Youngest is six now so we’re well and truly beyond the baby years. She and her brothers – who are 10 and almost 12 respectively – are all pretty independent. So you’d think that the evidence of the early days is in short supply. But you’d be wrong! It struck me recently that there are still a few things from back then that we still do.
They’re basically just strange little learned behaviours that haven’t evolved with the kids’ ages. That’s not to say that we treat them like babies because we don’t. There are just a few oddities that seem to have remained in existence.
The television is home to a couple of our accidentally anachronistic approaches to parenting. While they were all still little, we got into the habit of changing the channel to CBeebies before switching off each night.
Just in case they got there first in the morning and there was something random on. I know there are watersheds to prevent inappropriate content, but kids can get freaked out by some weird things. Plus we didn’t want them to develop a strange fascination with daytime TV ads.
Cut to the present day and, despite the fact that they’ve all long since stopped watching CBeebies, we still do this. The particularly strange thing about it is that, relatively recently, the channel number changed so we must have unconsciously learned it!
Ah well, never mind. The big plus is that every now and then, I switch on the telly when nobody else has had it on all day and get to watch Clangers.
Then there are popular culture references we use in everyday life. Not up-to-date ones, mind. Nor are they truly popular culture unless you’re a small child or a parent of one. Yep, they’re almost exclusively kids’ TV show references from the 2010s. A proper Mastermind specialist subject if ever I saw one.
Infuriatingly, a lot of them are from Peppa Pig. Which just goes to show that you’re never free of her, even when you think you are. They’re somewhat tempered by better ones including Hey Duggee, while Horrible Histories is now making inroads. So, all being well, I will forget all about Peppa in another 10 years or so.
Here’s another baby years oddity. I picked up the cat the other day – which, in itself, is unusual as she hates me – and immediately started gently swaying. Needless to say, it didn’t have the same effect as it used to on the kids, but how on earth is that muscle memory still there?
Elsewhere, the plastic plates and beakers are still in rotation. Even though we trust the kids not to break the normal ones now. Plus, despite multiple donations to charity shops recently, a handful of That’s not my… books seem to have survived.
As have most of the fridge magnets which include CBeebies, Peppa Pig and the remainder of a Postman Pat set which once contributed to a flood in our kitchen. As you can see from the images above, I still amuse myself with them even if the kids don’t.
Do you have any surviving ‘baby years’ habits?