Imust congratulate the people who write children’s TV programmes, they have the ability to penetrate your brain like gritty KGB operatives.
A few years on from round one of watching toddler television, it’s time for the sequel and if I’m being honest I’m not adverse to bumbling bright colours, relentless repetition and plinky plonky melodies.
At 10 months old, Jack has just started to take notice of the TV and thankfully, it manages to retain his gaze for at least 15 seconds (which is 14 seconds more than anything else in the house).
After he’s dismantled the fireplace, rammed a gooey hand into the DVD player and tried ramming Barbie’s foot up his nose again, kids programmes offer a welcome break for everyone involved.
As a family we’re not really avid television viewers (I’ve never seen an episode of Coronation Street and the last time I saw Eastenders, Arthur Fowler was having his wicked way), but it’s saved my bacon on many occasions.
When your child is demanding entertainment before 6am on a Saturday morning, the box can be like a responsible caring aunt, who is willing to entertain the kids while you lie face down on the sofa drifting in and out of consciousness.
John Logie Baird may not have had bleary-eyed parents in mind when he set to work on the flickering silver screen, but millions of us owe him, big time. In fact if it wasn’t for him, I’d be spending my weekend mornings sticking wheat-based products to toilet roll tubes – it’s fun at first, but the novelty wears off after three years.
The selection of programmes available today is a god-send. As a child of the seventies and eighties, the choices were simple, you had no choice.
As a habitual early riser, Sunday mornings used to break my heart.
BBC1 would offer Asian Magazine, as much as I admire the BBC for offering cultural and ethnic diversity, did the Asian community really want to get up at 6am on a Sunday? I doubt it.
BBC2 played out Open University. No matter how you try and jazz it up, remembering Pi to 12 decimal places can never be classed as entertainment for normal people.
Finally, the solitary ITV channel would broadcast Farmers’ Digest, I’ve never been a farmer, but surely aren’t farmers out farming at 6am?
As a six-year-old in 1979, I’d stick with ITV, learning how to remedy mastitis in cows (ideal for a kid living in Baffins), whilst excitedly looking forward to the adverts.
Fortunately, today’s programmes are overflowing with engaging, fun and educational content. Maybe the fact that my 10 month old and I are as equally entertained by the same programme, speaks more about me than the quality of the programme…