Yogurt, Word Choice, and NOT Following Instructions

The other day, I succumbed to advertising and bought a pack of yogurt for the promise of “Eat yogurt and then grow your own garden in the cup. Seeds included!”

Being a former marketing person I should have known better, but I digress… 

My five-year-old twins opened up their cups of yogurt, ate it like they hadn’t seen food in days, and then the begging began.

“Canweplanttheseedsnowyoupromisedsowhencanweplanttheseeds?!”

And now, I will share with you how NOT to write directions on how to plant seeds in yogurt cups. (Keep in mind I’ve got bouncing kids at my feet while I’m trying to decipher this bunch of crazy)

1. Remove the seed card attached to the Dan-o-nino cups.

Check. Not so hard to figure out not to feed my kids the plastic package with the seeds inside.

2. Give your child a delicious Dan-o-nino cup and then wash the cup.

Two issues here…

First, is the cup delicious? Silly me, I thought it would be the yogurt, but apparently not since there’s no mention of it.

Second, are they implying I give my kids the cup and then snatch it back, soap and water in hand?

3. Take the seed card out of the foil wrapper and soak the seed card in water for 2-4 hours.

Wow, so you’ve got the kid standing there with their delicious (and clean) cup and then you make them wait? Might have wanted to make this STEP ONE!

On a related note, you’ll be happy to hear that I read ahead and had this handled before we began.

4. Place the piece with seeds into an empty Dan-o-nino cup filled almost to the top with soil. Make sure the seeds are facing up! Then cover the seed card with about a quarter-inch of soil.

Wow, where do I begin with this one?

Let’s start with the empty cup filled with soil. Which is it? Empty? Or filled with soil?

Now onto the card facing up. I’m not a gardener, but I do know my way around a flowerbed. So, I’m looking at this soggy piece of cardboard and there is no indication of which way the seeds would like to face. I’m baffled, so I proceed to squeeze the card. Still no clue, but of course I don’t tell my kids this. I rip the card in half and they dutifully add it to their dirt-filled cups and cover it with soil.

Step five is actually understandable. It concerns sun and water amounts, and states that in one to two weeks we’ll see sprouts.

(I’ll let you know how the seed growth turned out. I’m guessing it’s going to be like the Sea Monkeys you could send away for back in the day. Anyone ever have any luck with those?)

So, now I’ll wrap this post back around to writing. In summary…check your work because word choice is essential!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these instructions and any funny word choice moments you’ve come across.

8 thoughts on “Yogurt, Word Choice, and NOT Following Instructions

  1. Christi, is there any mention of what type of seeds you were planting? Hopefully, it will be something the kids can watch grow all summer. Hopefully, it’s not the fast growing pea plants always used at school because of its speed of sprouting. Most of those just don’t make it into the garden because it’s way to early to plant outside.

    Very interesting post. We have to wonder who writes the blurbs on products. Sometimes, they just make me laugh. You really need common sense to use some these things because the instructions can be misleading.

    I can’t think of any instructions in particular that make me laugh, but I have encountered many over the years that either make me crack a smile or shake my head.

    • Diane,
      You brought up a point I forgot. In addition to all of the silly, there was no mention of what type of seeds we were planting. I have no clue what is going to grow.

      As for instructions, I’ve found the ones telling you how to build furniture to be the absolute worst.

      Thanks for visiting,
      Christi

  2. I am picturing the two kids jumping :) I don’t have a false ad thing as much as a grow and learn thing for the kids …

    When my son was about ten or eleven my wonderful “earth mother” sister-in-law thought it would be a nice idea to give him an aunt farm for his birthday. I should mention I am nothing close to an earth-mother and actually think most of the earth is better off out there somewhere without me digging in it.

    The thought of having a colony of ants digging in a tiny plastic container that anyone might step on or otherwise open made me itch.

    After more than a year I still had not sent to California where these wonderful special ants were located. My son finally said … “don’t worry mom, just get me a new nintendo game and we’re even.”

    This I thought was a perfect solution. He got a new game and my daughter got an empty plastic ant farm as a conversation peice on her bookshelf.

    Speaking of advertising, however, one of my daughter’s friends gave her a Chia Pet for Christmas and when they were at the movies the following weekend mom threw it in the incinerator by “mistake.”

    Seeds, fungus, dirt and all things al-natural are not the playthings of this city gal … have fun :)

  3. Florence,

    Your son’s response of wanting a game instead of the ants made me laugh out loud!

    I had a Chia pet once. It grew a few spindly, straggly strands of some type of herb and then everything died. Then, the hubby bought me the Chia Herb Garden. That failed too.

    I’m now a big fan of getting things that someone else has gotten started :)

    Christi

  4. “Let’s start with the empty cup filled with soil. Which is it? Empty? Or filled with soil?” LOL.

    O Modern Day Advertising, how doth thee confuseth me? Let me count thy ways…..

    Great post. It makes me laugh, the way companies can blatantly disregard common sense. It’s like they don’t even proofread. At the very least they should see if their experiments are repeatable, which is something we learned to do from the 5th Grade Science Fair.

  5. Aloha,

    What’s even funnier is how many hits my website has gotten over the last day from people looking to find out what type of seeds were included (something they forgot to mention). So it seems we’re not the only ones finding them inept :)

    Thanks for visiting,

    Christi

  6. I always enjoy it when I buy a new appliance of some kind, and the instructions are badly translated from Japanese or something. It’s virtually indecipherable and I think… why bother? Just give it to me in the original Japanese, I’ll probably have more luck.

  7. Charlotte,

    I totally understand! I have a working knowledge of Spanish and I’ve found myself checking out that side of the instructions sometimes since that language is so much clearer than English.

    This post is getting tons of hits from Google from the search words of “Dan-o-nino planting instructions” so we’re not alone :)

    Thanks for visiting,
    Christi

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