Picture the scene; I’m sat in my living room at 6.30am having made the Bear Cub breakfast as he’s awake at this ungodly hour again. But I’m thankful in part as at least it’s not 6am.
He’s already demanded what he wants (this morning was toast), stropped at all of the other options mentioned before I won at his game with no obvious rules (cereal, crumpets) and now we’re looking at what to put on the telly so he stays relatively quiet and doesn’t create early morning carnage. Especially as the already sleep-deprived other half and the reason for that (the Little Boofuls) are still in bed.
I offer films; Finding Nemo and the Secret Life of Pets are rejected out of hand. And then he utters the two syllables that are the bane of my earthly existence; ‘Pa-trolllll’
I sigh and raise my eyes. Paw Patrol. A cartoon where a boy (Ryder) essentially pimps out a group of helpful puppies like they’re modern day slaves. In exchange for food and board they must do his bidding and pull off rescues whilst driving little vehicles at any time he calls them.
But I’ve watched this programme every day for what feels like forever and I can feel my already fragile state of mind cracking as the familiar theme tune starts up. I know every word. I know every episode. I know he’ll want to watch it until his nap at lunchtime if I let him.
It’s not a bad programme. In fact I started off liking it. It’s everything a kids programme should be; colourful, engaging, lots of storylines, formulaic ‘nothing ever goes wrong’ format – it’s a winner as far as the Bear Cub is concerned.
But it’s the latest in a line of things I’ve seen way too many times. In the Night Garden, Ice Age (especially the 2nd one), Bolt, Twirliwoos – they’ve all come and gone. And with my other kids; Ice Age (again!), the Tigger Movie, the Piglet Movie, Thomas and Friends (not even the good one with Ringo narrating!). The list goes on…
I’m disturbed from my revelry with a nudge and a little face in mine shouting ‘Eeeee-gullllll’ – this means the eagle has appeared, a pesky bird that seems to randomly crop up to create peril. He seems genuinely concerned, then returns to climbing on me, before getting down to potter around and watch intently.
Every so often, I get so fed up I try to change things, maybe put a new film on or try a different channel to distract him. Problem is, he’s like an elephant and once he gets an idea in his head, he won’t let go of it. Challenge that thinking at your peril; a meltdown inevitably wakes the other half and that’s just asking for trouble!
So we end up like this morning – me laid on the sofa typing this on my phone and him lying on the other end, drinking his milk, toast crumbs round his face but captivated by what the pups do next. He’s happy enough, he’s eaten breakfast without a fuss, I’m getting a cuddle (from his feet but I takes what I can get!) and it’s quiet.
Maybe just one more episode then…