Peppa Pig does Bedtime

It is only a few months since DorkySon had no interest in watching TV. I could see other mothers raising their eyebrows at me when I said that he just wasn’t bothered, that not even the delights of Bob the Builder or Fireman Sam could persuade him to spend more than a fidgety few minutes in front of the box, before wandering off to find a book.

“Aye right,” they were thinking. “You’re just no fun, DorkyMum, not letting your wee boy watch the occasional bit of trash on the telly.”

But I was telling the truth. He really wasn’t fussed. I must have been the only mother in history desperately trying to get her kid interested in television, so I could have ten minutes peace to sit down with a cup of tea or make his dinner.

A few months on, how the times have changed. It is neither Bob nor Sam that has caught his interest, but Peppa. Or as DorkySon says, “PepPig PepPig PepPig.”

He would sit and watch Peppa Pig all day, if we let him. I have two Peppa Pig apps downloaded onto my iPad, which were a godsend on our recent holiday. We now cannot walk past a magazine stand without him leaning out of his pram to see if the new Peppa Pig magazine – complete with hideous plastic free gift –  is in yet. On Saturday morning, in a strange, pink meta-moment, we sat and watched DorkySon eat pancakes for breakfast, as he sat watching Peppa Pig eat pancakes for breakfast.

I must confess to some serious nostalgia about the programmes that were on when I was DorkySon’s age. Personally, I don’t think Peppa Pig is a patch on Greenclaws, Bertha or Postman Pat. But it could be much worse. I can’t complain too much that he is drawn to a programme that ends every episode with a loving family all falling on the floor laughing.

We are still working out how to use this new obsession to our advantage. My contribution has been to buy some Peppa Pig flashcards, in the hope that we can combine learning and fun.  (She says, doing teacher-style jazzhands and smiling through her teeth…)

DorkyDad has been a little more imaginative, and when DorkySon was putting up a very vocal fight about going to bed the other night, I overheard the following conversation.

DorkySon, at full volume: “NO. DorkySon NOT go to bed”

DorkyDad: “Now listen, do you remember watching Peppa Pig earlier today?”

DorkySon: Mumble, grumble, humph. “Yes.”

DorkyDad: “And do you remember seeing her go to bed?”

DorkySon: Mumble, grumble, humph. “Yes.”

DorkyDad: “And did Peppa Pig cry and shout about going to bed?”

DorkySon: Mumble, grumble, humph. “No.”

DorkyDad: “And don’t you want to be good like Peppa Pig?”

DorkySon: Mumble, grumble, humph. “Yes.”

DorkyDad: “So lie down then, and let me tuck your toes in, and go to sleep.”

DorkySon: Mumble, grumble, humph, grumble, humph, mumble, grumble…

Miraculously, DorkySon then lies down, and goes to sleep without another peep. Whether it was the magic of DorkyDad or the magic of Peppa Pig, I’m not quite sure – possibly a special combination of the two – but if she has that kind of power he can have as many episodes, magazines, pancakes and apps as he wants. Anything for a good night’s sleep, right?