Today I did something that I never thought I would do. You know, the smug, know it all, parenting expert, childless me. I never thought I would put a movie on for my kids as an activity. Mostly because I’m a dickhead like that and think they should spend most of their time actively engaged in pursuits will with advance and improve their minds. Even at less than two years of age. At least I know this makes me a bit of a tool, that’s important isn’t it? Well today I did. And it was glorious. For all of 15 minutes.
I knew today would be hard. Bede was up from 11:40 until 4am for no apparent reason other than he wanted to be. Paddy decided that 4:30am was the ideal time to get the party started and I gave up any idea of sleep or having a day that would go to the elusive ‘plan’ that I sort of have because it’s what good parenting is about, isn’t it?
Throw into the mix that it remained almost unbearably hot all night and we were heading into our third day of temperatures of about 1000 degrees (I know it’s summer, but it’s my least favourite season and it’s been really bloody hot) and I knew it would be a challenge.
We tried to tackle the supermarket to get some things for dinner. But then I remembered that our local doesn’t have the tofu I needed and then Paddy worked out that if he pulled Bede’s hair he got quite the reaction. Needless to say, we were a sight to behold as we went about our business with me eventually carrying a screaming Bede whilst trying to push the cumbersome travel stroller with dodgy wheels and Paddy.
We tried building blocks, playing cars, reading books, listening to 774 because surely that’s as appealing to toddlers as it is to me (?!) and a million other things besides.
Finally, at very nearly my wit’s end, I put on a DVD. “Shaun the Sheep” the movie. So, not even a very educational flick unless you consider that it might help push my vegetarian agenda on them in the hope they recognize animals as friends and not food. And for 15 blissful minutes they sat on their little couches under the air conditioning and the fan and watched. And I had a cup of tea and thought, ‘this is a genius idea but I must be careful not to do it too often’. I consoled myself with the fact that parents have always used whatever is at their disposal to entertain their children hence why there’s the ‘back in my day’ brigade who were apparently happy with a cotton spool. That’s what their mother’s had so that’s what they used. Well in 2015 I have a TV and a DVD and I will use it goddamit!
They soon decided that it would be far more fun to rip apart their bedroom. So I lay on the swag, which has been moved back in after a week of teething and waking and this bloody oppressive heat and we read books and we held it together for another day.
**P.S thanks to The Whitlams for the inspiration behind the title. If you’re familiar with the song, there’s a line about ‘you, a baby and a colour TV’.