Sunday, 4 September 2016

Story time.....

I may have omitted to mention that PP and I are now grandmothers… or to put it more accurately, we’re Nanny and Ra-Ra respectively.  She's a little poppet and last week we had her for two whole days while her mummy was working.

It’s a long time since either of us was last responsible for the care of a baby, in my case 30 years, and I have to admit we’re not really match fit.  It’s a full time job looking after a little ‘un and over the course of the two days we didn’t get much done, aside from feeding, nappy changing, feeding, nappy changing, undressing, bathing, feeding,  dressing  (repeat)

It’s also a long time since I experienced the delights of children’s television.  As a child of the late 50s I well remember Watch With Mother…. Bill and Ben, Andy Pandy, The Woodentops… then later Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley.

When my own children were little they liked Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, Wind in the Willows (the one with David Jason as the voice of Mr. Toad), Thundercats, and She-Ra/He-Man, amongst many others. 

Over the intervening years I supposed that children’s programming had moved on and wasn’t wrong.  They even have their own channels, of which Cbeebies was the only one I recognised.

At lunchtime we watched The Numtums…. little characters with numbers on their tummies who go around counting things.  Diggers, flowers, cats… very little goes uncounted and GiggleFidget was very impressed with my numerical dexterity.

Then Melody, a little girl with impaired vision who loves music.  Each day featured a different piece of popular classical music and Melody conjures up pictures of what the music makes her think of.

However the stand out favourite was Bing, which she absolutely loved.  I have to admit being a bit nonplussed by Bing.  On the surface he’s just an oversized animated rabbit who’s very clumsy and a bit socially inept.  However he seems to live with a carer called Flop, who is of indeterminate species.  Bing’s friends include a Panda with ADHD who takes off his trousers at the start of each episode then runs around in his underpants. 

I’m probably overthinking this but where are the parents?  Why do they have carers?  Why has the baby (Charlie) been left on his own in the house with a bunch of weird characters?  

Obviously none of these burning question bothered GiggleFidget, who was fascinated by the troubling scenarios unfolding on the screen.  I had to switch it off.

So then it was story time.  She does love stories.  Who knew a 4-month old would be SO into stories?

I have loads of children’s books and fairy tales, but as I’ve been working on Little Red Riding Hood toys lately I decided to go with that.  What follows is a rough transcript.

Cast of characters

Me – The storyteller
Small Dog – The Wolf
GiggleFidget – Herself

Me:  Right… let’s have a story then.
GF: Mmmmwahaharr
Me: Little Red Riding Hood… a story about a little girl who unwisely lets a wolf know where she’s going and why.
SD: (opening one eye)  Thatts wolfist.
Me: Excuse me…. Did you say something?
SD: (sitting up to expand upon her theme) Thatts a vyle kalumnie on wolfs.  Ai maiself am dessended from wolfs so ai kno whairof ai speek.
Me: Hm.  Well, anyway, once up on a time….
SD: Ar we doin akshuns?
Me: *sigh* Actions?
SD: Like a plai…. Yue and me.  Ai kan be the Wolf.
Me:  Are you sure?
SD: Absewlootlie!  Ai wos born to plai the Wolf.
Me: (doubtfully) He is a very wicked wolf.  In fact if you deconstruct the narrative he is a seductive yet predatory antagonist who preys on vulnerable women.
SD: (fluttering her eyelashes and winking with both eyes) Ai kann do seduktiv.
GF:  Aaaaaaahhhhhhh   giggle
Me: Yes. Well.  We’ll see.

 SD: (incredulously) Caik?  And WYNE?  Fore a sik grandmuthr?  She neads auntie biotix.  Knott wyne and caik.
Me: (patiently) It's a fairy story.  Personally I totally approve.  What an excellent mummy!
SD: Humph.  When is it mai turnn?

 SD: (seductively) Well helloo yung ladie.  Ar yue goen mai wai.  Wokk with me.
Me: Hmm...that's paraphrasing but we get the gist.
GF: Yaaaahhhhh
SD: When do ai get to gobbul hur orl up?  And the grandmuthr.  Althew she mite be a bitt tuff.
Me: *sigh*

SD: Wate a minitt.  WHOT IS IT WARING?  Pinck frillie nitekap.  With Lorra Ashlie spriggd kurtanes and yelloe bedspred?  No wai hoasay... ai am knott waren THAT!
Me: (exasperated) For goodness sake Small Dog... it's only a read through.  You don't have to get dressed up.  Don't be such a drama queen.
SD: (huffily) Dramar kween!.... *mumbl*muttr*grumbl*

SD: (excitedly) Oh, Oh, Oh... this is mai favoritt bit. Whott big things yue hav eckseterra.
GF: Ooooohhhh..... myahhhhh yeeeehah.

 Me: "You wicked creature!"  With one blow of his axe he killed the wolf and pulled him out of the bed....."
SD: (alarmed) Whooahh.... wateaminitt!  Whotts happnin?
Me: "Then Little Red Riding Hood's father cut open the wolf and out jumped Little Red Riding Hood.  He then helped the grandmother out.  She was still alive but very weak.
SD: (incredulous) STILL ALIVE!  Ai gobbuled her up.  WHOA!  Whott kind of storie is this fore children.  Itts unbeleevibl!
Me: (doggedly) "They put the grandmother into bed and gave her some cake and wine.  Soon she was sitting up and feeling much better.
SD: (incensed) Caik and wyne?  Mutsh bettr?  Whott abowt the poore wolf.  With its entrales spredd orl ovur the flore.  This is a stewpid storie and aim knott playen enimoar.
GF: Shhhhhssssskkksssss  *giggle*
Me: Right.... that's it.  Story time is over.  Let's have a walk up the garden.....
SD: (brightening) A wok?  Up the gardin?  Ai mite fined a skwirrl....!

The end.


Daydreamer said...

This is priceless!!! I do hope you keep the blog! It is becoming so "old fashioned" to blog... but it also allows for wonderful artistic expression that I find lacking in the "instant" formats. I do hope you consult your "assistant" before you make your decision!

Sandra Morris said...

It's odd to think that blogging is now passé.... it's not that long ago it was the new kid on the block. I think that FB has contributed to the death of many blogs. Not to mention Twitter. 140 characters seems to be the maximum amount of reading anyone wants to do these days.
As for my assistant, she is firmly in the 'keep the blog' camp. For obvious reasons! ;)

Penelope said...

Please keep the blog. You are so funny. I love reading it.
One of my absolute favorite children shows right now is Kipper. It is so sweet and the message is all about friendship and playing. I will say that I read one review of it where someone criticized it for having too much eating, and I was shocked. Kipper has picnics, but I didn't think there was that much eating. They should watch this Danish children show Rasmus Klump where every show ends with the adventurers each eating a stack of pancakes!

Sandra Morris said...

A whole stack of pancakes?!! That's my kind of show! :)
I must check out Kipper too.

Jennifer said...

I love reading your blog! I follow on FB too but you always bring a smile or a laugh with SD's and co's antics :)