on whether TV is bad for kids, but as I am not the kind of parent who can envisage life without the electronic babysitter at least on occasion, let’s accept the consequences whatever they are and move on and think about whether some programmes are better than others.
Yep, they are, namely, those programmes I like to watch, too. Boogie has been allowed way more TV since she graduated from Dora and Diego and – hallelujah – Peppa Pig. The mere repetition in those programmes is enough to induce seizures and compel me to uncharacteristically extol the virtues of playing outside in the rain. She’s now firmly into Scooby Doo and Tom & Jerry which, frankly, I’m all for. I haven’t quite managed to steer her on to Cow & Chicken (the greatest cartoon ever) but, by use of special manipulation techniques known only to select special forces members, I have raised an interest in Spongebob Squarepants, so I’m getting happier all the time.
I can’t remember too clearly (probably because I watched too much TV) whether I watched a lot of TV as a kid, but I did watch my fair share and I seem to have come out OK (well, ish) except for occasionally breaking into ‘Whoah, Bodyfo-orm, Bodyform for Youuuu’ for no apparent reason. And this is now becoming my problem with the Boogie’s TV habits: the adverts.
Aside from the fact that Boogie now advises me, for no apparent reason, to ‘go with the flow not the masses’ (James Villas Holidays) or informs me that I can get all five Muzzy’s free for thirty days (Muzzy Language programmes) which, let’s face it, could be considered cute if you squint enough, she is now well into the stage of wanting everything she sees advertised. And we can take it as read that this sort of mass market advertising is not going to be encouraging gender non-specific plastic crap.
No. We have Barbie, mini Barbie, Gumball’s cottage (or some such nonsense) and all manner of other sugar-pink things hopped around by girls who appear to be on speed. Then we have Gormiti (huh?) and Ben 10 camping sets huffed around by boys in a faux manly fashion. In fairness to Boogie, she herself is outstandingly non-gender specific – she wants everything. But how many times can a mother say no to Barbie and explain why? Frankly, even I’m getting bored.