Aimee Horton

When you turn the television on.

Feb
26

When I fell pregnant everybody told me that I’d have no time for myself.  That my leg hair would grow long and wiry  that my face would be make up free, and dirty laundry would be piled up around my house unable to be dealt with.

Their suggestions at my lack of life were then enhanced by these bloody stupid Facebook shares that keep doing the rounds about how by trading the hairdressers, or nice handbags that you loved being a mum, that you were being a good mum.  They make me stabby.

I prepared myself for the worst, I ensured my nails were devoid of varnish (no time to paint them you see), and cut my hair into a style that didn’t require any effort (no time for a shower), and got ready.

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Well. That was an anti-climax.

You see, I’m not saying time isn’t tight, in fact, it does tend to slip away at an alarming rate, however, it’s nothing that good organisation, timetables and most importantly…kids tv, can’t help with.

That’s right, Kids TV.  Against the odds, three very important channels have become an invaluable asset to my day to day life.   Thanks to Mr Tumble I’ve been able to apply fake tan.  Thanks to Chris and Poi I’ve been able to use the toilet in peace, and thanks to Peppa Pig I’ve been able to stick a load of washing in without anybody attempting to commit suicide over the stair-gate.

Before you judge, don’t worry, I don’t stick my children in front of the television all day every day they never bloody sit still for that long however, I don’t see what’s wrong with them sitting infront of a few programmes, after all, they all have some educational element included (WHAT! I’ve learnt A LOT about Italy from Peppa Pig, and Mummy Pig is all about body confidence).

They’ve become my babysitter, some have been known to quote “free” babysitter.  However, sadly, nothing in life is free, and this is no exception, so as I sit on my sofa sharing a plate of rich tea biscuits with my children, I am paying the price for wanting my cup of tea while it’s still hot.  After all, all three channels have their flaws.

Sometimes it’s the presenters.  For example Jen from Milkshake, I want to like her. I really really do, (and Mr. Aimee has a huge crush on her), but she’s just so happy.  YES, I do appreciate that that makes me sound old and cynical but it’s true.  WHO THE HELL is that excited at stupid o’clock in the morning? SOMEBODY WHO DOESN’T HAVE CHILDREN THAT’S WHO!

We recently took the children to see Milkshake Live.  It was actually very good, and Mr Aimee was hugely excited when bursting onto the stage in an orange vest top and floral tapered trousers came Jen.

Matthew’s Crush

Happy to be there with you RIGHT THEN, perky, perhaps having drunk too many Red Bull’s Jen.  Jen who after her two performances can go home, and go to bed AND HAVE SOME PEACE AND QUIET.

Larry wasn’t as pleased to see her as he normally is…I think she was a little TOO excited.

Bovvered?

Bovvered?

Then there is Mr Bloom from CBeebies.  Now, I’m aware that apparently he’s considered “a bit of alright” in the mummy brigade?  Is that right? HOW?! I mean, apart from obviously needing a wash, you just get the impression that he’s rolled into work stinking of booze and kebabs after a night on the town with Katie.

Another Pint Guv?

“Katie?!” I hear you exclaim.

Yes. Katie.  Who has (in my opinion) given the hint on many occasions, that she doesn’t actually like children or cooking that much, so perhaps the night out with Mr. Bloom (OH MY GOD – are they together do you think?!), leaves enough alcohol in her system to allow her to fake her way through the enthusiasm of preparing “Falafel Footballs” (note the gutted look on the kids face when they realise that yet again they aren’t making a pudding) before picking up that god awful guitar and faking her way through the tuneless yet catchy songs.  Which now, as I type this paragraph are circulating my head, so even on my child free days, I’m humming about rolling up my sleeves and giving my hands a wash.

SEE! I’m REALLY ENJOYING MYSELF!

Over on Nick Jnr – home to back to back Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly,  no presenter registers as anything other then pretty vacant and not really there.  But that’s not the issue.  Neither are the toy adverts which are often followed by a small voice from the sofa saying “I need that” It’s their bedtime hour song.  Sickly sweet, with slightly scary children, and don’t even get me started  on the lyrics.  A TINKLE?! A TINKLE???!!!!!

At least the CBeebies version fills a parent with joy, it’s wholesome enough to sing along and sound like you’re being loving and nobody notices that the parent is actually doing an air punch and counting down the minutes until they can open the bar (sadly still just over 58 minutes after the song is complete).

