[Image description: the Bat, a one-year-old with a mop of red hair, is wearing a pink T-shirt and standing with her back to the camera. She is holding onto the TV for support and gazing raptly at the screen, which is playing Show Me Show Me, a children's TV programme.]
Children's TV! It's a topic of hot debate among most of the parents I know - we're all much more opinionated about it than the kids, in fact, who will sit down in front of pretty much anything.
Bat and I watch CBeebies almost exclusively, because it means I don't have to sit through any irritating ad breaks. My favourites are Show Me Show Me, Octonauts, Rastamouse, Mr. Bloom's Nursery (because it's made in Salford, where I was a student, and also because Mr. Bloom is preeeetty) and Tinga Tinga Tales - and I do have a soft spot for In the Night Garden. I know lots of people don't like it, but I think the characters are appealing and I like the idea of all these different creatures having their homes in a garden. I think it could spark some lovely imaginative games with a child's own toys. The only time I have to hide behind my book is when Upsy Daisy has a dancy day, because that does get a bit repetitive.
Bat's favourite is - *spit* - Waybuloo. She tends to lose interest in the middle, but rushes back at the end to shout "Ba-ooooo!" as they all float up into the sky. It was practically her first word. I put it on because she loves it, but it's just so bloody twee. Thinkapow! Peeka! Yogo! Oo, Lau-lau find sparkly fairy thing! Soooo happy! I find it nauseating.
I have to turn the TV off when it comes to Teletubbies - or Gigglebiz, pleh. I just can't take it. I put up with Justin Fletcher doing Something Special, because Bat seems to like it and practises her "hewwo" and "bah-bye" while it's on. And I certainly see the value of a programme for and about kids with disabilities. But something about him freaks me out. Some presenters manage to do the giant-grin-and-giggle thing without sounding maniacal, but not him. The laughter doesn't reach his eyes and it all feels so forced, even though he's technically really good at the physical slapstick.
Oh, and talking about creepy, I really can't watch this new Baby Jake thing. I'd be so up for a good programme about an older child's relationship with their new baby sibling, but the animation and narration of this make me want to stick my head in a bucket of bleach. I have nightmares about Baby Jake setting that googly-eyed rabbit on me. Goggy-geeah! Urgh.