Anger · Listography

Listography – Five Kids Shows Which Make Me Want to Stick a Hot Poker in My Eyes and Ears.

It’s no secret that we allow Sausage to watch TV, and there are a few firm favourites which will always get airtime, shows like Peppa Pig, Waybuloo, In the Night Garden, Yo Gabba Gabba, ZingZillas, and best of all, Octonauts, to name but a few. But there are those shows which I find so desperately irritating, that I try to steer Sausage away from watching them, for the sake of my own sanity. Without further ado, here are my Top 5.

5. Dora the Explorer.

If I could meet Dora in real life, I would have just one question for her: “WHY ARE YOU FUCKING SHOUTING?!” Seriously, did nobody teach her about using her indoor voice? And if that wasn’t bad enough, the bi-lingual irritant then starts shouting at me in spanish. Not that I have a problem with spanish, but it’s bad enough when she shouts in a language that I can understand, let alone one I can’t. Do us a favour, Dora, take a fricking chill pill, find your internal volume control and ask your mate, the BackPack, to think of a less irritating song. Ta.

4. Show Me, Show Me.

If there’s one thing that is sure to make me despise a children’s TV show, it’s the wide-eyed patronisation of its viewers, the assumption that most kids are dribbling morons and only understand one-syllable words. Meet Chris and Pui. They fart around with stuffed animals for 30 minutes in their playroom (why do two grown ups have a playroom full of pre-school toys?) and treat your kid like a moron. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Pui was the actor inside Teletubby Po.

3. Mister Maker

Mister Maker is exactly the type of show I would have loved when I was a kid. As an adult, I despite Mister Maker and the whole premise of the show. Some fat cat at the BBC said “I know, let’s make a show which teaches children how to make rubbish, generic ‘art’, based on the assumption that every family has it in their budget to buy £50 of craft materials a week and saves every empty container that ever passes through the house. And to make it even better, we’ll front it with the worlds’ most irritating presenter. It’s sure to be a hit!” The bloke who plays Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher, appears to have gone to the Dustin Diamond school of acting, as his idea of being ‘down with the kids’ is to talk as though his voice is breaking and he has an unfortunate facial palsy.

2. Grandpa in my Pocket.

I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculous the premise of this show is. Basically, Grandpa, (played by James Bolam who, frankly, I thought would know better) lives with his Grandson, and owns a magical shrinking cap which allows him to shrink down and get into all sorts of magical scrapes, because as well as allowing him to shrink, this magical cap also allows him to turn ordinary toys into working vehicles. The other inhabitants of the village are generally involved, including Mr. Liker Biker, played by none other than Mister Maker himself, who acts as though he was dropped on his head as a baby, and an inventor who is clearly senile. It really is the worst kind of crap, and for some inexplicable reason, no one else must know about the shrinking cap, so every single poxy episode revolves around the irritating kids trying to cover up for his granddad.  YAWN.

1. The Bopps.

If it’s ageing musicians with no conversation skills your kids are after then tune into The Bopps. These ill-advised fuckwits, who inexplicably cannot talk, but have no trouble with singing (although I say no trouble, it’s no trouble if you like the sound of a bag of cats being swung against a wall) march around, getting themselves into minor scrapes wearing strange multicoloured satin versions of a  Beatles-esque uniform and singing songs which seemingly have no relation to any theme of the show. The female singer, who wears satin pedal pushers *shivers*, has a mouth like a cats bumhole from what has obviously been a long love affair with the fags and the other three look like geography teachers with the shittest hair you’ve ever seen. Even Sausage shouts “OH NO, NOT THE BOPPS” when it comes on telly.


I can’t let this post go without giving an honorable mention to the bedtime song on Nick Jr, The Jimmer Jammers. I won’t go into detail about the hideously off-key singing, the children who look strangely possessed, or the set which wouldn’t look wholely out of place in Beetlejuice, I’ll just let you see for yourself.


So there you have it, that’s my list, now it’s your turn, what makes your blood boil? For the rest of this weeks Listography entries, click on the link below.


