What is the deal with Peppa Pig?

Parenting

This morning I was super tired when Little V woke up, and decided we’d have a little snuggle in bed and watch a show. The first children’s programme I got to was Channel 5’s Milkshake and the show currently playing was Peppa Pig.

We’ve never watched it before but I’ve been aware of all the hype and even went to Peppa Pig world with friends and their littles a few years ago.

I cannot be on my own in absolutely hating what I saw!

Peppa was the rudest, naughtiest, least disciplined ‘child’ I have ever seen and her horrendous attitude was being copied by her brother George and then not corrected by their Mum.

Not only this, but the whole premise of the story was wrong, to me.

Peppa and George had been jumping in muddy puddles with their teddy and dinosaur respectively. When Mummy Pig saw how dirty the toys were, she declared that they were ‘under the weather’ and needed to go to the animal hospital. When there, Mrs Rabbit confirmed that they were indeed ‘poorly’. They weren’t. They were dirty. They needed a bath (or a spin in the washing machine) not a hospital!

I then couldn’t believe how rude Peppa was to Mrs Rabbit and that Mummy Pig allowed it!

We won’t be watching Peppa Pig again, I’m absolutely shocked at how naughty and rude they are and that the ‘adults’ don’t take an adult role and not only that, they encourage the idea that getting muddy and messy means you are poorly.

I cannot be the only person who thinks this is fundamentally wrong?

I’d love to hear some recommendations of children’s tv shows that are sweet and appropriate for a one year old, where the characters are well behaved and encouraged to be kind!

One disgruntled Mummy!

Let them be Little

Child's Play, Parenting

There’s been a huge hype in the news and online this week about the letter that has been sent home from a London school, requesting that the children do not dress up as footballers, pop starts or famous you tubers for their ‘My World of Work Day’ as these are ‘great ambitions, but so hard to achieve’. Instead they would like the children to ‘think of their Plan B options for future jobs’.

This has really set me thinking.

When I was at primary school, we didn’t have a My World of Work Day, but whenever we did projects / creative writing about what we’d like to be when we grow up, I would always say teacher. This evolved and grew as I went through secondary school and realised that my passion and skillset was in the arts and that I would like to teach dance and one day own my own school. Throughout primary school my train of thought was encouraged: role play of classrooms and pretending to be ‘Miss Jordan’ were recurrent themes in the playground and at home. Admittedly I never understood what you had to do to become teacher, but I was always helping my friends and loved nothing more than being around younger children and showing them how to do things (some call it bossiness, I call it leadership!).

When I was in secondary school, we were taken to the Careers Department, where the “Careers Advisor” would listen to what you wanted to do and tell you which university to apply to. The problem I had, is that you don’t need to go to university to become a qualified, respected and brilliant dance teacher. That doesn’t sound like a problem, does it? But trust me it is a huge problem when your school only takes notice of future careers that mean you attend the best Uni that you can get into. I found this narrow-mindendness as frustrating at the time as I am finding thinking about the school who has asked the children to come as their ‘Plan B’. I didn’t have a Plan B. Nor was the job I was aspiring to unattainable or in anyway not respectable. I had worked hard throughout my teens to qualify when I was only 18 as a dance teacher. I had started reading up on business models and their implantation and making business plans. None of this affected how hard I studied at school – but it was my dream and I was most certainly going to make it happen, with or without their support.

Talking of this Plan B, do children really see ‘Footballer’ as their Plan A and then devise a back up plan for if it doesn’t work? No. Not in my experience. Ask any child what they want to be when they grow up and they will give you one solid and confident answer. Often a highly bemusing one that you will remind them of repeatedly when they are older. In a world where schools are no longer making sports days competitive so as not to alienate the less sporty children, why is it OK to make children think of a Plan B career and then action it in their role play, as, implicitly, their Plan A will fail or be unattainable.

So why has this news lit a fire inside me that has made me want to share my opinion on it so much?

Who are we to stop children dreaming!

Soon enough they will go to secondary school and learn that they must match their job to their skill set. They will be encouraged to study subjects that are within their achievable academic reach, to apply for college places/apprenticeships/university places that are for every day jobs that we all have to do. There is a time and a place for this, granted, but I do not believe that it needs to start in primary school.

