Friday, 2 October 2015

My Open Letter To The Programme Director of Cbeebies.

Dear Programme Director of CBeebies,

Let me introduce myself. I am Nathalie a mum of a 3.5 year old and a 4 month old. 

You may or may not have heard of a blogger and blog called The Unmumsy Mum. If you haven't yet you really must. It's a true, it's honest and it's bloody funny. It's a blog reflecting the trials and tribulations of children and parenthood and I've been a fan for a long while. Her witty and straight to the point status updates and blog posts can ring true in any parents ear. 

The other week, Charlie and I happened to be watching an episode of Topsy and Tim on Cbeebies. He's a massive fan and bravo on the catchy theme tune. It was the twin's 5th birthday. Mummy Twin (we never find out their surname - why is that?) had purchased two rather large silver number 5 balloons for the twins birthdays, you know the ones that usually cost about £8 each. Upon getting back to the car they struggled to get them into the back of their mum's small hatchback firstly please don't patronise us mothers, even I could have judged that and I have no spacial awareness whatsoever, but thank goodness the mother in law was on hand to take them homes - what are the chances hey!

Topsy & Tim and those balloons
Upon getting home Topsy and Tim proceeded to argue over who was going to carry the beautifully hand decorated cupcakes that Mummy had had made for the little darlings birthday. You can guess what's coming, well you should know what's coming. Yes, they pulled the box and dropped them all onto the carpet - sodding buttercream everywhere. What happens next is beyond me. Instead of going mental at them, like any normal person would have done given they've been miserable all the way home because Granny helpfully offered to look after and take their balloons home they then dropped the cupcakes that would have cost the earth. Now what do you think any normal parent would have done or said? Well, she simply tells them "in situations like this you've just got to breathe". I'm sorry but wtf?!?!? The buttercream has gone everywhere and they now don't have cupcakes for their party and all she can say is "take a deep breathe"?!?!? After cupcakegate Granny turns up with the balloons and the twintastic twins run out to greet her. Naturally as children do they then argued about who was to carry the balloons inside, funny how they never argue as to who is going to bring the shopping in isn't it? Well as if cupcakegate wasn't enough to make you lose your sh*t the inevitable happens next. Of course, one of them lets go and the number 5 balloon flies into the sky - you might well have attached a tenner to the string and watched that fly away for all I care, you can tell Topsy and Tim's mum to next time get a weight for the balloons. I would now have seriously lost the plot, with a response similar to "are you kidding me first you drop the sodding cakes and now the balloon?!?!?!? Get inside, both of you go to your rooms, you wait till your dad comes home, and you can forget about having a party!!!", and of course muttering words under my breath that should never be heard in children's ears. Mummy's response "in situations like this you've just go to breathe". 

Ok. Stop right there BBC. What the hell are you doing to us parents?!? I totally get that you are trying to promote good morals in these kids but do you realise that in doing this you are just setting the little people up for a fall later on? How I hear you ask? How, er, by portraying mums like Topsy & Tim's mum in shows that our kids watch. No bleedin' wonder so many people want to go and live with Topsy and Tim's mum, so would I. All this is teaching kids, obviously alongside stranger danger blah blah blah is that it's ok for you to lose your balloons and drop your cakes that you parents paid good money for because you won't get any repercussions apart from going to their room to take a deep breath. Surely there must be some mums at the BBC who must realise that portraying family life like this is not normal?!?

Well, I took to The Unmumsy Mum Facebook page to vent my fury amongst a group of mothers that I hoped would see my point of view. Well, thank goodness they did. In fact after 3600 likes and over 280 shares I guessed that I wasn't alone in my thoughts. 

Please don't get me wrong, I would love to be a parent like Topsy & Tim's mum, hell I aspire to be like her and be married to someone like their dad but do you know what, sometimes life and kids that throw tantrums that get in the way and 9/10 there is no such man as the twins dad. Ok, so I shout a lot. Too much. My darling eldest Charlie has at times pushed me to the edge and team that with lack of sleep it's amazing that no one has been killed in the process but I think this shows that I am just human. Parenting tests us daily. No one does it right. No two parenting books are the same. We are all just trying to survive. To get through the day with kids that are alive come bedtime and who are not socially screwed up by the time they fly the nest. 

So, the point of my letter is this, please try and portray family life in your tv shows as more normal in the future. Show kids having an unacceptable tantrum and being told off. Show mums resorting to a glass of wine at 430pm whilst she stirs the baked beans for tea. Show Daddy getting an earful for not doing something every once and a while and please please please show a full scale meltdown in the middle of a supermarket isle by Topsy or Tim and then have Mummy whisper sweetly in their ear "you just wait till I get you home", that would be great. 

Oh, and one more thing, when your casting director says "hey guess what we've hired an actress who used to be in Eastenders for the twins mum" maybe think twice. 

What would Topsy and Tim's gorgeous dad say?!?
Why? Because whilst you're trying to get your moral issue across we Mums can't help but think, "hmmmmm that's all very well but I wonder how Topsy and Tim would react if they knew that their perfect mum has been having it off with a balding second hand car seller that's a total womaniser and was also accused of murder". Just a thought. 

Just so you don't think that we are ending on a sarcastic and bitter note, I did sign the "Save the Cbeebies channel" online petition. Parenting would be 100x harder without Andy with that smile and that hair, Dr Ranj - (why can't all GP's be like that?) and a huge thank you from all us mothers out there for bringing Mr Bloom into our lives, we are forever grateful. 

Thank you for Mr Bloom. That's all. 

Yours sincerely, 

Nathalie Webb
This Surrey Mummy

instagram: thissurreymummy

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