Ah, the teachable moment. Why do I always seem to learn from them too?
Recently, in the chaos of a weekday morning, despite a caution, my son spilled grape juice on his khaki pants. Time to learn about stain removal! We went to the laundry. The stain was identifed. I pulled out the stain stick, ready to preach to ...the apparently converted.
"OXY CLEAN!!!!!" My son starts wiggling and waggling and his eyebrows are all up in his forehead with delight.
I think my boy, seven weeks into kindergarten, has just read the label. My eyebrows shoot all up in my forehead with excitement. Yes! Yes! Oxy Clean!
"That's on TV!!!!!!!"
"We have that?!!? I didn't know we had that!!" He is grinning from ear to ear. "I gotta tell my sister. Veev! Veev! We have something from TV!"
Now my son is teaching me, a mother who has spent 17 years making television commercials, five of them for Kool-Aid, the effects of advertising on children (They would they have loved those ads - Oh, Yeah!).
I suddenly understand the Oxy Clean media buy, which seems to own a time slot during Tom & Jerry, which, for my sins, we record. This past weekend my son got marker on my mother's carpet. She got her Spray n' Wash stick. They both watched as the marker stayed in the carpet. My son shook his head. "Grandma, you should have used Oxy Clean."
This compounded teachable moment has led to another about healthy skepticism, and not accepting things at face value. This is a bit much for a boy of 5 to absorb. But so is the concept of car insurance, which apparently he was urged to buy this morning.
The final teachable moment? Perhaps it's time to press pause on Tom & Jerry afterall? Nah, we just mastered fast-forwarding instead.