I love the idea that our children are learning about so many different job roles. I understand from my friends with school aged children that parents from all different fields of work go into schools and talk to the children about what they do. This is how we open our children’s eyes to the many roles that are out there and help them understand the paths that must be taken to reach the dizzying heights of grown-up employment. None of this was done when I was at school, and I naively entered year seven thinking everyone was a doctor, nurse, dentist, teacher, policeman, fireman, banker…. you get the gist.  Educating our children by introducing them to real-life people in a whole variety of roles is vitally important and will enable them to make a much more informed decision as they grow up, based on a more in depth understanding of the world around them.

However, does this mean that they shouldn’t be allowed to dress up as a footballer, pop-star or youtuber?

In my opinion, it does not.

Children are only young once and they say that youth is wasted on the young – so why are we trying to take this away? We should embrace their wonderful imaginations, allow them to dress up as whoever they aspire to be (a friend of mine told me today that her little boy dressed up as King Elizabeth for his equivalent day at school- the sky’s the limit when you’re 5!). We all know, from experience, that this doesn’t mean that they will all go on to be the next big football star, sign the biggest record deal of the century or make their millions from a youtube channel. But in the same vein, how many of the children who dress up as doctors, firemen and vets will go on to do those jobs. As adults we know that every career choice requires such a specialised skill set and uniquely achieved qualifications that only people who want to go into these areas of work will make it and I’m not just talking about the careers I’ve mentioned. Amongst my friends I can name a pathologist, risk manager, shipping lawyer, auditor, accountant, life coach, paediatrician, personal trainer and hedge fund manager. Did any of us even know these roles existed in primary school and would we really have dressed up as them when our imaginations were so free that we truly believed we could train to be the tooth fairy if that’s what our heart desired?

I say let them be little.

There’s plenty of time to grow up and take informed choices later.

 

 

 

Maternity Leave is Over

Parenting

To the Daddy of my children,

The main man in my life,

The one who’s always there for me,

From the girly who’s your wife.

 

We’ve been on quite a journey

And the last year’s been a blast.

But now I’m heading back to work,

I knew maternity leave couldn’t last.

 

From growing our tiny human,

To bringing her into the world,

Nurturing her and feeding her

And keeping her warm in the cold.

 

I’ve been there for every little step,

Each smile and laugh and cry,

I’ve watched her play and learn so much,

I don’t want to say goodbye.

 

I’m the one who’s always fed her,

The one who’s always changed her bum,

I’ve got to know her little ways,

I am her one and only Mum.

 

I guess it’s a funny feeling

To think someone else will do it all,

Even though I know deep in my heart

They’ll all have such a ball.

 

I know it’s only for the day,

That she’ll be in amazing hands,

But she’s my tiny baby girl

And I wish I could change my plans.

 

I guess I’m ready to go back to my job,

At which I’m rather good.

To drink hot coffee, wear clean clothes

And take time over my food!

 

But, listen up, cos here’s my say,

(I know you care so much);

Walking away from our daughter

Will be seriously tough.

 

So instead of telling me

It’s for the best you know!

Just let me shed a little tear,

Before I have to go.

 

Then give me a hug and a little shake

And send me on my way.

Tell me that she’ll miss me,

But that she can’t wait to play.

 

 

Written by Victoria Sbraga 2018

A Job Role to Fill!

Lifestyle, Parenting

There’s a gap in the careers market that I think really needs to be filled.

I need a life PA.

And I bet I’m not the only one (was going to say Mum, but then I realised I needed this before I became a Mum!).

Life these days is just so busy, it’s almost impossible to keep on top of everything.

Everyone kindly sends you email reminders when policies are expiring, invoices when payments need to be made and calendar notifications for important dates (if you remembered to put them on your calendar in the first place), but someone like me could really do with this all being consolidated.

My life PA would be sent all my important house admin to keep on top of, make sure I had the best rates for energy/insurance/etc. They’d make sure I always had enough stamps to send important mail. They’d give me enough notice to actually purchase and wrap birthday presents and get them in the post in time, instead of being a last minute thing when that’s really not my style – I much prefer the personal touch but I can never seem to get organised enough! They’d make sure we see a dentist and an optician whenever we’re supposed to (twice a year?!) and they’d consolidate important information about term dates, classes, fees due etc for the kids activities.

Oh, and I don’t have a bottomless pot of money (or much of a pot at all for that matter!) so this would all need to be done on a shoestring budget.

I feel like there’s someone out there who would be SO suited to doing this for busy Mums, for a sensible price, and who with enough people to do it for could actually manage to make a good living doing it!

So if you’re out there, here’s the idea for you : )

I’m off to try and sort my diary, send last minute cards and presents, check the calendar for our Christmas arrangements, try and get a food shop and sort out our energy bill.

Happy Mummy-ing!

Victoria x