Monday, July 07, 2008


Bloody Teletubbies! (I hate that show)

Most mornings, while Ewok is having his breakfast, I put CBeebies on for him to watch. Over the last few weeks we've become used to the fact that at 11am we can watch Something Special, which is one of Ewok's two favourite shows (the other being Higgledy House). He loves it so much that he'll come running when he hears the music (if he's not already watching) and will happily sit next to me on the sofa to watch it. It's the only program I will deliberately sit and watch, because I need to learn the signs too, and it doesn't make me cringe like a lot of modern kids telly does.

I think it's one of the best childrens programs on telly at the moment. It is primarily aimed at special needs kids, teaching them Makaton. However it's great for all kids to watch, as it shows that there are children with different needs from the usual ones, and it enables all young children to learn the Makaton signs, whether they will actually need them as they grow older or not.

For Ewok this has a immediate benefit, in that he can sign things to me for which he doesn't yet have the words. An obvious example is that I have him signing thank you. Some may say that if he can 'get away' with signing it, then he won't bother learning to say it, but before I taught him the sign all he would do was give a nod and a grunt (or a giggle) when I told him to say thank you, now I get the sign and a cheesy grin, and he will grow to understand the concept of thanks whether he's saying it or signing it.

Another one he's learned is the sign for balloon. Ball/balloon was one of the first things he learned to say, but the word for both was the same and sounded like ball. Let's face it, balloon is a bit tricky when you're just learning to talk. Then he learned the sign for balloon, so now if he means ball, he says ball, but if he means balloon, he says ball and does the sign for balloon as well.

The show also benefits from having Justin Fletcher as the presenter (he also does Higgledy House) and he is a fabulous presenter, and I'm almost certain that it's him (rather than the show) that Ewok loves to watch. In fact while googling for the links for this post I discovered that Justin has been honoured this year for services to Childrens Broadcasting and the Voluntary Sector.

So, what does all this have to do with Teletubbies I hear you ask. Well, this morning I switched on the telly as usual, 11am rolled around and what was on the telly, not Something Special, oh no, bloody Teletubbies! In fact most of the schedule appears to have changed (thank you BBC) and there's no more Something Special for the foreseeable, although they have put Higgledy House on in the afternoons, so I'll have to remember to record that (it's during his naptime), then I can put that on tomorrow morning instead.

Of course this would happen after a weekend when Ewok has repeatedly asked to watch Something Special, which he does by making the sign for Mr Tumble* (a character on the show) and grinning at me like a loon, and I've been telling him that he can see it again on Monday (today) because they don't tend to put it on over the weekend. We've just been to wash his hands and clean his teeth and he's asked me for Mr Tumble three times in five minutes, I guess I'll just have to request and borrow the DVD's from the library.

* See, he can't say 'Mummy please can I watch Something Special' but he can sign 'Mr Tumble' and I know that's what he means.