The picture above is of Dipsy. On the off-chance you’ve never come across him before, Dipsy is a Teletubby, off of the TV show ‘Teletubbies’. I say ‘he’ although I wasn’t sure before I started writing this if Teletubbies had specific genders and, if so, what specific gender Dispsy was. But I’ve checked, because the Internet will often provide this information and Dipsy is apparently male. So is Tinky Winky. Laa-Laa and Po are supposedly female.
It doesn’t especially matter what gender Dipsy is, but it is helpful to have a pronoun to use when writing about a fictional character and according to my ‘research’ the pronoun that is most appropriate for Dipsy is ‘he’.
Anyway, Dipsy is a Teletubby and my 2-year-old daughter, known on this blog as ‘Little Proclaims’, is a big fan of the Teletubbies. Not exclusively. Her favourite show is ‘Peppa Pig’ and there are a few other shows that she also enjoys.
Not that we let her watch that much TV because, as we all know, TV is evil and parents who let their children watch too much TV should be shot. And I don’t want you, dear reader, to think of me as a bad parent. So I definitely don’t let her watch much TV.
Even though it does keep her quiet sometimes.
Which can be helpful.
Also it seems to make her happy.
But who wants a happy child?
And because we make her watch some shows in French and some in English, even at the tender age of two she is showing some pretty encouraging signs that she is able to communicate in both languages.
But who wants an educated child?
No TV is evil and we actively discourage it over here at Proclaims Towers.
Although Mrs Proclaims and I both quite like watching TV and we’re both reasonably well-educated and responsible people with a range of interests and we’re both in relatively good health.
But hypocrisy is the key to good parenting and thus we rarely let Little Proclaims watch any TV at all.
But somehow the little tyke has found a way, because she seems to really like a lot of TV shows.
And ‘Teletubbies’ is one of those.
I was slightly surprised by this because, although I was already far too old to be the target audience for the show when it first came out, it still feels like it has been around for a gazillion years. But apparently it is still a thing and the little people of the world still really like it.
Dipsy, as far as I can make out, is Little Proclaims’ favourite Teletubby. I don’t know why. Having said that, if I were to pick a favourite, I too would choose Dipsy. I don’t know why that is either.
As well as TV shows, Little Proclaims does like other things. Mostly books and running around like a crazy person. I mention books because a child who likes books obviously has very good and caring parents. Not like those bad parents who let their children watch TV. Although, I would say that as flicking through books (she’s showing signs that she is relatively precocious but I’m pretty sure she can’t read yet) also seems to keep her quiet and reduces the amount of ‘running around like a crazy person’, I wonder if we are encouraging the love of literature for entirely altruistic reasons.
Little Proclaims also quite likes toys, although I would say her love for toys falls some way below her love for watching TV, pretending to read books and running around like a crazy person. But she does still play with toys sometimes. She has quite a lot of soft toys, including a stuffed Peppa Pig, that we got her for Christmas. She likes these, but they go in and out of favour and even Peppa, who we assumed would be an eternal favourite, sometimes finds herself discarded in favour of one of her other furry friends.
So when I bought her the Dipsy stuffed toy for her recent birthday, I expected her to like it, but I didn’t expect for it to become her favourite thing in the world ever.
But she appears to be completely and utterly smitten.
And this is good news. Generally one wants a gift to be well-received.
But Dipsy appears to hold a status within my daughter’s affections that no other toy has ever held. She is inconsolable if she is separated from him even for a moment.
This made bath-time, normally a favourite part of the day for Little Proclaims, into a living nightmare the other evening. Because Dipsy can’t get in the bath with her. Not just because that isn’t a good thing for stuffed toys in general, but because Dipsy is a ‘talking’ soft toy. There is some battery powered device inside Dipsy that makes him say some of his famous catchphrases from the TV show. But you can’t get it wet or it will stop working.
And while I could certainly get on board with a quieter Dipsy, I feel some of the appeal to Little Proclaims is his ability to say “eh-oh” and “hat, hat, hat”. It’s not Shakespeare but my understanding is that not many toddlers are all that into the bard.
So Little Proclaims and Dipsy had to be separated so that Little Proclaims could have her bath. And this was difficult for her to bear.
There were many recriminations..
So, later in the evening, when I was changing her nappy before putting her to bed, I allowed Dipsy to come to the changing mat with us. This is normally not permitted because we obviously don’t want the contents of the nappy to get on the toys. But this was just a tactical nappy change before she went down for the night, so there were no unpleasant surprises waiting therein. It was pretty straightforward. The old nappy came off and the new one went on.
But the drama was just about to begin.
Little Proclaims, though now of course fully weaned and eating proper food, does still drink a fair bit of milk as part of her diet. And she has a lot of this milk before she goes to bed. She’s pretty good for the most part, at regulating her own intake, so we tend to let her take the lead on how much she has.
There have been a very small number of occasions when she has consumed too much. And when she does that, there tends to be some vomit. Quite a lot of vomit.
Projectile would be an insufficient adjective to describe the eruption.
Anyway, this happened to be one of those evenings.
As I say it doesn’t happen a lot, and but when it does, it can be a nightmare to clean up.
But fortunately on this occassion she managed to avoid getting any on herself and somehow directed it all onto the changing mat. I breathed a sigh of relief. Changing mats are, by their very nature, pretty easy to clean.
Once Little Proclaims had relieved herself of her burden she was as right as rain. And with the unbridled joy that only a two-year old can muster, she enquired after her new favourite toy.
Alas, poor Dipsy.
He did not make it out unscathed.
Dipsy can’t go in the washing machine for the same reasons that he can’t go into the bath.
So, though no longer visibly covered in vomit, for it was sponged off with immediate haste, Dipsy retains a vomit-like aroma.
Frankly it is unpleasant to be in the same room as Dipsy.
But Little Proclaims continues to adore him.
And so Dipsy remains an ever-present figure in all of our lives.
I doubt we’d have this problem if I’d opted for Tinky-Winky instead.