay, that’s it. I’ve had it. No more chocolate milk. No more straw. You’re done.”

It’s easy for me to imagine this scenario because, even though I am not now, never have been, and never will be a mom, I have been around kids in many different capacities: older sister, cousin, aunt, babysitter, friend-of-the-mom, friend-of-the-dad. And in one of those capacities, I actually had direct, up close and personal experience with the annoyance that is bubble blowing – an experience I remember quite well, even though it occurred about 40 years ago.

My roommate and I were taking care of her nieces – who were then maybe four and two – for the weekend.

Now, these were darling little girls: cute, sweet, funny, easy to take care for.

But this was Sunday afternoon, and Becca and Sam were getting a bit antsy to see their folks.

Anyway, we had given the girls plain old boring white milk with their lunch, but cool auntie and roommate that we were, we also gave them straws.

Well, Samantha – the four year old – started blowing bubbles in her milk. Quite aggressively, I might ad.

Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the humidity. Maybe it was the exhaustion of having spent the last 48 hours with kids who, while darling, were also completely and mind-numbingly exhausting. Or maybe it’s just that there are few sounds more grating to the adult ear, few actions that look more like a minor accident waiting to minorly happen, than that of a kid quite aggressively blowing bubbles into their milk.

Anyway, I asked Sam – very reasonably and calmly – to knock it off.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

Still reasonably, but a bit less calmly, I resubmitted my request.

Same response on her side:

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

I then said something along the lines of, you know, Sam, there’s nothing inherently wrong with blowing bubbles in your milk, but it’s really getting on my nerves, and if you don’t cease and desist, I’M GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE STRAW AND MILK AWAY FROM YOU.

At this point, Samantha gave me a withering look and said, “I want my mommy.”

I well remember my answer. Verbatim.

“You know, Sam, that right about now, there’s no one who wants your mommy more than I do.”

As I stated above, and as I do believe, there is really nothing inherently wrong with blowing bubbles in your milk. In fact, it is inherently fun. But it’s also – at least when folks are tired, and nerves are frayed, which I do believe are typical conditions found in the mothers of small children – really, really annoying.

The annoyance factor, of course, makes blowing bubbles more entertaining and fun for the kiddos. As well I know.

In fact, one of the few times that I – goody two shoes – got in trouble in grammar school, was when I got the goat of Sister Aloysius St. James by blowing bubbles into the little half pint of milk that we enjoyed at recess. (I suspect I was not the only second-grader blowing bubbles in my milk, but I was one of the kids she yelled at. (Meanie!)

In any case, I really doubt that there is a mom – even a thoroughly modern mom – on the face of the earth who would actually encourage her kids to blow bubbles in chocolate milk, especially when it got to the point of spillover.

The Bounty ad ends with creativity-encouraging, “self-esteem” promoting, buddy-buddy  mom sitting there with her toddler, urging him to blow bubbles in his chocolate milk, while mom cheers him on, “Again.”

I don’t care if Bounty is two times more absorbent than the other leading brand. I don’t care if it’s the quicker picker-upper.

I cannot imagine any mother in her right mind urging her kids to blow up a big  froth of bubble-icious chocolate milk.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree! And I think you would have been a terrific mom if you would have chosen to have children. I have two girls and I would never have allowed that nonsense when they were that age. I gave them a plastic cup to play in the bathtub with. They can pour, spill do whatever in the tub! No mopping up. Haha.