Twenty Questions I Have Asked Myself Whilst Watching Kids’ TV


Children’s television.  Not a day goes past when I don’t wonder whether I have ruined my beloved child for life by plonking him in front of In The Night Garden at ten weeks old in a futile attempt to persuade him that going to beddy-bye-byes before 11pm was a really good idea.

Let’s just say that the glassy-eyed vacant CBeebies stare of his youth has now been replaced by a virulent strain of standing too close to the television and being buffeted by the “television rays” (they are a thing, according to my mother), gazing catatonically at anything involving cartoons, large vehicles, cut-price Gladiators replacements on early Saturday evening ITV or swarms of terrifying insects, and most devastating of all to his future as one of the world’s foremost intellectuals, repeated requests each morning to watch “choo choos” on Mummy’s phone.

It’s not all bad though.  The future may be bleak, but my knowledge of contemporary children’s television programming is reaching Mastermind levels of specialist knowledge.  Or at least I’d do better than the hapless contestant on Celebrity Mastermind the other day, whose grand score of three on the specialist subject round I proudly matched, even though the subject in question was the life and times of Arsenal football club, and I haven’t properly sat through a football match since that time the Romanian team all dyed their hair blonde at Euro ’96.  Are footballers still wearing plasters on their noses?  Anyway, I digress, ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you, from the fount of my new-found superior knowledge of the world of baseball cap-wearing puppies saving the world in recycling lorries and bizarre towns and islands populated by talking trains, twenty of the questions I have asked myself whilst watching children’s television.  You’re welcome.

  1. Why does Katie Morag only have one outfit?  Are things really that tough on the Isle of Struay?
  2. And why is it a kilt?  Stereotyping, much?
  3. And is her poor brother actually sewn into that onesie?
  4. Why did they change the theme tune to Thomas and Friends?  Some things really were better in the old days.
  5. Why is it necessary to distinguish between male and female characters in shows where the characters are all animals, planes, etc, by elongating the female characters’ eyelashes?  Is that what defines us women, a bundle of eyelashes?
  6. How has Baby Jake’s mother not gone completely insane and thrown herself off the top of that lighthouse, living in there with eight children?
  7. And while we’re on the theme of lighthouses, do the residents of Pontypandy have superhuman strength that enables them to cling to the side of lighthouses, edges of cliffs, etc, for hours on end or is Fireman Sam just really quick at rescuing?
  8. How much council tax are they paying in Pontypandy?  The helicopter costs alone must be astronomical.
  9. Or does Norman Price foot the bill every time he calls out the mountain rescue for one of his naughty exploits?
  10. Why does the token woman (or female dog, to be precise) in Paw Patrol need to be pink? Really?
  11. What does everyone see in Mr Bloom?  There’s something very fishy about a bloke who talks to vegetables, if you ask me.
  12. Did the makers of Ruff-Ruff, Tweet and Dave run out of names when they got to that last one, or did they just not know what noise a panda makes?
  13. What noise does a panda make anyway?  Surely it’s not “Dave”?
  14. Am I the only one who thought Lucas from Eastenders was the famous one in Old Jack’s Boat?
  15. Did anyone else notice that Aunt Lizzy in Teacup Travels is Bridget Jones’ mum?
  16. And can anyone else not exactly put their finger on what it is that they hate about Topsy and Tim, but just know that they loathe everything about it?
  17. Are there any kids’ TV programmes that actually pass the Bechdel test?
  18. Am I the only one who thinks it actually looks quite fun to be a member of Peppa Pig’s family?
  19. Where are Charlie and Lola’s parents?
  20. Sarah and Duck? The mind literally boggles.  Any TV programme that involves a talking cake is a friend of mine.

So there we are.  My mind is literally overflowing with children’s television.  So much so, that I don’t think I can actually understand grown ups’ programmes anymore.  Forget box sets.  I’ll be watching endless re-runs of My Family on CBeebies and sticking pins in my eyes.  My version of Netflix and chill involves calming a hysterical toddler with Blaze and the Monster Machines while I try to cook dinner.  Television, I surrender.  You belong to the tiny tyrant now.

