I hate Peppa Pig. There – I said it and feel remarkably better for it!
Well for the next five minutes at least. As a child growing up, I was made acutely aware of my place in the pecking order when my mothers’ friends came to visit.
‘Come say hello then go off and play!’
Nowadays children dominate more and more and there is an expectation as parents for us to praise, encourage, use soothing tones, boost morally and clap all day long.
Let’s face it, it is exhausting. For us and for them. (By the end of school I sat through four school plays, concerts, music sessions so forgive me.)
Yesterday evening as I was responding to an urgent email amid packing lunches, folding clothes and cooking dinner, I accidentally knocked over the fruit bowl scattering apples all over the floor.
‘Silly Mummy!’ squealed my five-year-old in a fake British accent.
‘Mummy is not silly, she is very busy’, I retorted indignantly. But I could tell – he had me summed up. Silly Mummy! Giggle, chuckle.
I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever saying that to my own mother. Gee, thanks Peppa!
I agree that it is a different generation growing up today (Gawd!) and YouTube and Social Media play a mighty role, as do having more than two channels on one’s TV but still…
My question is ‘Are little voices entitled to a voice?’
Children nowadays are more self-assured, they sing into cameras, dance, audition and are certainly bolder than I ever was at their age. For me being brave at nine involved telling a friend’s parent ‘Thank you for having me!’
Of course, I am a massive advocate of self-esteem and kids health.
I want my kids to be happy, I want to instil confidence in them and I want them to achieve great things, but I also want them to remember that they are children after all.
Recently I was confronted with the following;
‘Nah, I don’t feel like going to the park can we go to a restaurant?’
‘I don’t want to go to the cinema!’ (My own kids found this one hard to swallow – PicknMix and a movie? What’s not to love?’)
‘Can we go to McDonalds?’ (Again…no.)
‘Am I staying for a sleepover?’ (Ummm no! It’s Tuesday!)
One parent watched me as I adjudicated through treacherous waters with their child when I refused an afternoon playdate. It was late, I was tired, I still needed to cook dinner and I did not want to have to go collect my child later when I had them with me now.
‘Because it’s late pet and today doesn’t suit. I’ll speak with your Mummy about having you over another day’ I said looking earnestly at the other Mum for assistance.
Because. I. Said. So. Now. Zip it.
As I sat in the car with my sullen and foul tempered child, I explained that ‘I am the big voice and they are the little voice and little voices cannot be overtaken by big voices!’
Did it make sense? Perhaps not! Did I feel better? No, but did I act like a mother? I guess!