Why my daughter watches Paul Simon instead of Peppa Pig

Simon & Garfunkel performing on stage

“ABC,” the Popple says.

“You want ‘ABC’?” I ask.

“Yeah!” she says.

I put on a video of The Jackson 5 performing on American Bandstand. The Popple sits on my lap, spellbound by a very young and not yet creepy Michael Jackson.

“Nice Hat,” I say, even though Michael Jackson doesn’t wear a hat in this video. However, he does wear a purple hat in the video for “I Want You Back”, which she’s seen loads of times, so we’ve taken to referring to him as ‘Nice Hat’.

“Hat,” she says.

She never said the word ‘hat’ before she watched that video. She was aware of hats, obviously – she’s worn them herself and loudly objected to me wearing them – but she never named them out loud until she saw Michael Jackson’s purple fedora.

The Popple doesn’t watch much children’s TV. She has no interest in Peppa Pig, In The Night Garden or whatever crap toddlers are watching these days. She only wants to watch a very specific selection music videos, including:

  • I’ve Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
  • I Get Around – The Beach Boys
  • ABC – The Jackson 5
  • Easy Love – Sigala
  • You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon
  • Here We Go Again – OK Go
  • I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Cups – Anna Kendrik

These are videos that she has carefully selected out of the many that we have exposed her to, a finely-tuned playlist that speaks to her love of classic rock, electronic dance music, throwaway pop and celebrity cameos.

I’ve questioned this aspect of her routine a lot. Not only does it involve the much-maligned screen time, but it’s age-inappropriate screen time to boot. What exactly can an 18-month-old get out of watching a bunch of millenials in animal onesies sing about Taylor Swift’s boyfriend problems, or seeing Chevy Chase faux-trumpet with a grumpy Paul Simon?

Well. More that you’d think, actually.

She learned the word ‘clock’ from “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You.” If you haven’t seen it, the video basically consists of George Harrison sitting in a chair while everything in the room moves around him – the bookshelf, the desk, the paintings, etc. She’s obsessed with the swaying grandfather clock.

“Cock!” she yells when she sees it, because she hasn’t mastered the ‘L’ sound yet. “Cock cock cock!”

It’s especially fun when she busts out this new skill in public.

She likes to name things that she recognises in these videos – a car that drives by Tom Hanks in “I Really Like You,” a fake bird that sits outside Taylor Swift’s fake window in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, the cup Anna Kendrink uses for percussion in “Cups”. She claps along with The Beach Boys and drums along with Paul Simon. Watching music videos is hardly a passive activity for her. She is, in her own weird way, learning.

It’s not exactly sensory play, organic baking or Pinterest-worthly crafts, and I’m never going to win mum of the year for encouraging my daughter to watch Carly Rae Jepsen. But she likes it. It gives us an excuse to sit down together and have a bit of a break. And it’s far less annoying than Peppa Pig and whiny, projectile-crying brother.

On a related note, someone compiled a video of all the instances of George Pig crying. No one asked them to and it’s the absolute worst, but it exists because the internet is terrible.

Two Tiny Hands

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

Island Living 365

30 Comment

  1. Haha – hilarious! My little one unfortunately loves night garden though only the soundtrack in the car. Her favourite Tv thing is the Sky News weather map – I guess she can at 9 months. May be appropriate given I do a family travel blog!

  2. Haha – hilarious! My little one unfortunately loves night garden though only the soundtrack in the car. Her favourite Tv thing is the Sky News weather map – I guess she can at 9 months. May be appropriate given I do a family travel blog!

  3. Haha – hilarious! My little one unfortunately loves night garden though only the soundtrack in the car. Her favourite Tv thing is the Sky News weather map – I guess she can at 9 months. May be appropriate given I do a family travel blog!

  4. Amazing! We’re a huge music loving family, and I’ve got a video of my daughter going mental to a Prodigy track! Much better than Peppa Pig! #FamilyFun

  5. haha thats brilliant. The Popple cleary has an eclectic repertoire. My two like watching sleeping bunnies on you tube – but on the telly and the Hokey Cokey. They dance along to it and therefore I satisfy myself in that they are learning co-ordination, they are moving and I can sit quietly and read blogs posts! haha. Thanks for joining us at #Familyfun

  6. My five year old seems to like Metallica and Five Finger Death Punch. Guess I’ve got a little metal head. Anything is better than Peppa Pig! #familyfun

  7. Ahh cool! Robert doesn’t watch TV at all, doesn’t interest him. We listen to the radio a lot! I’ve not tried him on music videos, I feel he might start to learn a lot! Never watched an episode of Peppa pig, boy that George crys a lot, people have too much time on their hands! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

  8. I think learning about pop culture from generations before theirs is very valuable for a better understanding of the world. I’m forever grateful for my parents exposing me to a lot of different types of music growing up, and I feel like you get a lot more out of that than cheesy kids shows they won’t really remember.

