I owe my sanity to CBeebies. Okay, at least some of it. The point is, filling up millions of baby time-pockets is a hard job. And here, the math is somewhat similar to man-year vs cat-year (one year for a human is the equivalent of seven for a cat). Likewise a day for a baby is say like a week for you. So it is not as easy as planning visual (or whatever other kind there is) stimulation for three or four hours or whatever is left after the baby sleeps, bathes, eats, pees, poos, whatever. Babies have a lot of time, and whatever you do, there is still more time left and activity to fill. If you are home, that is. If you are away, it’s easier. Someone else (a nanny, a kind grandparent, a day-care) does the job, and hours evaporate without you even knowing it.
Since I chose the path where hours don’t evaporate unless you do something about them, I succumbed. A little bit. To television. Now, I hate television, and it still causes me to burst a capillary when the husband returns from work and looks wistfully at the remote control as if to say, May I play with her? So you can imagine my plight trying to find something for the boy to watch for half hour every day that didn’t involve sex, violence, stereotypes, melodrama, and most importantly, ads that feature Bollywood actresses promoting packaged foods and probiotic drinks to make your child fast, furious and generally, fucked up (oops, but couldn’t resist the alliteration). No, I am not one of those Nazi moms that throws the TV out the window, but I have my preferences.
And then I found CBeebies. The no-ad land of the Ninky Nonk and Tombliboos, all trying to fit into their match-box beds and ‘go to sleep’. What’s with this going to sleep, I used to wonder? Anytime of the day I tuned in, they were always telling you to ‘go to sleep’ and Iggle Piggle was always looking for his annoying red blanket and Upsy Daisy was always prancing around like someone on speed.
But it worked for the boy. He was entranced. And I had one less half-hour pocket to fill.
Recently, a singleton asked me, How did you go from being a wild singleton to someone who watches CBeebies?
I wanted to tell her I liked it as much as he does. Or that it made me want to be a child again. Or that it was easier than watching singletons making complete asses of themselves in clubs.
But I didn’t.