Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Christmas has arrived in stores

It's true. And it started the day after Hallowe'en. It might seem crass and commercial to you, but for me, it's terrific. Rebecca is thrilled to see all the colourful decorations, the balloons, the videos, the bright lights, and the extra people shopping (already!). For example, our grocery store has been transformed - there is a t.v. display near the entrance, with one of those burning logs videos on - Rebecca likes this. There is a giant pyramid of water bottle crates decorated with festive cookie bags - Rebecca is astounded by this. There are red and green helium balloons near the cheese and meat section, Rebecca tries to steal them.
When I am feeling lazy and take her out shopping in the umbroller to a mall or store, I have to remember to keep her away from stuff she can reach - and boy, does that count for a lot. It can also be challenging to make my way into a store and fit past the displays. That bothers me because the umbroller isn't very large - how would someone in a wheel chair fit? Rebecca almost broke some bottles at the liquor store this week - but frankly, even if I had her in a cart or a large stroller, there would also have been stuff at her level (possibly pricier stuff too).
I have always known that stores do not arrange their merchandise at random. There is a lot of psychology involved (beyond what I presume is common sense choices). This was never so obvious to me as during my most recent grocery expedition. Rebecca was sitting in the cart, and we were waiting while the person ahead of us paid. The person behind us was loading items onto the conveyor belt, so we were essentially trapped. It was then that I heard a noise - the noise of Rebecca grabbing chocolate bars. Rebecca doesn't even eat chocolate bars! I realized that they had been position at the ideal height for a child in a cart to notice them and reach them. With their bright and shiny wrappers, they were an irresistible lure for my baby (wait until she understands what's inside). And what was positioned above them? Dora DVDs. Rebecca may only be 11 months of age, but I already know the power of Dora - why? Not because Becca has ever seen any Dora episodes or things, but because it is the name on the lips of so many children (and their parents). So, the grocery store is evil, if amusingly decked out for the holidays.

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