  9. This is s brilliant idea and one I will be stealing to use down the line!
    I love how varied your daughter choice of music is. I’d be interested to see how it differs between children of a similar age.
    Thanks for sharing your great idea (personally I think it’s sounds much better than Peppa Pig)
    #ablogginggoodtime

  10. I think this is a brilliant idea! It’s a long while ago now, but when small (6 months to a year) my daughter would watch cookery programmes and Working Lunch (a daily economics/business round-up) – both have a lot of shots of people talking straight to camera which I think fascinated her. Now 19, she’s interested in cooking and politics … so who knows how much influence early TV has on children …

  11. I love this so much. Why do we insist on showing our children programmes that display stereotypical, negative images of family members. Thanks for writing something fantastic, it really made me smile. A xx

  12. This is brilliant and reminds me of my son. He used to love The Specials, now he prefers Rihanna ” that lady” he calls her. But his absolute obsession is the quiz show Pointless. Oh and he’s been doing Davina McCall’s fitness DVD since he could walk, he’s now 3! I love their little interests, they’re so cute and funny! PS. Your daughter has great taste! #stayclassy

  13. Despite feeding my children a diet of Elvis, The Andrews Sisters and Arcade Fire I now have a 2 yr old Rammstein fan and a 6 yr old Little Mix fan :/ #ablogginggoodtime

  14. Haha! That’s so funny and brilliant!
    Baby is only 4 months but we don’t allow her to watch kids TV, instead every evening she sits down with her dad and watches half an hour of YouTube music videos. She loves it, Enya, Michael Jackson, Queen… absolutely any music will have her transfixed. Long may it continue! #ablogginggoodtime

  15. BB has a rather eclectic taste in music thanks to Misery Guts – strangers often stare in disbelief when they hear her singing when we’re out and about! #ablogginggoodtime

  16. I would have loved my kids to watch these types of videos when they were younger (although my daughter is 11 and listens to Taylor Swift A LOT! Lol). They drove me nuts with Peppa Pig etc x
    #FamilyFun

  17. Mine is obsessed with Bing, I may try and convert her!

    #stayclassymama

  18. I too could watch Anna Kendrick “Cups” forever…. good taste there. And anything is better than BLOODY CBEEBIES

  19. I love this! Definitely better than Peppa fecking Pig. While Tom was ill we started watching quite a bit of kids tv, because there’s only so many books you can read to a 1 year old who literally won’t leave your lap all day. we watched quite a few Christmas songs on YouTube though! And I think I’ve gotten him into the Gilmore girls… #ablogginggoodtime

  20. I love this! Definitely better than Peppa fecking Pig. While Tom was ill we started watching quite a bit of kids tv, because there’s only so many books you can read to a 1 year old who literally won’t leave your lap all day. we watched quite a few Christmas songs on YouTube though! And I think I’ve gotten him into the Gilmore girls… #ablogginggoodtime

  21. Hahaha…What joy to watch some cool “educational” music videos with your little one! If only annoying made-for-kids songs and videos were half as entertaining and worth learning from, our lives would be so much more fun. #familyfun

  22. Oh that is so cute, some great choices of music too, maybe she will be a singer, or some sort of artistic director, she is going to be a very cool kid! #stayclasymama

  23. I am probably two or three peppa shows from truly losing my mind over here.

    I hate those pigs.

    #fridayfrolics

  24. Yes mine used to call it a cock too, it lead to lots of amusing conversations. Kids TV is awful, wait till she’s older you have lots of delights to see. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  25. Kids – you have to love them! I remember when mine were as little as yours, and it was hilarious the things that came out of their mouth. As I remember, they also prefered music over cartoons for a while. We never did fancy Peppa Pig, we watched a lot of Shaun the Sheep;)) #FridayFrolics

  26. Can I adopt Popple please? My two have awful taste in music, will only watch One Direction. I love that Popple has eclectic taste in music. Don’t worry about “cock” Youngest used to shout “WILLY”. It’s what she called her sister. Long story. Thanks for joining us at #FridayFrolics

  27. My baby loves music videos he’s not honed his taste quite as well just yet but he does like Paul Simon songs haha. I’m sure once he gets a proper handle on the remote we’ll find out his viewing preferences! #FridayFrolics

  28. I love this. We’ve always had living room discos in our house. My eldest is 7 and has his own taste in music. Through no fault of my own he is a huge One Direction fan, because in his words “There’s no girls”! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  29. I love this! My three year old loves music and dancing and I’m sure it’s because we’ve always had ‘music’ on and about the house. I, myself love a good music video and your daughters choices are particularly good I must say!
    Peppa Pig is one of the most annoying kids shows out there #stayclassymama

  30. Sadly, mine have discovered Peppa Pig! Both of mine dropped the ‘l’ in clock too – always good! Funnily enough, when I was little, I LOVED Call Me Al (not even the video – the actual song). That & Dire Straits’ Walk of Life. I used to choreograph dances to them both! Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics

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