Taking Stock with Rob Stocks - July 4, 2011

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Sometimes there’s no substitute for a bit of good old-fashioned laziness.

Take Saturday morning as a prime example.

The perfect dad in me might want to get out and about and make the most of a weekend with The Munchkin, but the dominant lazy slob has other ideas.

That’s why most weekends you’ll find me hiding under a blanket on the sofa while she gets her fill of kids’ telly.

Saturday morning is one of the few parental responsibilities I’m allowed to carry out on my own – in fact it’s positively encouraged by My Good Wife. In my fluffy cocoon, I struggle to doze through the programmes – hard enough with the peppy presenters, but virtually impossible through the adverts.

If you think adults get the hard sell, then spare a thought for the little ones.

Subtlety clearly isn’t an art highly valued in the children’s ad sector – it’s loud, brash and undeniably effective.

And it really is a surprise what they’ll try and flog to youngsters these days.

Amid the promotions for shoes (the ones with the free make up), toys (pink for girls, gross for boys) and video games (way too complicated for adults to comprehend), there’s one which stands out.

For a little under £20, youngsters can acquire their very own caterpillars and a jar – in which they eventually transform into butterflies (unless of course they die).

Now, call me a cynic, but, last time I checked, the caterpillars outside were still going for free – as were old jam jars. It might sound tight, but I can’t say there’s real value for money in paying someone to go out and hunt down three furry bugs

Surely that’s the kind of activity I should be doing with The Munchkin on a Saturday morning – when instead I’m hiding under a blanket from Peppa Pig.

Maybe there’s money to be made online indulging lazy parents and inquisitive little ones.

Heck, I think there’s even wonga to be bagged from the older kids – flogging spiders (with legs ready to pull off) and ants (free magnifying glass with every box).

Not that I condone such behaviour, you understand, but boys will be boys.

However, I can’t help but think insects in a box is taking a little bit of the fun out of the whole experience.

Isn’t it always better to go out and find something yourself – particularly when it’s a chance to get outdoors in the all-too-short British summer?

Yes, there’s no substitute for a bit of laziness but, I’ll admit, there’s plenty of times when it just goes a little bit too far.

rob.stocks@ blackpoolgazette.co.uk