This is Olaf.
He is small, friendly and 100% adorable. He is a film star and is adored by the multitudes.
Multitudes of kids that is.... parents aren't so fussed.
He is currently present in my life in a variety of forms: He's on my telly 24/7, he's singing in my car on loop, he is stuffed with cotton wool, he appears in miniature plastic figurine form, he's blown up and filled with helium, he's floating in my bathtub and he's in my digestive system having been plastered as icing on a giant slab of cake. He is there when I close my eyes and is thrust in my face when I wake.
He is the reason why my son is happy and he is also the reason why I shall be bankrupt by Christmas and why I will inevitably end up eating out of a dustbin for the rest of my days.
They say that it costs £222,458 pounds to raise a child from birth to the age of 21. I am fairly certain that a large chunk of this obscene amount goes straight in the pockets of Mr Walt Disney...oh, and in the pockets of the LEGO guy (and if we're honest, on wine...for motivation and support)
My son recently had his 5th birthday party and Olaf was the featured guest. I just opened my bank statement and gasped at the horror of my Olaf expenditure.
Here it is:
1. Frozen DVD £10.00
2. Stuffed Olaf Teddy £20.00
3. Olaf Pyjamas £10.00
4. Olaf Onesie £9.00
5. Frozen Plastic Figurines. £23.99
6. Giant Olaf Balloon £7.00
7. Frozen Playing Cards. £1.99
8. Frozen Singalong CD £4.99
9. Olaf Birthday Cake £9.99
10. Frozen book with figurines £5.00
11. Frozen Cup and bowl set £8.00
12. Olaf shaped partridge in an Olaf shaped pear tree (nah, just kiddin)
Walt Disney....you're HAVING OLAF!!!!
How can six plastic figures smaller than the size of a human finger cost £23.99!!? How can a snowman-shaped bag of cotton wool with fur on it cost a whopping £20?
How can it be that I, a fully functioning and semi intelligent adult, have been conned into coughing up such a large sum for such a pile of worthless junk? Am I a total moron?!
The answer is no.
I am a parent.
Walt wasn't a moron either. On the contrary, the fella was a purely devious genius. He knew full well what he was doing.
Firstly, he knew that parents love their kids with such intensity that they would do almost anything to bring them joy.
Secondly, he knew that kids were simple creatures. Bright colours, tinky tonk music and fluffy teddies with googly eyes and smiley faces would easily draw them in like moths to a flame. More importantly, Walt knew that if they don't get what they want, kids can become rather difficult (gross understatement)
Thirdly, Walt knew that parents like us wouldn't have slept in years. He knew that we would be weak from crippling exhaustion and mental anguish, having been tortured by endless toddler tantrums and monumental meltdowns . He knew that we would have all developed mild wine/chocolate/ pie addictions and that we would all crave peace....just ten minutes of blissful silence. He knew that we would do whatever it took to achieve this. He could smell our desperation.
And so he created the Disney Store.
Ever since, the entire population of knackered, defenceless parents have been queuing out of the doors of his shops like rows of lambs heading for slaughter.We stand there for hours, heads hung low and we empty our wallets without a second thought and leave with bags full of overpriced plastic and cotton wool.
We take it home and our kids spend hours playing with the packaging. The contents eventually get some attention.
They are happy, and we have peace. At least for now.
Today it's Olaf....tomorrow who knows?! Buzz Lightyear? Minecraft? LEGO?....Please, NOT Loom Bands!..£20 for a box of rubber bands is just taking the piss. Deep down, I know that I am just too tired to argue and it wouldn't take much for me to give in. I'm weak and so are you. Walt knew it.
Thanks a bunch Walt.
I bet you're (o) laffing in your diamond encrusted coffin at us all. I hope your bed of gold bullion is massively uncomfortable!