A Note on Mortality (or ‘Why I’ll Never Buy Another Hamster’)

We’re lucky enough to live really close to family, like, 30 doors away close, and Husband’s Aunt has kids aged 7, 9 and 12, so Sausage loves to go round there and play. Aunty has two hamsters and about 9 months ago, Sausage became fascinated with them, deciding that she wanted one. Now, my daughter may only be two and a half, but she’s a single-minded little bugger (like her Mummy…) and for weeks, all she could talk about was hamsters.

Naturally, when Sausage wants something, I want her to have it, so I started on at Husband about getting her one, and being the exceptionally wonderful Husband and Father that he is, he obliged by buying Sausage the most palatial cage you’ve ever seen, three floors no less. I managed to find a couple who rehomed unwanted rodents and they happened to have a young female, who we adopted and named Happy. She’s a lovely little thing and apart from her Steve McQueen tendency to escape (that’s a whole other story…!) she’s fitted in well with our little family.

There’s only one problem. Hamsters, on average, have a life span of anything from 18 months to three years, and if you’re any good at maths, you can work out that if she was 6 months old when we got her 9 months ago, she’s now 15 months, and potentially near the end of her life cycle. And that thought, I just cannot shake. When we got her, she lived in our sitting room, but we decided that it wasn’t hygienic as our kitchen, though a separate room, is kind of in our sitting room, and we didn’t like the thought of there being rodent poo that close to the place we prepare food. So we moved her to Sausage’s play room, and though she’s perfectly happy in there, it’s a bit chilly, so we cover her up when she’s asleep.

And every time I lift that cover up, I expect her to be dead.

I know it’s ridiculously morbid and I should just forget about it, but I think it’s partly to do with the fact that I just won’t know what to do with her on the fateful and unfortunate day that I do discover that she’s slipped off this mortal coil. And further more, it’s been making me think about my own mortality, which, considering I’m prone to a wee bit of madness anyway, probably isn’t the most healthy train of thought for me!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Happy, I do, but in a way, and I’m loathe to admit this, I think I’ll be relieved when she passes (as long as it’s a natural occurence after a long and happy life, you understand) because I won’t have this sense of foreboding everyday. Selfish isn’t it? Please don’t think that I’m wishing her dead, I’m really not, I just..oh, I don’t know, I just know that I’ll be glad when I don’t have to do a daily investigation into whether my pet has become an ex-pet.

And there’ll be none of this ‘replacing her with another, almost identical, hamster for ten years so as not to upset Sausage, until one day she asks us if her hamster is immortal’ bollocks. We’ll explain it to her somehow, without scaring or upsetting her….but then that’s going to be easier said than done, isn’t it?

God. Who’s bright idea was this hamster-ownership lark, anyway?!

Life · Opinion · Parenting · Personal · Rant

A Winning Mentality.

This morning, as we often do, Sausage and I were watching Peppa Pig over breakfast. It was the episode where Peppa has a Sports Day at her nursery, and Daddy Pig said something that really got me thinking:

It’s not the winning that counts, but the taking part.

Now, I may come across a bit Tiger Mom here, but I think that is utter rubbish. I understand the sentiment of the statement, and I agree that taking part is important, but what are we teaching our kids if we tell them that they don’t have to reach for the sky, that they don’t have to be all they can be? Shouldn’t we at least be telling them to try to win? And if we don’t encourage them to compete, aren’t we giving the message that we don’t think that they can?

My parents taught me that if you’re taking part, you should be doing everything you can to win and I’ll admit, I’m an extremely competitive person. I’ve been known to get the serious hump when losing at Trivial Pursuit, and these days, Husband and I don’t play so much Scrabble as he tends to beat me and I fear for our relationship! I once managed to alienate a whole room full of people by goading, heckling and victory dancing during a ‘friendly’ game of Buzz on the PS2 (which I went on to win, by a country mile, by the way). So maybe my level of competitiveness isn’t great, but I’d never be happy with mediocrity, and I don’t want my child to be either.

When I was 14, I played netball for a local womens team, and I loved it. It was fast, aggressive and highly competitive, to a degree that I would not have found in a team of my peers. And my parents encouraged me, told me I could hold my own, and stood on the sidelines and cheered me on, even patched me up when I got an inevitable knock. But they always send me back on to the court. And when I scored a goal, or made a good pass, I was as proud as punch, even more so as I was technically playing out of my league. Why would we not want our kids to feel this kind of accomplishment?

