It’s time for a confession. And this is something I take no pride in.
My children are square-eyed TV addicts.
From the moment they get up in the morning, they want ‘their TV’ on. I occasionally can hold them off long enough to see the news headlines or a weather report, but I usually don’t have the mental strength to cope with the little terrors’ demands until well after my morning cuppa. What they mean by ‘their TV’ is Paw Patrol. (If your shoulders just slumped in response to those words, I feel ya sista…)
I hate Paw Patrol almost as much as they love it. I hate the fact that I know all the pups names, even Tracker who is new and hardly in it. I hate the fact that I know Ryder is supposed to be 10 years old and yet can drive a jet ski and a quad bike, not to mention the fact he has access to funds that allow him to build a large headquarters, have a huge lorry-style transporter and the new flying version ‘the Air Patroller’. I hate the fact that when he gets the call to respond to an emergency, he has to call the dogs in to HQ and makes them get changed into special outfits and go down a slide before they can actually leave to sort out said emergency. That system is very inefficient, and hardly suited to an emergency service, fictional or otherwise.
Most of all though, I hate Mayor Goodway and her pet chicken Chicoletta. I know our political system needs a lot of work, but at least our mayor doesn’t pander to a cosseted chicken and constantly get into scrapes which require the assistance of some talking dogs. For a while, I got annoyed that the only female in a position of power in the whole series was being portrayed as an inept fool, and what sort of an example was that to be setting to my daughters, but then I remembered that it’s a cartoon and I probably have better things to be concerned about.
So yes, I know far too much about Paw Patrol, because it seems like it is on ALL the time if our TV is on. I shouldn’t moan, because it’s entirely the fault of my husband and I. We do take the kids out daily for park visits, walks, bike rides, soft play, play dates etc and we do turn the TV off and do activities such as reading, art, craft, jigsaws, play dough, baking, den-building, or just free play, but there are often expanses of time which need filled, and we have chosen to fill those with TV. And it’s not all bad – my kids have a great vocabulary, can count and do maths well beyond expectation for their ages, and have some good knowledge of engineering and physics thanks to their occasional forays into Blaze and the Monster Machines. I heard my 2 year old shout “Centripetal Force!” at the telly the other day and felt a sense of pride, although that dissipated somewhat as I realised she had an American accent.
So for now, our TV habits will remain the same. And I’ll just have to keep telling the girls that any woman who carries a pet chicken around in her handbag is probably not best suited to a position of power…