It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Marketing Gone Bad

Malli lies on the living room floor, wailing.

“Mine! Mine! My Elmo!”

“Elmo’s in the garbage, honey.”

“My Elmo! Malli take Elmo home!”

“Oh, lovie. Elmo’s all dirty now. You don’t want to take that yukky thing home, do you?”

Stupid question.

“Elmo! Malli take Elmo hoooome!”

I guess I’d been a little hasty when I threw the thing out. I suppose there’s no harm in it. I fish it out, dust it off, put it in a plastic grocery bag.

“Here, Malli. You want to take Elmo home, you can take Elmo home.”

A few moments later, Malli’s mother peers in the bag at the sodden package enclosed there, clicks her tongue and sighs. “It’s Elmo, isn’t it?”

“Yep. She insisted.”

“She’s been fixated for a couple of weeks ago. I’ll sure be glad when we’re through this package.”

Malli’s mummy and I would like to thank the very clever people at Pampers who came up with the idea of putting Elmo on the buttside of their diapers. It’s certainly made our lives much more colourful challenging interesting odiferous loud.

© 2006, Mary P

September 25, 2006 - Posted by | Malli, quirks and quirkiness


  1. I absolutely HATE licensed characters on diapers (oh, and shirts, shoes, pants, etc)! If I found diapers that didn’t leak that didn’t have Elmo or Pooh (although there is an appropriateness to Pooh that amuses me) I’d certainly throw my business in that direction. And my kid doesn’t even care about the characters. Or maybe he’s afraid of them and that’s why he says “I’m scared of my dipe!” almost every time I change him. And kid? I’m the one who is afraid of your dipe.

    Comment by Anne V | September 25, 2006 | Reply

  2. Wow, I have been full of anxiety and Malli’s insistence of sticking with Elmo made me laugh.

    Comment by Peter | September 25, 2006 | Reply

  3. It’s amazing how I’ve not had the pleasure of having this conversation with my own daughter. Thank GOD.

    Comment by ieatcrayonz | September 25, 2006 | Reply

  4. oh my goodness, that is hilarious. and a bit sad. and a bit stinky. but mostly hilarious. 😛

    Comment by kari | September 25, 2006 | Reply

  5. Will of iron, butt of Elmo.

    I have to say, I think we’ll get to enjoy more stories of iron-willed Malli. I’m looking forward to them!

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | September 25, 2006 | Reply

  6. Man, I love Malli — she could have been mine.

    Comment by L. | September 25, 2006 | Reply

  7. LOL – thanks for sharing this great story! I’ll keep it in mind when I’m out buying the next box of diapers for my new fan of ELmo!


    Comment by Lillithmother | September 25, 2006 | Reply

  8. It would have never occurred to me that the diaper would become precious because of the Elmo picture. Clearly, I am not as flexible minded as Malli.

    By the way, I was inspired by your comment on my blog last week to write about cookie dough, and most folks have chimed in to say that they love to eat it too!

    Comment by Lady M | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  9. We didn’t even call our pull ups by a useful name. They were called “Buzz Lightyears” and there was no negotitation in it.

    Comment by sunshine scribe | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  10. My son is close to Malli’s age and he’s never watched SS and he STILL knows who Elmo is. We bought most of his clothes in a giant batch off Ebay so there is a fair showing by the red fuzzy one and I think his teachers and classmates probably helped him with the recognition. It’s nice in some way that pampers now has Elmo on every diaper b/c I read blogs of women where their child would only wear the Elmo diapers and reject Zoe or Big Bird diapers.

    Oh, and if a person is serious about not wanting a diaper with licensed characters, cloth is the way to go. There are so many beautiful patterns and nice colors. The whole reason we did cloth at all was the cuteness of the hammers or firetrucks.

    Comment by Rayne of Terror | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  11. AnneV: I also hate licensed products, of any description. Though I have a Wal-mart income, I LOATHE shopping at Wal-mart (and Zellers, and Bi-Way, and all the cheapo places) because their childrens’ products ALL have licensed characters or at least cutesy pictures on them. Is there some rule out there that we poor folk have to love kitsch? That none of us have taste? There is no possibility of a PLAIN blue t-shirt, or a PLAIN pair of boxers? None at all?

