There’s something I’ve got to get off my chest. It’s very much a first world problem, but one that I think many other parents experience on a daily basis nonetheless. I’m sick of food packaging that has cartoon characters on. There’s a direct correlation between the presence of some fictional person/talking animal and an extended mealtime plus subsequent tears before bedtime. And, yes, the tears are often mine.
Now before I go on, I realise that there are plenty of foodstuffs that haven’t been plastered with cartoons, but the ones we get are usually on multi-buy discounts and we’re on a budget. Right, I’m free to continue venting my spleen… Yoghurts are the biggest culprits. My kids seem to base their choices on who is on the pot rather than the flavour inside and, of course, they always want the same one. It’s not as if the characters in question are at all representative of what they can expect to be eating – for example, Peppa Pig is strawberry when she should clearly be bacon.
Then there are the ones that come in tubes. Not only do they result in the grim situation where you have to help your child finish them and inevitably get a combination of spit and yoghurt dribbled on your hands, they’re also a complete lottery. There’s always a random number of each character in every box. They often come in odd numbers too – how is that helpful with two children? It’s almost as if the executives of these yoghurty empires were once sat in their offices and one of them said “You know what would really upset parents? An odd number and only one of the lead character in each pack. Bwa, ha, haaaa!”
Kate got the boys some boxes of raisins with Disney characters on them for their packed lunches recently. I really don’t like Disney, but they were cheaper than the other options so it was fair enough. Except for the fact that they won’t eat the ones with Minnie Mouse on – simply because she’s not either her fella or his dog. Now, every time I open the cupboard to get stuff for my packed lunch, I’m greeted with five or six copies of her stupid face looking at me. I’m seriously contemplating putting a mousetrap in there to see what happens. Again, there’s the issue of the product inside not having anything to do with the character on the front. Although raisins may look like rodent faeces, they’re actually grapes that could have gone to much better use.
To balance this out a bit, I’m going to concede that there’s at least one positive example of things for young children being festooned with images of their favourite cartoon characters. The nappies that Xander has at the moment have Dora the Explorer and Diego on them – and I can’t think of a better use for images of those two. Try saying that two ways, Dora!