On the flip side, I know the argument is there for not letting our kids feel the disappointment of failure and that when we pit them against each other in things like sports days, there has to be a loser, but you know what? Failure is part of life. Everyone has to fail sometimes, and I would much rather teach my kid from a young age that there is no shame in trying and failing, only shame in not trying, or not trying to win, in the first place. I’ll also make sure I teach her to be a far more gracious loser than her Mother!

If we carry on the way we’re going, we’re going to have no sporting heroes, no scientific masterminds, no cure for cancer, as we’ll be too afraid to achieve anything, in case it makes someone else feel bad when we beat them. Where will the world be if we teach our kids that it’s okay to just plod along, not achieving greatness, as long as you’ve shown face, that’s enough?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that for my child’s future. So I’ll push, I’ll encourage and I’ll tell her to try to win. Because yes, taking part is important, but winning is so much better!

Listography · Personal

Listography – 5 things I wish I could do.

This weeks Listography is being hosted over at Kate Takes 5, and she’s asking us to take a moment to think of all the things we wish we could do. This is a subject I could probably talk about for a fairly long time, as there is so much I still want to accomplish, but for now, here are five things from my list.

1. Write A Book

I thought I’d put the most predictable one first, as I’m sure most other bloggers feel the same, but this is a big one for me. I’ve had this urge to write for years, and though I can blog, I only seem to be able to write factually, for about 600 words at a time. Anything longer, or involving a plot, seems to elude me. I’m hoping for an epiphany one day, and when it hits, I’ll be able to sit at my laptop and let the words spew forth. Until then, I’m a blogger and frustrated author, taking it out on anyone who reads this!

2. Take Sausage To The Maldives

This may seem like an odd one to anyone who doesn’t know me, but Husband and I got married out there, and someone we met actually predicted the birth of our Daughter, to a scarily accurate degree! There’s also the fact that Sausage is absolutely obsessed with marine life, especially manta rays, and there is no better place on earth to see the underwater world than the Maldives.

3. Conquer My Fear Of Swimming Pools

This is a bit of an odd one. See, I have this fear of things that live in the sea, like a massively irrational fear, where if I’m in any body of water for too long, I get the heebeejeebies. So, whilst I enjoy swimming in a pool, and am a pretty good swimmer, I get scared. I also hate pools with any sort of pattern on the floor or sides, or even worse, ones with windows in the sides. But here’s where it gets weird. I’m actually not that scared of swimming in the sea…apart from that one time on holiday where a black tipped reef shark swam past me (okay, it was about 15 feet away) and I ran so fast that husband says I walked on water. But that was a one-off. I want to sort my fear out as swimming is great exercise, Sausage loves it, and a brand new olympic sized pool opened across the road from us, and I haven’t used it yet!

4 – Finish My Degree Before I’m 30

This may seem like an easy one, as I’m 26 now and most degrees take 3 years, but I’m doing distance learning through the Open University, which means that I’m not studying full-time, and am juggling it around, you know, having a life. It’s not the same as if I were at a university and going to classes every day. I’ve completed 2 courses in the last year, which has given me 75 points towards the final 360 needed, but sometimes it just feels as if I’ll never get to the end of it.

5 – Work Out What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.

When I started my degree, I had a really clear idea of what I wanted to do with it. My plan was to graduate, do my post-grad study and then go on to counsel families who’ve suffered a traumatic birth experience, and raise awareness for post-natal PTSD and other mental health conditions which are exacerbated by the feeling of loss of control during labour. These days, I’m not so sure. While I still feel passionate about the cause, and trying to lessen the risks associated with PNPTSD, I don’t know if I’m mentally strong enough to help others. I’ve been considering completing my studies and going into teaching as it will mean that I can have a career that will fit around Sausage when she starts school, but really, my heart isn’t in teaching, and I think it’s one of those professions that you should only go into if you’re passionate about it.

I wonder if there’s such thing as a careers advisor for a 26-year-old?!