CBeebies Takes Over My Brain

I write this in a state of frenzied insomnia brought about by the theme tune to My Pet and Me whirling around incessantly in my head.

It’s quite a catchy tune, that.

So is The Time Has Come to Say Goodnight. And Goodbye Sun, Hello Moon.  And come to think of it Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures has a certain ring to it too, and Octonauts, and Charlie and Lola, Topsy and Tim and my personal favourite In The Night Garden, which has not one but a multitude of bangin’ choons*, AND dances!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have been watching a LOT of CBeebies.

It all started innocently enough.  I convinced myself that In The Night Garden was the elusive secret to getting a baby to sleep, the Holy Grail of Naptime, if you will, based on little more than hearsay that this was A Thing that all parents swore by and a Code of Parenthood that I had to follow. By the time he was three months, Piglet was having his bouncy chair turned to face Iggle Piggle and his motley band of differently-sized friends each evening, despite the fact that he never went to sleep before 8pm at the earliest, and was frequently still fighting it at 10pm or later.

In the night garden
It worked! Clearly this had everything to do with Iggle Piggle and nothing to do with the 20 minutes I spent rocking him.

Then later, when I went back to work, it became part of the evening routine of keeping him entertained while I made dinner, and by the time he was ten months old he knew the group dance and was performing it dutifully whilst clinging to the TV stand for support, face just inches from the television screen.

CBeebies
Enough of this nonsense Mummy.  Can I watch that Sex and the City box set now?

Fast forward another eight months and he now rises from his slumbers in the morning, reaches for the nearest toy and points at the television, shouting and gesturing loudly until the nearest adult-usually Granny these days-switches it on.

And all the time there is a little nagging voice in my head saying BAN UNDER-THREES FROM WATCHING TELEVISION, SAYS STUDY (The Guardian, 2012) , FRANCE BANS BABY TV (Babycentre, 2008) OH MY GOD YOU ARE RAISING A MONSTER.  YOU ARE A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING.  CAN’T YOU SIT AND DO SOME CRAFTS OR SOMETHING LIKE A GOOD MUMMY? (Me, 2016).

I tried, I really did.  I made a promise to myself that Piglet and I would be that civilised family, the two of us sat round an enormous oak table in a palatial dining room in my Imaginary Future House with two floors and an upstairs bathroom and everything, dinner set out in front of us on matching crockery, passing the salad bowl (we would be using proper tongs, no tossing the salad about with a mere fork here) to each other whilst discussing Piglet’s day at school, his thoughts on the refugee crisis** and what we thought of the Budget.  There would be no screens, not even the Six ‘O Clock News.  It would be intellectual conversation and impeccable table manners all the way.

That promise lasted approximately two weeks into our weaning “journey.”

And my what a journey it was.  Still is.  Today for example, I had to duck whilst being assailed with flying cups of water, lasagne (Plan A dinner, took an hour and a half to make, and 30 seconds for Piglet to reject, and banana (that was the Plan B dinner), before wearily handing over the second chocolate chip brioche of the day.  And that was WITH the distraction of the Night Garden.

Looks like the impeccable table manners are going to take a bit of time to develop, and in the meantime, distraction is key.  I have written about this before, but what I failed to mention was that it isn’t just mealtimes.  CBeebies has now infiltrated every aspect of life.

Need to change a nappy?  Try the In The Night Garden app.  Dinner taking a long time to cook?  Don’t worry!  The Clangers is on.  Getting a bit bored with his toys?  Mr Tumble will give him a new lease of life.  The television has literally become the ultimate babysitter.

Next week: Piglet demands an iPad.

*deliberate misspelling.  The 90s are back.  Didn’t you know?  I’m even wearing berry lipstick again.

**Hopefully it will have ended by then, but regrettably, there’s bound to be another one.

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40 Comments Add yours

  1. Hannah G says:

    This sounds just like my life, except my little one now likes to switch between CBeebies and Disney Juniors so I now have a whole new array of kids TV theme tunes in my head 24/7! And don’t worry, the table manners will get better 🙂 #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Thanks! I needed to hear that=especially after the last few days when he has refused any hot food, and simply grabbed the plate and thrown the whole thing!

