Well, what fun weekend that was. On Saturday, we went to a local farm, where the bubster poked a horse in the nose, hitched a ride on the back of a tractor, crawled through some tunnels, fell in a patch of guinea pig poop, nearly got taken out by a toy digger and dominated the soft play ball pit. And on Sunday, we visited some friends who have a four-year-old and a two-year-old and then popped in to see some pals who have a two-week-old.
If you ignore the fact our son shattered a porcelain tissue box holder and threw rubbish all over the floor, the latter meet up went well. And if you ignore the fact I significantly elongated the drive by entering the wrong postcode into the sat-nav, then the former get together was also a success, particularly because it opened my eyes to a mistake I’ve been making on this site.
My revelation occurred when my wife’s friends were discussing which cartoon would do the best job of keeping the kids entertained while the adults were eating lunch. “It’s got to be Paw Patrol or Spid the racing car,” they decided. “I thought all toddlers were into Peppa Pig?” said my wife. “A lot are,” came the reply. “But we tend to avoid showing it to the girls, because Daddy Pig is always being portrayed as being a bit of a fool or branded as ‘silly’ and that’s not something we want them to hear.”
Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. One by one, my brain cells awoke from their Sunday slumber and began chattering. Are they right? Do words like silly perpetuate negative dad stereotypes? Yes and yes. So what does that have to do with me? In terms of Peppa Pig, not very much, as I haven’t watched anywhere near enough episodes to get involved in an impassioned debate around the pros and cons of Daddy Pig’s character. In terms of my site, an awful lot, as I have been running a regular feature called ‘Once Upon A Time A Silly Daddy…’.
If you know this feature, then you will be aware that it involves me re-telling my most horrific parental nightmares (and if you don’t, get up to speed with it now). I originally created it to make parents laugh and assure mums and dads that they aren’t the only ones who’ve arrived at work with poop on their arm, and I chose the headline because I thought the nod to Daddy Pig would help the pieces go viral – oink, oink.
But while the association with such a big kids’ TV star has helped my short-term page views, I now realise that it has hindered my long-term cause by conforming to the notion that men are the runt of the litter when it comes to looking after children. This is not good and it’s not right, so it ends here and it ends now. How? Summon the marching band, because I’m going to paste a ‘Dadz Rule OK’ temporary tattoo on my right bum cheek and storm the gates of Buckingham Palace in a luminous green mankini. Not really. From this day forth the franchise formerly known as ‘Once Upon A Time A Silly Daddy…’ will simply be titled ‘Once Upon A Time A Rookie Daddy…’.