Home now drying 3yo out from our walk. Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for. Blooming jumping in muddy puddles!
That Peppa Pig. She has A LOT to answer for.
I have to admit she has been my saviour on more than one occasion. Providing distraction and entertainment while I have taken urgent phone calls, answered emails in a timely fashion and finished much needed household chores.
For those of you who don't know, Peppa Pig is an animated pig (unsurprisingly) living with her brother George and parents in a world inhabited by other large mammals. The humour is definitely on two levels, pure slapstick aimed at its toddler audience, and a droll sub plot that pokes fun at the situations the adults find themselves in and most particularly the foibles of Daddy Pig.
Peppa Pig's favourite pastime is jumping in muddy puddles.
It is a rare day that passes when our three year old daughter does not face the world resplendent in some piece of Peppa Pig emblazoned clothing.
We have Peppa Pig Pants, sweatshirt, party dress, summer dress, slippers, flip flops... well, you get the picture.
We also have Peppa Pig Wellies. Three pairs, in varying styles and colours. These come in useful on any wet day when our favourite pastime is, you've guessed it, jumping in muddy puddles.
in the early days after adopting our daughter I found myself on a steep learning curve as far as taking her for a walk was concerned.
Firstly, when allowing her to jump in said muddy puddles stand well back. Judge which muddy puddles are coming up and retain a safe distance based upon their depth and likely splash radius.
Secondly, try and apply those slash avoidance rules to the dog as well.
Thirdly, prohibit jumping in muddy puddles on the outward leg of the walk. This being necessary as undoubtedly, daughter will fall over and cover herself in muddy water and/or will decide that she is too tired to walk further and expect to be carried on my shoulders on the homeward leg. Thus covering me in muddy water anyway.
We're also lucky enough to live close to the Peppa Pig Land theme park, situated on the edge of the New Forest. Our seven year old son's school is even closer to the park and it's therefore easy enough for me to collect him from school and go over to the park for an hour or two at the end of the day throughout the Spring and Summer.
At that point we, and a few other intrepid locals, are entering the park as hordes of exhausted holidaymakers are dragging their screaming offspring away at the end of the day. The result is a much quieter park and the ability to get on and off the rides with little queuing and much less fuss. Bonus!
Except that spending too long in Peppa Pig land is trance inducing.
The soundtrack to the tv show is plinky plonky, repetitive fare. The musical equivalent of primary colours. It is also piped continuously through hidden speakers throughout Peppa Pig Land. Creating a soporific, subliminal background noise that permeates your consciousness and which you only notice is no longer there once you return to the car park.
Add to this the swathes of vibrant green astro turf from which perfectly symmetrical plastic trees and primary coloured flowers grow, square houses painted in pastel shades and randomly placed statures of characters from the tv show.
At regular points throughout the afternoon extra large Peppa and George Pigs appear from their house, to carouse through the assembled toddlers. To get in the way of the stampede of adoring mini fans is to risk the fate of the policemen trying to hold back the tartan clad screaming crowds trying to reach the Bay City Rollers from my childhood.
Three year old daughter invariably joins in the stampede before stopping short within a few feet of Peppa or George, whichever is closer. Screaming and in tears she uniformly returns to my arms. "Got a big HEAD!" she cries.
The total package therefore resembles Stepford for toddlers.
Or possibly it's the true inspiration for Thneedville.
Our devotion to Peppa Pig is all encompassing. Evidenced our daughter's Christmas List for Santa last year.
I've been alerted in the past to some commentary on Peppa Pig as a Marxist-Leninist Feminist. Similarly there is the antithesis of this, stating Peppa Pig to be a subversive plot to undermine the traditional male role model.
To be honest I don't really have an opinion. I'm left irritated by the fact that Peppa always runs out of lyrics halfway through her songs and repeats the lines over and over. Thankful of the distraction she provides for our daughter.
And above all wishing I had been the person who dreamt her up in the first place. The amount we've spent on their merchandising in the last three years alone would have provided someone with a decent income!