  2. imatwinmama says:

    Haha I can relate to this post! I’ve given up with plates recently and just tip the food onto the highchair tray. Plus I’ve started hoovering up the mush that ends up on the floor (that can’t be good for the hoover lol). I genuinely don’t think I could get any of my chores done without CBeebies!

    1. Min says:

      This sounds ridiculous, but my mother won’t let me tip the food straight onto the highchair tray when she is around, as she hovers desperately trying to stop Piglet from throwing or dropping anything onto her carpet. It is a NIGHTMARE. We then end up arguing and Piglet takes advantage of the situation by refusing to eat. The joys of living with your mother. Argh!

  3. BecomeMum says:

    I find it so hard not to tune into TV all the time, I feel your pain. I can;t get through the afternoon crazy time without a bit of ABCkids (might be the equivalent of CBeebies?) #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Sounds like it. Piglet just likes to have the TV on, even when he isn’t watching it.

  4. yvonne says:

    Look forward to piglet on the iPad 🙂 My kids make me sing the cbeebies song every night in bed before I switch the lights off, it has become part of our bedtime routine! Oh and as for when I am making dinner, I rely on CBeebies from stopping the kids fighting one another. I have developed a particular irrational hatred for the Topsy and Tim theme tune though (which I am now singing to myself argh!!) 🙂 #abitofeverything xx

    1. Min says:

      I have to admit the Topsy and Tim theme tune is one of my faves, although the programme itself is an endless source of disappointment purely because it isn’t the books, which I read when I was growing up. I find myself constantly wondering when Tansy is going to show up, and when Tony Welch is going to show his true colours as the naughty boy who is Topsy and Tim’s nemesis rather that Tim’s goody two shoes best friend.

  5. It creeps in slowly and then before you know it, you’re battling for the remote! At least there’s no adverts, steer clear of channel 5 if you can, otherwise you get ‘I want that – and that – and that,’ every ad break. They repeat shows ad infinitum. Just ask Miles Jupp, he’s permanently Archie the inventor from Balamory. #showandtell

    1. Min says:

      Good advice. I will avoid Channel 5 like the plague. That said, I’ve got the children’s TV bug now so might be easier said than done. I spent this afternoon watching Postman Pat on repeat and complaining about how it isn’t as good as the old one.

  6. Ah yes, starting innocently with a bit of Night Garden and then descending into the murky depths of Ruff Ruff Tweet and Dave and Waybuloo. You need an intervention when your kids find Milkshake (Channel 5), as this really is the beginning of the end! #coolmumsclub

    1. Min says:

      That was exactly how it was for us: started with Night garden, then Waybaloo, then Old Jack’s Boat, and now I can basically recite the TV schedules by heart!

  7. Talya says:

    Totally have had moments like this – promise you are not alone! I still sing Goodnight Sun at every bedtime…thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub chick x

    1. Min says:

      Sounds like CBeebies on night and day is fairly standard-such a relief! x

  8. That’s me too with my kids! I even knew the songs and all the characters etc…but hey, my three are now older and they haven’t grown an extra head or anything! And my #3 would only eat a jam sandwich or cereal every day for dinner for a period of time. Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Thanks for commenting. Such a relief to hear that yours was a fussy eater and is OK now. I know Piglet’s fine, but it’s difficult not to worry.

  9. Emma says:

    Oh how I remember those days, and the worry, and the exhaustion. You know what I’ve learned over the last 10 years? All that really matters is that your kids know you love them; everything else is nothing in comparison. Try not to worry.

    1. Min says:

      Thank you, that’s good to hear.

  10. Mine started with Night Garden, then Peppa Pig and now Dora the Explorer. The theme tunes get more annoying the older they get! I give my 3 year old TV and IPad time when I need to get dinner ready etc. I find they need that downtime too to help them settle at night just like I do!

