29 March 2018

Take on T.Veeeee (to the tune of A-ha’s finest ‘Take on Me’)

I don’t want to get into a debate about whether or not children should be allowed to watch TV, but I’m happy to admit that I love the TV.  I’m not saying this as someone who used to work in TV, but simply as a parent as who likes a bit of a break from time to time. I’ll admit that we had some pretty strict rules when Monster was born, husband would frequently tell me that ‘screen time for under 3s is bad’. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about putting it on, but sometimes, it’s what you all need (plus he was at work!) We still had some pretty strict rules about TV with her, only watching things we’d recorded so we could avoid adverts (I wasn’t sure why, but I certainly know now). Then after a while, around 2 1/2 - 3, Monster started to sit still and actually enjoy a fascination with the TV. It all started with Peppa Pig.  

Even now, years later, I can tolerate Peppa. The subtle digs (mostly at Daddy Pig) go a long way to making it bearable, and dare I say, quite amusing?! Back in those days (I can’t believe it, but…) I didn’t have an iphone, I’m pretty sure my phone was just lying around in the kitchen, I certainly wasn’t attached to it like I am now (eek - must rectify that). Anyway, there was no sneaky surfing on the phone behind a cushion, I actually watched the TV with Monster. (Note to self - for balance, make more time to watch TV with Trouble. Kidding).

When Trouble arrived, I had no doubt that we would be watching more TV, while I attempted to breastfeed. Don’t get me wrong, I tried making a ‘special box’ with stickers and colouring and books in for Monster that I would present every time I needed to feed Trouble, but everything required my help and it just became really stressful. Added to that the emergency c-section, the not being able to walk, the non-healing scar, the husband going to the U.S at 6 weeks post baby and I’m pretty sure the T.V was what kept me sane. Oh and we were living in a rented house whilst our house was being renovated and the house didn’t have a TV aerial, so we could only watch ‘on-demand’. Well, I almost lost the plot many hundred times during those first few weeks (months), but TV was a lifeline to remind us all to sit still and chill out a bit.

I was thinking about which television programmes work for me as an adult and which ones I just can’t stand. So here’s the first part of a 2-part series of random charts. (Do love a chart).

CHART 1 - TV Programmes to enjoy with your children, or avoid like the plague… (not a snappy title)

Peppa Pig - Channel 5
5 mins
Yes - only downside is the adverts.  My fave is when Mummy Pig gets Grandpa Pig to cut the lawn because Daddy Pig can’t/won’t do it.  Speaks to me!

Paw Patrol - Channel 5
22-23 mins
As above. Kids seems to like it and I can tolerate it.

Hey Duggee – Cbeebies
7 mins
Awesome graphics & music - who could forget ‘Stick’ rave song? Perfect for all ages.

Patchwork Pals – Cbeebies
4 mins
Short, sweet animation.

Maddy (Do you Know?) – Cbeebies
14 mins
BAFTA winning! SO much learning here, all pitched at the right level for 4-6 year olds (& exec’d by someone I used to work with at the Beeb).  Quality programming.

Nelly & Nora – Cbeebies
7 mins
Lovely lilting Irish accents and sweet animation.

CBeebies pantomimes
45 mins
Decent length for a sit down & a snuggle with the kids, OR to get a few chores done / drink tea and eat biscuits elsewhere.
Go Jetters – Cbeebies
12 mins

SO much learning in this programme! (As a Teacher, I would totally use this in my classroom, given the opportunity). Geography, History, done!

Junior Bake Off – CBBC
30 mins
Bloody brilliant! Monster loves it because it’s got ‘big children’ in it and cake. I watch in awe as 9 year olds make crème pat without lumps.

Frozen Fever - Amazon Prime
7 mins
Harmless spin-off, less painful that watching the full film. Does contain irritating singing and a song that will stick in your head a bit though.

Then the flip-side…



Bing - CBeebies
5 mins
Bing bunny does my head in.  He is so wet. I firmly believe that if your child watches Bing, they will find things to worry about.  Monster used to love fireworks until she realised that Bing was scared of fireworks.  She just didn’t know it was an option.  Now she hates them.  And don’t get me started on balloons - and the fucking ‘bye, bye, box’…. I also can’t stand his carers and their calm, gentle attitude.  When Bing broke Flop’s mobile phone and then hid it in the bin, I was furious, shouting at the TV (in my head) ‘what the hell have you done, Bing?’ Flop said ‘oh dear, never mind’. (Maybe this says more about my style of parenting or my levels of rage than the programme, but still…) Avoid at all costs.

Postman Pat - CBeebies
15 mins
Ugh!  The incompetence.  The repetition.  The stupidity! Just open your eyes Pat, use your ears - when you open the van doors and a piano slides out, you can’t NOT HEAR IT! Even thinking about this has made me reach for the wine.

In The Night Garden – Cbeebies
30 mins
Trippy.  Not a good one to watch with a hangover.  Kids are mesmerised by it. Everything has an illogical name, makes odd sounds and is frankly, freaky.

Teletubbies – Cbeebies
14 minutes

What the fuck is ‘tubby custard’ anyway? SO wrong.

So there you have it.  My take on some of children's TV programmes.  There's a section of 'borderline programmes' like 'Justin's House or 'My Pet and Me' that I can stand a bit of, but I couldn't manage a whole one.  Which ones do it for you and which ones get your goat?  Let me know!

Written by Jenny @mamatomonsterandtrouble 


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