21 Comments Add yours

  1. Alina says:

    I wonder myself every day of my baby is getting way too hung up on In the night garden and any Tiny Pop cartoon. She wants to be glued to the TV if possible and when she watches something she likes I am afraid she just goes in her own world. She refuses to answer when called. She nods as to let you know she heard you but she doesn’t want to be bothered ?

    1. Min says:

      At least it keeps them quiet and content when you need to do something else for 10 minutes or so!

  2. Rebecca says:

    I’ve decided not to worry about how much TV the Little Man is watching as the pay-off is I’ve discovered the wonderous, multi-colour joy that is Hey Duggee. The Boy likes the start and end, but gets bored with the rest of it, whereas I could watch it for hours (and may have done so with the DVDs he got for Christmas). If he’s going to be a TV addict, then at least I can saw I’ve drawn the line at only watching things I like

    1. Min says:

      I try to make that a rule as well. There are some things on Netflix I have literally banned him from watching. And Mr Tumble frequently earns a switch off from me too. I’ve heard of Hey Duggee but not seen it so I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one!

  3. Count yourself lucky Min, you at least get some variety in your Cbeebies watching. Cygnet has a tantrum unless he is allowed to watch Bing. He even has a favourite episode – ‘Not Yours’. I think it has something to do with Bing steeling a lollipop which Cygnet dreams of doing. It reminds him of being with his dad. His dad used to give him lollipops (of the chubba chup variety) until I went ballistic and downloaded loads of stuff on the internet about sugar and lollies and said that if Cygnet has to have teeth removed I would blame his dad.

    Anyway, I’d like to be able to watch Katie Morag, but I am only a woman and I am only the mother. The chances of this mother ever having the remote were slim to non-existent by the time Cygnet was 2 weeks old.

    Pen x

    1. Min says:

      Oh no! I am lucky that I do get ultimate control of the remote, even if it doesn’t feel like it when Piglet is screeching and demanding “CHOO CHOOS” (Thomas and Friends) or “NEE-NOR” (Fireman Sam) and the top of his lungs. Weirdly, today he seemed to be loving watching Rick Stein’s Long Weekends on BBC2 so perhaps his tastes are evolving.

  4. I find myself asking lots of questions too!! We tend to watch Disney junior and My Little Lady is into Peppa pig at the minute and we’ve been watching Petter Rabbit over the last 24hrs!! Xxx

    1. Min says:

      24 hours of Peter Rabbit! That definitely deserves some sort of medal. Peppa seems to be very popular, although not one of Piglet’s faves.

  5. Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol seem to be a hit with all kids! The Twirlywoos is another fav in our house. Actually now I think about it. it seems any show with non verbal characters and a narrator win the day! Twirlywoos, ITNG and Hoopla Doopla! Not sure about some of the others you mentioned, not sure if we have them in Aus or I just managed to avoid them by not having Cbeebies at home 🙂

    1. Min says:

      Paw Patrol is a winner with mine as well-it’s basically just a mash up of all Piglet’s favourite things, so can hardly fail really! Thanks for commenting.

  6. Yes, the Thomas theme tune. Why?

    1. Min says:

      Exactly! It was great before-why change it?

  7. The Thomas theme tune is awful!

    1. Min says:

      I KNOW! Bring back the old one, I say!

  8. We’re on CBBC now and Cbeebies/milkshake doesn’t get much of a look in now. My major beef was with kerwhizz and why they’d bother having a scripted quiz show for kids?

    1. Min says:

      Ooh I’ve not seen Kerwhizz-will have to check that one out!

  9. Bec Webb says:

    You seem to have missed off 2 more. 1. Why does Pando always take his pants off in Bing? And 2. Why does Flop never ever ever EVER F’ING EVER correct Bing when he ALWAYS says things wrong?
    Griped much? YES! ?
    Great list. Very funny!

    1. Min says:

      Hahaha yes, Bing has been saying things wrong forever! When will he ever learn? Thanks for commenting!

  10. My ongoing debate is ‘are there any activities that Duggee does NOT have a badge for?’. I often think that if he did actually speak, it would definitely be Stephen Fry’s voice.

    1. Min says:

      None that are worthy of kids TV, I’d imagine. I imagine him to be the dad from Family Guy!

  11. I had serious anger /envy issues towards Mummy Pig because she had it sweet in life especially in my tougher days. For real!!

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