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A new kind of sticker shock in our house

Submitted by on Tuesday, 17 February 2009 No Comment
stickersA friend who bought Big Guy a pack of stickers three years ago was astounded at his lack of joy.

"I don't get it. My kids love stickers."

Turns out, she was just too early. Oh, if she could see the house now.

There are Lightening McQueen sticker covering Boots' bed. I don't mind - it's his bed, it fits with the race-car theme and at least they come off easily.

There are police cars covering the kitchen floor. I do mind - a half hour of scraping and I still can't get them all off.

There are construction workers digging into letters and dinosaurs plastered on envelopes. SpongeBob holds court on one car seat, Batman on the other.

I think it's fair to say stickers have taken over.

Who can blame the guys? Has anyone ever received a sticker for a bad reason? It's a classic example of the value of good public relations.

Sure, the guys' pediatrician distributes stickers after they get shots, but that's more like the carrot after the stick. Or, in Big Guy's case, the lollipop after the stick, since he hates carrots.

Otherwise, though, they're pure bliss.

A sticker says "good job." A sticker says "way to go." A sticker says it's a card from Mawmaw that's probably going to have a five-dollar bill inside. A sticker lets you torture your mom by plastering them all over her for as long as she'll sit still - it's relatively low-grade as far as torture goes.

I've blatantly cultivated the addiction, using stickers and charts for everything from potty training to savings. My new plan for a sticker chart to encourage household help kicked off the latest fest.

I hit the Oriental Trading Web site, planning to buy only stickers for the chart, but immediately got sucked in.  Christmas sets on sale for $1 - wonder if I'll actually be able to find them next year? Rolls of a hundred smiley stickers for $2.49. A 10-roll "super sticker" assortment for $15. I didn't get that one. Some looked a little too creepy for the guys' ages.

Really, I need to set parental controls on that site to keep me away. It's my kiddy crack cocaine, just like the King Arthur site feeds my kitchen gear addiction. At least there's usually a free shipping offer from Oriental Trading hanging around my inbox.

And at least the stickers keep the guys happily sticking away for ages. I like that they're a low-cost, high-impact reward that doesn't rot their teeth.

As far as household damage, well, I'll just deal with it. Maybe I'll luck out one of these days and a freecycler will actually want a race-car bed with Lightning McQueen stickers already applied.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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