Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wiggles Wonderment

Firstly, I must apologise for being away from the blog for so long. The silly season is well and truly taking over our lives at the moment and I don't see any relief in sight until after New Year's. That said, I'll do my best to keep posting when possible.

Today began as a wet and wild one. The wind was blowing and their were sheets of rain falling from the sky. It looked to be the kind of day that made you want to curl up in your bed and stay there all day with a good book. Unfortunately, back in June I made plans for today that required rising early and getting the Handsome Australian and our children dressed, ready and out the door by 8:30am--which is fine for a weekday, but this is Sunday people--it should be a day of rest.

What was so important that I was up making pancakes at 6:30am? The Wiggles that's what. Yes, that's right, Australia's second biggest export after Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter, were playing live at Rod Laver arena in Melbourne today. If you've had children in the last 15 or so years, then chances are you are familiar with the Wiggles and their music. Perhaps you are more familiar than you'd like to admit or even better, perhaps you are more familiar than you'd like to be!! Well, here is how it is at our house...

We LOVE the Wiggles. It wasn't always so. When I had my first child, I was determined her mind wouldn't be wasted on such mindless nonsense. I wasn't really familiar with the Wiggles then, but didn't like the idea of this new life in my charge spending endless hours in front of the TV watching four guys in turtlenecks jumping around and singing. Oh yes, we know so much as new parents don't we? Slowly but surely though, my daughter was exposed to the Wiggles at other people's houses. She liked them, but I never encouraged her by buying any of their DVDs or music. She didn't seem fussed. She had other favourites and still seemed free of the Wiggles disease.

Then my son was born and someone gave us a Wiggles DVD. My girl still didn't watch it much. We were still a pretty Wiggle neutral household. Time went on and favourites came and went. One day my girl got the Wiggles DVD from the shelf and we wiped the dust off of it and put it on. She was mildly amused, but the effect the music had on my son was amazing. He would have been just over 1 year old at the time. That was it. He was HOOKED. We watched the DVD maybe two more times before forgetting it again, but any time we were anywhere there was Wiggles merchandise, he was pointing and shouting, "Wiggles! Wiggles!. Talk about brand recognition--those DVDs had worked their black magic on his little mind.

A few months later, a family member gave my boy a Wiggles backpack in preparation for an upcoming trip to the USA. He was beside himself with glee. This is the kid who had seen the DVD three times. That's it. He wouldn't take the bloody thing off. He walked around with it for hours. He probably would have slept with it if I'd let him. Not usually one to give in to this brazen commercialisation, I found myself secretly pleased he had a focused interest because that would make distracting him during the 14 hour transpacific flight a little bit easier. So in addition to the backpack he'd been given, I went out and bought a few Wiggles figurines to surprise him with on the flight and a couple of Wiggles story and colouring books. (I think this is the point at which I became an enabler).

The tale of that 14 hour flight was something like this: We boarded the flight and he played with his Wiggles figurines quietly while we took off. The Qantas flight attendants came by with WIGGLES themed activity packs for the kids. A lucky coincidence really, but the little fellow was pleased nonetheless. Once the newness of the figurines and activity pack wore off (about 45 minutes later) I had a wiggly 18 month old on my hands. I looked across at my daughter who was engrossed in the video screen in front of her playing on demand children's shows. Ah hah--what a great idea. So I turned on the video screen in front of me and the wiggly one and searched through the Qantas Entertainment network until I came across--you guessed it--a Wiggles movie. I tried putting those cheap airplane headphones on his little head so he could watch the movie, but he kept pulling them off. I was a bit disappointed because I thought there is no way he'd watch the movie without the sound. What fun would that be?

I couldn't have been more wrong. 13 hours later, our plane touched down in Los Angeles. My daughter had slept for about nine of those hours. My son on the other hand, was awake for all but one of them. I know, you can hear him crying from where you are sitting right now can't you? You're thinking he was so overtired and upset that he was throwing all sorts of tantrums--because that's what any normal kid would do right? Well, this kid isn't normal. He watched that Wiggles movie over and over and over again. I think we must have seen 10 rotations of it. 10 rotations WITHOUT the sound. He just sat in my lap and watched it (I think it was then that my love affair with the Wiggles was born). Yes, I didn't get any sleep on that flight, but my kid sat still and didn't cry at any point so I call that a victory folks. Thank you Wiggles. Thank you. Thank you.

As my son's love for the Wiggles grew, so did mine. They were constantly getting me out of difficult situations--he was so easily distracted by anything Wiggles related that any difficult situation could be diffused by simply pointing to the Wiggles logo on the back of a book cover or singing a Wiggles song. I'm telling you the power they hold over my son is amazing.

So obviously, when the opportunity arose to take him to see the Wiggles live in concert, I simply had to take advantage. So back in June, I bought six tickets to see the Wiggles: one for me, one for the Handsome Australian, one for our girl, one for our boy and one for their Grandmother and Great Auntie who wanted to come along to see what all the fuss was about.

And what a day it was...

To be continued...

5 comments:

KLS said...

I've always wondered about your secret for the long flights! Happy silly season!

suzinoz said...

Thanks KLS! Happy Silly Season to you too.

ibbabs97 said...

Love those Wiggles. We don't get to watch them much as we are always watching Geo or Superheros. Maybe when you come to visit we will get to see some.

suzinoz said...

Oh believe me, you'll get to see them when we come ibbabs97--that or we'll have to put the little fellow in rehab.

suzinoz said...

Oh believe me, you'll get to see them when we come ibbabs97--that or we'll have to put the little fellow in rehab.