Poor kids nowadays- they can’t get away from it even if they try. Dora shoes, Spongebob back packs, t-shirts with Barbie, pants with Tinkerbell. Our commercial culture starts early- really early. How many people do you know who had Winny-the-Pooh themed decor in the nursery?
As a parent, it is difficult and time-consuming to try and keep all of the messages away from my children. But, gosh darn it, I AM gonna try because despite the immense amount of energy required- I just want to keep my kid’s childhoods ad-free for a little longer.
And so, after each birthday, items gifted by well-meaning but misguided friends and relatives are in turn donated to someone else who isn’t as anal as me. Television is blessedly commercial-free thanks to Netflix, and when I can’t find something I need at the store that isn’t a walking advertizement for some silly show or candy coated cereal, I whip out the ‘ol sewing machine and spend some time making it myself.
Calixa’s back pack this year is one of the easiest things I’ve ever sewn. I found the pattern online and used fabrics I already had at home- the lining came from an abandoned dress-making project and the outer fabric came from one of my mother’s old scarves. The total cost (not counting time) was about $5 which I spent on the fabric covered button and the d-rings. The advantage of this pattern is that while the dimensions given are just perfect for a little person- you can easily alter them to accommodate a larger sack.
Cally absolutely loves her backpack- mostly because she got to pick the sparkly pink fabric by herself. It’s one-of-a-kind, made with love and blessedly free of any and all forms of consumer indoctrination. I know I can’t keep her away from the North American ‘you have to buy things to be happy‘ mentality forever but I hope that if I try hard enough while the kids are young maybe they’ll remember their roots when they are all grown up and use a different perspective when trying to figure out what this life is all about.