For those of you new to me, I used to live in Clapham. In fact spent most of my 20s rushing in and around London living the high DINKy (Double Income No Kids) life with my gorgeous boyfriend (who is now gorgeous Daddy DayCare). It was the summer of 2005 that drove us out to the 'burbs, I finally snapped after sharing a blade of grass with 3 other families and a man with a dog on a sting during one particular bright sunny day. I wanted a garden, to grow some vegs (and prehaps flowers) and most importantly have a BBQ (those that know me well will wonder in awe how I managed 5 years in a maisonette without a garden to BBQ in – we now BBQ at least once a week every week of the year! I digress).
So I watched the (highlights of the) disturbances in Clapham with horror. Lavender Hill shops looted, the old lovely building that was Debenhams all smashed up... my old haunts the background to this crazy “I want it so I'm gonna loot it and their aint nothing you can do about it” night time youth protest. This is not the world I brought my Daughter into?! My faith in the people of Clapham was restored with one Twitter hashtag 'RIOTWOMBLES'. Hurrah for decent people armed with brooms.
Now I didn't watch the wombles as a child, I spent most of my youth either outside doing things I hoped my parents would never find out I did (playing in very dangerous places) or abroad where the English TV came on video tapes and consisted mainly of Coronation Street or Eastenders episodes. We never really lived in an area that actually received SSVC. So I'm now watching CBeebies, Milkshake and CBBC with some horror.
As preshcoolers we had Mr. Ben, Button Moon, Play School, and Rainbow to keep us singing, dancing and to help us learn shapes, numbers. These shows provided us the confidence to use our imagination to play. Mr. Ben was dress up, Button Moon was using everyday objects as toys, Play School was learning shapes and Rainbow was morals and singing. All very healthy for a growing child.
My Daughter now has an array of strange things to watch, the worst offenders of which are: In the Night Garden, Peppa Pig, and Little Princess. I don't think lifting your skirt up to show your knickers every time you feel like dancing is a good example to children (Upsadaisy, In The Night Garden) and don't even get me started on her relationship with Iggle Piggle. Peppa Pig is rude and answers her parents back on just about every episode. The Little Princess is a sulky spoilt brat. None of these programmes have role models that I want my Daughter to learn from (apart from MaccaPacca who loves stones and washing things – a very small ray of light for me, a former geologist who likes things clean).
So I'm now looking for strong role models that can influence my Daughter. Happily I am turning off the TV (watching it during the day is a Daddy DayCare thing) and turning to my Mummy friends, and female relatives to provide that role model. I'm very lucky to have collected some remarkable women as friends over the years, and I think DangerBaby's life will be enriched for it.