Not unlike many parents out there, I make full use of my children's designated TV time by quickly cleaning up the chaos they have made and making their meals before they turn into ravenous beasts and start eating the furniture.
However, after noticing several behavioral changes, I had to ask myself “Are they watching too much television?” My children do have many fun activities inside and outside of the house, but they still love the television. I am no authority on the matter because before having children the only television that I watched was the heavy metal music channels.
However, if parenthood has taught me anything, it is that cartoon creators have some extremely vivid imaginations. If you are a fully-fledged 90's kid like myself, you were raised on the life's blood that was Ed, Edd & Eddy or even Ren & Stimpy, which offered us hours of fun and only got better as you grew old enough to understand the references and many of us watched cartoons day and night. But it was only after taking a few minutes to truly bask in the obscurity of toddler's TV, did I realise just how much children’s TV has changed over the years.
Now, instead of the triple “E” trio, we have a micro-pig with a borderline mute brother and an annoyingly bossy rabbit. I do wonder why that fluffy, white, pain in the bum is always barking orders? Why does she need so many jobs? You begin to wonder what it is she is saving up for...Is it a house? Is it a boat? I mean, seriously, is there a Mr Bunny somewhere with a severe gambling addiction? Or does she have an online bingo problem? Is Grandpa pig blackmailing her? He always has money to fix his ship and yet has no job. What is it? I need to know.
Okay, I will admit that I may have gotten swept away with the character back story, but that bunny has such an attitude that you do have to wonder what happened to her to make her so highly strung. Whatever it is, the show has my children enthralled for 20 minutes a day. They sit the entire time, oinking at the screen and intermittently shouting to me "Mommy pig, can I have a drink please?". I will admit that after the first three hundred times of being called mommy pig it began to damage my ego a little ... I'm not proud of it but, there were a few tears shed while standing in front of a mirror, eating a cake, wondering "What have I become?" Fat ...the answer is fat.
My children have become so addicted to these shows that I have found that they are adopting the characteristics of these strange lopsided creatures, even given their limited exposure to them. Once, my son was completely taken with one particularly psychedelic show. He once found a red blanket in the cubby and dragged it around for a whole week while pretending that he was his favourite character shouting "SQUEAK".
I can tell you from experience, that at 3am when you are half asleep and you have a 2ft tall, crooked looking, shadow rushing at you in the dark while dragging something behind them and hissing the word "squeak”, it is enough to make you want to sleep with the lights on from then on.
I still cannot watch CBeebies.