    Drives me MENTAL!!!

    Peter: I hope that whatever has been niggling at you releases soon, and that, like me,(email me privately for the True Facts) despite financial pressures and goodness knows what else, you, too, can relax and enjoy the small pleasures of life. Take a deeeep breath and reeeelax. If I can do it, anyone can…

    Crayonz: I remember that cute shot of the Elmo appearing from above the babe’s elasticized waist, those months ago. TOOO cute. So, yeah, you haved the potential for this convo. Glad it’s not happened. Yet. Heh.

    Kari: A bit stinky, for sure. Not how I sent the stinkiness HOME with MUMMY. Because I am a SMART caregiver. As well as a kind one. Heh.

    Ms. Huis: You are so right. Many more Malli stories, because Mary LOVES the feisty ones, and Malli has feisty in SPADES. She’s so cute! And smart. Just the way I like ’em. Heh.

    L: Don’t you wish blogger did CAPITALS in its comment boxes?? Which one of yours is she most like? She’s most like my youngest, who was feisty as he–ck when she was little. (Still knows her own mind, but doesn’t take it out – yet- on her mumma!)

    Lillithmother: I love your name, BTW. Is “lillith” your daughter, or Adam’s first wife? Malli is the first child I’ve cared for who formed a particular attachment to the licensed character on her butt, but the potential is always there… Uh-huh…

    LadyM: Oooh, I’ll have to go check now! A blog inspired by ME??

    Psst… I’m not sure if Malli is exactly what you could call flexible. A lateral thinker, perhaps, but flexible? No signs of it yet…

    Sunshine: Thank you!! Another good reason for not using pull-ups! Never used them yet, no intention of starting.

    Rayne: I used cloth with my son. (Long tangential explanation of why only the one will not be included here.) Cloth are GREAT. So simple to launder and only the briefest of adjustment periods. But cute patterns? Is that a newer innovation, or am I just cheap? I used the big white flannel squares, just like grandma used. Only bleach I used was the sun, and they sparkled like the dew! Ms. Natural, that’s me…

    Comment by Mary P. | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  12. Wait a second! She couldn’t be put off of the used diaper by, say, a brand new CLEAN Elmo?

    Ew. But funny.

    Comment by Haley | September 26, 2006 | Reply

  13. Huh. We had Pampers for one bag-worth and Pumpkinpie referred to them as “funny diapers” because they had a variety of Sesame characters on them. But now we’re back to Huggies with Winne-the-Pooh and Tigger or Dora underwear.

    Comment by kittenpie | September 27, 2006 | Reply

  14. Haley: Nope. I tried that. Showed her the Elmo on her butt, offered a clean diaper to carry around. No go. She wants the FULL Elmo. Ew.

    Kittenpie: I used cloth for one of my kids, disposables for the other two. Pampers gave them a rash, so it was Huggies or Luvs (do they still make those?) all the way. My favourite was Huggies: nice and roomy, and absorbent.

    Comment by Mary P. | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  15. Mary, cloth is a whole new world now. The cover is often built right into the diaper and is a soft water resistant fabric with any color or pattern under the rainbow.

    Comment by Rayne of Terror | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  16. Rayne: You’re dredging up old memories for me, now! When my kids were in diapers, there was the choice of the preformed fabric ones with velcro closures. I didn’t use them because they were so thick they pretty much had to be done in a dryer, and I prefer line-drying – so much faster and less wasteful. Now that you have me thinking, though, I remember lots of patterns for the formed, thick kind. (Nikki’s is one brand I vaguely remember. I know there were others.) I’d forgotten that possibility existed because I never used them.

    Comment by Mary P. | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  17. I realize I’m commenting on an old post, but it reminded me of the nightmare (and unexpected genius of parents) that occurred in a toddler class I used to teach. We had three children who wore the same brand and size of diapers. One of them was equally Elmo-obsessed, so after witnessing our…umm…struggle, at a birthday party at school, they got together and started sharing diapers. They’d each buy a pack at the same time and split them up, giving all the Elmo ones to the obsessed child and the rest to the others. Thank goodness. It only lasted a couple months, but without their ingenuity, I would have been in a mess.

    Comment by Kelly | March 4, 2009 | Reply

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