In the past, I didn’t understand why Peppa Pig was such a big deal.
Why would a little talking pig in a red dress amuse children so much? Before having children, I had never seen the Peppa TV show. (Why would I? Someone had to binge watch the soaps whilst nursing hangovers on weekend mornings). When my little girl started to watch TV as a toddler she literally became entranced by Peppa and her world. Each five-minute show was watched with glee and she roared with laughter as Peppa got through scrapes and escapades mostly at the expense of poor Daddy Pig.
It wasn’t just our little girl who enjoyed Peppa cartoons. Himself and myself watched it and began to thoroughly enjoy it too. The programme makers have cleverly built in several layers and subtleties so that different audiences can appreciate the show on multiple levels and we often sat down to watch Peppa together.
Now as everyone is aware, no self-respecting TV show in this day and age is produced without the relevant accompanying merchandise and slowly over the course of a year or two Peppa’s visage infiltrated every corner of our home.
We bought the toys and books, the mugs, and the teddies. We had the pyjamas, we literally bought the t-shirt. One weekend we even visited a live Peppa Pig show where we paid royally for a Mr Dinosaur teddy.
Now, my little girl had no siblings or young cousins at this stage and really what two-year-old has actual friends? The net result of this was that she began to talk like her friend, Peppa Pig. Born and raised in the rebel county, my little girl had a very Peppa like way of pronouncing certain words. Listening to her saying ‘teapot’, you would think she was growing up in Buckingham Palace.
Our little girl loved all her Peppa products but none so much as the present she got when her little brother arrived into the world. The day after he was born, she arrived at the hospital excited to be presented with her little brother. After she bored of the tiny, wrinkly, smelly baby in approximately two minutes flat, we presented her with a gift from her little brother.
Excitedly, she ripped off the paper to see what wondrous presents a baby brings forth from the womb. There in all its yellow plastic glory was Peppa’s own house!!
Her excitement was massive and she shed a few tears trying to process it all. That night, after going home with Daddy she was so taken with it, that she went to sleep clutching the house.
To be honest, the toy is nothing amazing. Standard issue yellow plastic with a few pieces of furniture and Peppa and George figurines. But it quickly became her favourite thing to play with.
Some kind relatives bought figurines of Peppa’s friends to keep Peppa and George company and my sister in law even bought a little camper van for Peppa and co. to go on holidays.
Almost five years on, our little girl is seven going on 13. (On an aside are girls born with attitude?). Peppa Pig is never on our TV. Even our little boy is past watching it. There are still Peppa Pig mugs in the press but there is certainly no Peppa back pack or pyjamas or God forbid a PEPPA T-SHIRT!! (Little Girl has her own style now don’t you know).
However, in the playroom in the middle of roller skates and Barbie dolls, fire trucks and footballs, lies a small yellow plastic house. Right now, it sits beside a much bigger doll house but to this day it has remained one of the most loved toys in our home. Both children play with it, not as regularly as they once did but it still gets taken out and lovingly engaged with on occasion.
Recently on a playroom clean out, I asked if we would give the house to the charity shop to be met with howls and protestations. ‘That was a present from my baby brother on the day he was born’ cried my little girl. ‘I’m never giving it away’. In my heart, I was delighted. Of course, the day will come, the children won’t play with it at all and then the house will be sent to the attic. However, hopefully someday, in the future, the yellow house will be taken down again and played with by another generation of children or maybe when the day comes that my little girl moves out, Peppa Pig in her yellow house will go too.
At the start of this piece, I mentioned that I didn’t understand the attraction of Peppa Pig to children. Not anymore. Peppa is now as beloved to me as my children are, because she reminds me of so many lovely memories of when they were little. And that is why a little corner of my heart will always belong to the cheeky little pig in the red dress.