    1. Min says:

      I quite like Dora and Peppa I have to say, although that is based purely on knowledge of the books, as I haven’t seen the TV shows. Only a matter of time I’m sure!

  11. laura dove says:

    Same here, cbeebies even haunts my dreams these days! I even find myself sat there watching it when the kids are long asleep or busy playing with their toys. It has well and truly numbed my brain! #fridayfrolics

    1. Min says:

      Tell me about it. I wouldn’t be without it though. Piglet had a meltdown on the bus earlier today, and the only thing that would calm him down was the In the Night garden app. Long live CBeebies!

  12. The ipad is my saviour. If Peppa doesn’t entertain the little one whilst I sort dinner than all of my kitchen cupboards are emptied faster than you can say chicken dippers 😉 Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    1. Min says:

      Haha, I know that feeling. We’ve got these makeshift locks on the cupboards and it’s like a Charlie Chaplin movie in the kitchen with me running around trying to lock them all before Piglet gets to them!

  13. I do laugh a bit if friends say they aren’t going to let their children watch tv …they’ll soon learn I think! I don’t think I would ever be able to take a shower if it wasn’t for Andy’s dinosaur Adventures on the ipad!

    1. Min says:

      Yes, I do know one or two (OK one) family who have allegedly stuck to this rule, but not in England so they obviously don’t have CBeebies. Poor them, I say. Realistically I am not ever going to spend every second of every day cooing over Piglet and teaching him crafts (I can’t even do crafts myself) so television it is.

  14. Awww… don’t be too hard on yourself Min. I’m the same! lol! Evelyn would at first sit at the highchair so nicely – really check my IG – it is filled with her sitting on the highchair at her early stages, but now she found her freedom – nothing will keep her seated! So guessed what? I’ve turned to Cbeebies for help. Now, she would eat anything as long as there is Cbeebies! So typical! lol! At least they are fed and happy that’s what count most – right? 🙂 Thank you again Min for linking up and sharing your mama experiences with #FabFridayPost. x x

    1. Min says:

      It’s funny what we end up doing just to get them to eat. Piglet will do anything to avoid it sometimes, so it’s just a case of whatever I can do without getting too stressed!

  15. Oh God yes! Just this! My kids think that there is only one channel on our telly. CBeebies is my friend and I heart it a lot!! I have such great intentions but then….. Pleased I’m not alone! Thanks for sharing x
    #justanotherlinky

    1. Min says:

      You’re definitely not alone! Thanks for commenting.

  16. Orana says:

    Cbeebies is the best channel on TV by far. I used to also put my little one in front of The Night Garden hoping he would falls asleep. It only worked some of the time. #fabfridaypost

    1. Min says:

      I don’t think it’s ever really worked for us, but the app did stop him screaming on the bus yesterday, so it has it’s uses!

  17. Don’t worry about it. TV is a normal part of modern day life. I think as long as what they are watching is age appropriate and the parents do also play/ read etc with their kids – a bit of TV is fine. Great even. Our two year is currently obsessed with Topsy and Tim that intro drives me crazy #FabFridayPost

    1. Min says:

      Piglet loves Topsy and Tim too. I find it a bit dull to watch but I have to admit I enjoy the theme tune!

  18. As I read this my 2 year old is asleep in me and CBeebies is on in the background lol!! Thank you for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

    1. Min says:

      Standard! Exactly the same with my little one. I frequently get stuck watching CBeebies with him asleep on me.

  19. Oh yes CBeebies. I was so good, no TV during the day at all for the first 3 years and now ……. #SSAA

    1. Min says:

      3 years?! I lasted days!

  20. Oh yes, totally emphasise with this. It was a mandatory thing for us all to join in with the Night Garden dances.
    Good old CBeebies, I never would have got anything done without it!
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

    1. Min says:

      Me neither. The Night Garden us usually on when we’re having dinner (or more accurately, when Piglet is refusing to eat his) and he always demands to come out of his high chair when the group dance starts!

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