Latimer: I have this ritual at the weekends. For maybe an hour I watch Jamie Oliver cookery programs, while relaxing with a cup of tea. I sit on the lovely comfortable couch and blissfully salivate over Jamie’s lovely food, thinking; “yes, I could make that… oh that’s yummy!”
But lately, my nieces (who might be over in the house visiting) will pop into the room and the following will happen (in this case it was my two-year-old niece E)….
‘cbeebies’- that’s the BBC baby’s channel and it’s one of the first words any of my nieces seem to have learned. You know after ‘mammy’ and ‘daddy’ it’s ‘cbeebies’!
My first reaction…
Then I’m arguing with a two-year-old, trying to convince her of the merits of watching food being cooked. Her only response is to repeat herself more adamantly.
There’s nothing else I can do in the face of her continuous repeating of the word. I give in and we start watching one of her favourite programs, ‘Mr Tumble’.
This is what I learned about the show – Mr Tumble dresses in polka-dots, lives in a house filled with polka-dots (and my thought was, ‘I wonder do they rent that house just for that one shot? Or does BBC own the house… do they have to stick the polka-dots on everyday?’), he uses sign language (which I tried to learn) and has a magic bag.
Well E was very happy, me not so much.
I have been happily detached from baby TV for, well, since I was a baby. But now, with baby nieces and nephews, I think I could tell you what’s popular among the 1-4 year olds!
I sat there watching Mr Tumble, thinking; “this is actually painful!”
Mr Tumble has a friend on the show called Justin.
And actually, Justin IS Mr Tumble (same actor). I got to the point where I was trying to convince my niece that Justin was Mr Tumble (it was the only enjoyment I could get out of having to watch the show), but she was having none of it! She basically thought I was a fool to think they were the same person (bested by a two-year-old who stopped listening!).
She’s probably learning a lot from the show. I’m sure baby TV taught me a lot too. Like I actually remember watching Bosco (an old Irish show that was from the 70s but re-run in the 80s and 90s so weirdly it feels like everyone in Ireland remembers Bosco).
(It still makes me smile)
I also remember one of my sisters accusing me later in life that; “Oh yes, when Bosco was on we had to change the channel so Latimer could watch it.”
Okay, so I was grateful that people let me watch Bosco, so I guess I have to do the same and let the kids watch cbeebies.
One day I’ll be accusing E of denying me Jamie Oliver and I’ll still be insisting that Justin was Mr Tumble, maybe she’ll finally agree with me!