But before you can get to bed, you have to watch the same Peppa Pig episode that has been playing day and night for the last week.  There have been approximately 209 episodes of Peppa Pig made.  WHY THE HELL DO WE HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME ONES ON TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

Cup of tea anyone?

I know I could change the channel, but the child has stopped attempting to wipe it’s nose in my hair, it’s moved away from the book shelves where it’s been systematically emptying it book by book, and is gravitating towards the TV.

 

I know I should be expressing rage at the show, dissecting it and discussing about how it betrays feminism, that certain characters such as the Bin Men have “working class accent’s”, yet the Doctor doesn’t, that apparently it encourages naughty behaviour…

…But you know what, pass me the gin because actually I’m enjoying five minutes of relative peace.

 

 

Peppa Pig World

Oct
30

As we all know, my chunky monkey turned two last week, and when you have a big brother who already has everything (and a house bursting at the seams with toys), rather than buy more “stuff” or have a birthday party for him this year, we decided to treat him to a day out to see his idol Peppa Pig.  Therefore a visit in Peppa Pig World was in order.

With it being quite a few hours drive from Lincoln (4!), we decided to opt for a 2 for 1 day pass, which meant (in theory) we could do two half days and stay in a hotel in between, breaking it up a bit.  We didn’t want it to be too overwhelming, for Larry in particular.

Now.  Peppa Pig MAY just be my favourite children’s TV program these days (I KNOW I KNOW I used to slate it, but Mummy Pig is my idol – she wears a bandeau bikini with pride), however, I must admit, the thought of hearing that theme tune for two days did make me want to cry a little bit.  But I steeled myself and thought it’s for the children.

So we packed up and headed down south early on Friday morning.

By the time we made it to the park I’d already heard the tune over and over again a MILLION from the car DVD player, it was cold, it was windy and Larry hadn’t slept AT ALL.  We were worried that it would all go horribly wrong with two tired over excited boys.  However, with our pre-bought tickets, and the children sailing in under the 1m mark (HA SHORT GENES DO WIN SOMETIMES) we were off.

I think I was more excited then the boys to begin with, perhaps they were a little overwhelmed by it all, after all this was Fatty’s first reaction to me pointing out Grandpa Pigs House…

 

But after the first few minutes they boys took it all in their stride, and really enjoyed the two visits.

I have to say it was done really really well.  The staff were (with the exception of a couple), helpful and friendly, they didn’t even bat an eyelid when I had to physically prise Larry’s fingers off each ride because he refused to get off.  The queues weren’t bad at all, considering half term, admittedly that’s because anybody who saw Larry striding in made room for him, nobody wants to get in his way.  But it went well.

The other thing I was pleased about was that the food wasn’t ridiculously over priced either.  Previously, when Matt and I have been to theme parks or other “family” attractions, the food has just been such a rip off it’s left a bad taste in our mouths (BOOM BOOM), however, I wasn’t too offended by it, it was fast food, but it was done well.

We didn’t just stay in Peppa Pig World, we had a wander around the rest of the park, taking The Beast on a few roller-coasters and taking advantage of some coffees in the various play areas and soft play.  As you can see, it all went down rather well…

The only really negative thing I have to say…and I do believe it’s important to feedback, is that when it came to meeting Peppa and George, they had “celebrified” them.  At 12pm and 3pm they were brought out onto the stage behind some barriers to wave and say hello to their adoring fans.

It’s at this point, you discover when it comes to their kids being happy, parents get NASTY.  Elbows at the ready, getting to the front of the queue was a nightmare, it was claustrophobic and even though both boys got to see the furry characters, it was rushed and jostled due to people trying to get their turn.  If it were me, and I appreciate you have to think of cost here (but maybe combine a few of your photo booths together…I bet we’d have bought a few more photos if they’d all been in once place you know), I’d have had the characters walking about in the park, making the lines for the ride more bearable, and making photo opportunities more relaxed (again, maybe these could feedback to the booths).  It might seem picky, but I think considering the park is so family friendly – and it is, I can’t say enough about how well done it is – this let it down a fair bit.

However saying that, it turned out to be a good trip and a fab family outing.  Even the night of sharing a hotel room the four of us turned out well, even though somehow Matt made it down to the bar with a paper and a beer while I dealt with the kids, I have NO idea how that happened.