Thursday, May 12, 2016

Peppa Pig and her magical spell

For the uninitiated, where have you been? Peppa Pig is the sassy, curious pig. She has a brother, George. She also has a Mumma Pig and a Daddy Pig. And they are British. Most importantly, she rules the world. Peppa, that is. The toddler world anyway. She has a certain power over my kids that even I don't have. 

Oh, and those muddy puddles. One of the most important aspects of Peppa's life is the muddy puddles. And now, it is a very important part of Sammy and Rehan's life as well. These two words can shine bright light on their faces like they have been promised one chocolate ice cream a day for the rest of their lives. Sammy may be crying her lungs out for whatever reason, and I will have her attention if I merely utter the words "muddy puddle." Those two words are enough for her to stop crying for 30 seconds, until she figures that it is a trap and I just used those words to stop her from crying. Rehan could be having a horrible tantrum, and his tantrums will melt away as soon as I ask him "Do you wan to watch Peppa Pig?"

We all know what good parenting involves. It involves not giving into your kid's tantrums. Not enabling them. Not fulfilling the very request they have been throwing a fuss about, because otherwise they use that as a strategy to get what they want, all the time. It involves being consistent and following through. I could go on. Most of us know these golden rules of raising a disciplined child. But I can promise you, there will be days, and more than you would like to admit, when you will knowingly throw these golden rules out the window. Simple because you are too tired, either mentally or physically. Or just because. I keep telling  myself, "It is ok. It happens." I console myself before anyone else can condemn or console. 

We have this rule of permitting screen time for kids only on weekends. They could cry and request all they want but they don't get any screen the rest of the week. Unless of course, it is not our day. A day when Parents = 0, and Toddler = 1.  When all three kids are wailing at the same time. For no good reason. Or maybe, perfectly legitimate reasons. They have still not had their dinner even though they are starving. You know, because it is so much more important to throw a fit than to eat. And it is just Monday! They just had their screen time over the weekend. And the rest of the week seems so so long. So in the middle of our crying, screaming kids, I whisper the words "Do you want to watch Peppa Pig?" Suddenly, two out of three kids stop crying. "Yes," in unison they say. In my head I say "Victory." I know we have a rule. But today is not the day to feel married to it. Today is not the day to follow that rule. I need these little people to stop screeching at a 100 decibels. So I take out the evil-iPad and start the one and only, Peppa Pig. Magically, these kids turn into the most well behaved beings you may witness on this earth. They finish their dinner. Even ask for a second helping. They wipe their faces and drink their water. They clean their hands. Almost as if they are not my kids and were switched during the meal. So here we are. Watching Peppa Pig on a weekday.

Last month we were traveling and I noticed this super cool dad-mom duo traveling with their toddler and infant. They sat in front of us outside the boarding area. Eating their home cooked meal. Feeding broccoli to their toddler. Carrying a jogging stroller. Super fit. I was so inspired that I was borderline jealous. "If only I could be like them." I could hardly understand what they were saying to each other at a distance. But suddenly I saw the dad pull out his phone from his pocket and say something to his son. The only words I understood were "Peppa" and "Pig." Boom. Just like that. They became so much more relatable. My first thought was "I knew it! There had to be a catch!" My second thought was "Thank God it is not just us! That makes me a tad bit relieved." My third thought was "Parent, I hear ya! We all give in from time to time. Perfectly understandable."

Parents all over the world, coming from various different cultures, religions, regions, ethos, philosophy, race, etc., need a Peppa in their life. It is a magic spell that works no matter where we are from. 

1 comment:

shortindiangirl said...

In our house it's about 30 mins to an hour of total screen time, which includes phone games (even harmless mandala coloring) and video. With our transition, I've expanded that to screen time whenever mom needs it to happen so we're at a high for screen time. But then again if I count my own...