Wiggle it? Not on Your Nelly

If you’re a dad-to-be you may want to stay away from skivvies for a while.

Personally, I have nothing against skivvies. Purple, yellow, blue and even red ones are all fine by me. I also take no issue with any man who wants to wear one either. But when our kids were little and we were choosing TV shows to get into, I wasn’t going to let the skivvy-wearing Wiggles into my house and you’d do well to reconsider letting them into yours.

From my point of view, signing up for three more years of “Hot Potato”, “Little Red Car” and flipping Wiggly fingers would’ve been the death of me. I’d already gone through that with seven of my nieces and nephews and I just couldn’t face that kind of chirpiness again, especially on a Saturday morning when their mum was having a sleep-in.

Hi-5? Nope. The whatchamacallits? Nope. Play School? Not in our house. If we were going to watch the same thing over and over we were going to do it with shows that I liked.

Fireman Sam, Thomas the Tank Engine, The Octonauts, Winnie-the-pooh, Bananas in Pyjamas, Curious George, Peppa Pig and James Bond movies. All were approved viewing. Shows with accents where you could do funny voices and amuse yourself for the next few hours.

There’s a lot of responsibility when it comes to picking shows your kids will get into. Make the wrong choice and you’re going to regret it. The same goes for books.

You see, a book needs to engage both reader and listener. Too much repetition and you’ll go nuts when they ask you to read it for the 30th time that week. “We’re going on a bear hunt?” Oh no, we’re not. That book’s definitely out. It’s a killer. If you wrote it without the repetition it would be two pages long, but no, you’ve got to drag it out page after excruciating page.

Anything by Oliver Jeffers is brilliant. Sharp writing, awesome illustrations and great little messages for eager little minds. Dr Seuss is timeless. To paraphrase the Dr: if you haven’t read them with your kids you should because these books are fun and fun is good.

So there you have it dad-to-be, consider yourself forewarned. Choose wisely and you’ll have hours of fun together. Choose poorly and it won’t just be Jeff who struggles to stay engaged.


Join a great bunch of dads (and mums). Subscribe now.