I’ve got something to confess. I really like The Wiggles. Like, really really like them. I think it’s bordering on obsession. I have a problem.
Up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know the kid-friendly, Australian ‘family’ existed. However, having recently discovered them on Netflix – with Toddler L, might I add – I now can’t imagine a Wiggle-free life. How bleak my existence must have been before encountering their catchy songs, jovial skits and inoffensive brand of children’s entertainment.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in being slightly obsessed with kid’s TV though. It doesn’t have to be The Wiggles either. It might be that you’re a secret fan of Peppa Pig, you can’t get enough of Ben and Holly, or would choose Dora The Explorer as your specialist subject on Mastermind.
Whatever your preference, I do not judge. As a Wiggle-groupie myself, I have enough issues on my plate without casting judgement on others. The main thing to remember is that for all of the utter shite on TV, you’ve found something that you enjoy, you care about and it makes you feel whole. Thanks to The Wiggles for that.
This got me thinking about whether there needs to be a test to see how obsessed we are with children’s TV shows. Are there any telltale signs that indicate that your general indifference to a show has turned into a raging boner? Of course, I’m speaking figuratively – Mr Tumble has given me nothing more than a semi.
So, with the example of my The Wiggles obsession out in the open, here’s a few signs that made me realise I’d become an addict. Maybe it’ll help you too…
1) Instead of simply asking your kid what they want to watch on TV, you’ll do so with a leading question – “Shall we watch The Wiggles?”.
2) Following on from point 1, if they dare to say “no” or choose an unworthy show, you’ll put that programme on anyway and jokingly cover for your ‘problem’ by saying something like “Aww, but Daddy wants to watch The Wiggles. Pwease.”
3) Whereas other children’s shows are a proper ballache to sit through, you’ll find yourself more than happily watching – and joining in. There’s no need to pretend that you’re watching TV with your kid as you actually check social media when The Wiggles is on. You *may* have even watched it when you’re kid isn’t around…
4) You’ll have visited the show’s Wikipedia page at least once (in the last hour) in a desperate attempt to learn more about the programme and quench that thirst for knowledge.
5) 12 hours later, you’ll have been led on a scary journey of internet clicks which has seen you reach page 63 of Google search results, find out their previous acting jobs on IMDB, join the official mailing list, follow the stars of the show on Instagram to see the ‘real’ them and made friends with like-minded ‘fans’ on message boards.
6) You will discover something about the show which literally makes your jaw drop. A proper OMG moment that is close to shattering your world. In my case, it was finding out that Yellow Wiggle (Emma) and Purple Wiggle (Lachy) are actually married in real life. WTF. Shit the bed. And other youthful terms I’m not cool enough to know.
7) You’ll find yourself sharing your new interest with your nearest and dearest. Sure, your kid is probably already a fan considering the show is aimed at them, but what about your partner, your siblings or your parents? Of course the missus would like to be kept updated with the latest Wiggle based news, facts and revelations! Why the hell would she not?
8) You believe that you know the characters. As friends. As family. Even as lovers. You’ll find yourself dealing with emotions that you shouldn’t have to deal with for a kid’s TV show. Love. Lust. Rage. Jealousy. “Why is Yellow Wiggle flirting with Red Wiggle – does she not know that I’m watching?” or “Hang on, did Anthony just give Simon a dirty look – what the hell’s that guys problem? He needs to sort himself out or I’ll be having words.”
9) It’ll get to a point where watching from afar isn’t enough. Sure, TV and social media is great, but wouldn’t it be even better to be in the same room as them? To breathe the air they breathe. To be able to reach out and touch them. As such, you’ll find yourself Googling tour dates and special guest appearances. Anything to be close. But not too close, particularly after that restraining order.
10) You’ll write a blog post about your obsession. Part to show the world that your love is real, part as a desperate cry for help.
Like this? Then you may enjoy 13 random thoughts from watching kids’ TV on CBeebies and a transcript from a night out with the CBeebies presenters.