Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Posts Tagged ‘Charlie & Lola

The joys of World Book Day

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Just as I feel I’m getting into a nice school routine with DD, knowing which homework to do on what day, for example, packing her off with the right kit and picking her up at the right time, the school throws a curve ball that knocks me right off track.

It came this week in the form of an email from our class rep stating that the children must attend school on World Book Day next week dressed as their favourite book character. Furthermore, the character couldn’t be from a TV or film that had spun off into a book; it had to have originated as a book.

Of course I’d heard of the horrors of Book Day from parents of older children but I’d somehow hoped that, like sending kids up chimneys, it would be abolished before my turn came to create a fancy-dress costume from two tissues, an old roller blind and a Cornflakes packet.

Lola - cute, wholesome and free.


Sadly not. And let’s face it, when it comes to anything that involves creativity of the arts and crafts variety, I’m as useful as a juniper berry in a French vineyard. Still, procrastinating does not a Little Red Riding Hood costume make, so I started by trawling the internet for ideas.

I presented DD with the following list, all of which I thought I could achieve with minimal effort and a stiff g&t: Little Red Riding Hood, the cat in the hat, Daisy from the Kes Gray books, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella (rags or riches), the ugly sisters, Rapunzel (I even offered to buy a Rapunzel wig!), Milly Molly Mandy, Darrell from Malory Towers, a pirate from Peter Pan (given she already has a pirate costume), Burglar Bill, Mr Strong, Little Miss Sunshine, Angelina Ballerina, Judy Moody, Lola from Charlie & Lola, and, finally, Little Princess.

DD was unimpressed.

“Hannah Montana?” she asked. Banned: Television before book.

“A Teletubby?” Ditto.

“Barney?” Ditto.

“Oh alright,” she sighed. “I’ll go as the Little Princess.” (I just know she was thinking about the red shoes from “I Want New Shoes”.)

But Little Princess is really aimed at three-year-olds. I realised DD would be a laughing stock among the girls of her class who, being 7 going on 17, will no doubt be coming as something from Sweet Valley High or, worse, The Vampire Diaries.

In desperation, I presented her with the iPad and let her trawl Amazon for ideas. After much deliberation she chose a flammable, nylon Dorothy costume from The Wizard of Oz (it’s the ruby slippers, I’m telling you) that would cost £20 to buy, plus the hire of a private jet to ship it over in time.  

£20's worth of flammable Dorothy costume


Maybe we’ll discover tonight that Dorothy’s “out of stock”. I still have high hopes for Lola (bunches, hair clips, pinafore – cute, wholesome, free). How about you?

Can we really blame Peppa Pig?

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I’d been thinking about writing a blog called “I blame Peppa Pig” when the British newspapers beat me to it. Apparently, paranoid parents have been blaming poor Peppa for their children’s bad behaviour, specifically jumping in muddy puddles, refusing to eat vegetables and asking for chocolate cake (no mention of snorting like a pig in the Etisalat office, but I guess that’s a more sensitive issue in this region than it is in the UK).

Forgive me for saying at this point that I personally think children have been jumping in muddy puddles, refusing to eat vegetables and asking for chocolate cake since long before Peppa Pig was a twinkle in her creator’s eye – and, as for snorting like pigs, let’s just say there’s a reason I didn’t pluck up the courage to have children till I was 34.

Anyway, I love Peppa Pig. Since DD was two, I’ve encouraged her (and now DS) to watch it over other TV shows primarily because Peppa’s family, and in particular Daddy Pig, have such spiffing British accents. In comparison with other age-appropriate TV offerings such as Barney the purple dinosaur, Handy Manny, Micky Mouse and (please-god-kill-me-now) Dora the Explorer, the Pig family are a pleasure to the ear.

Furthermore, the plots are intelligently written and beautifully observed. Too many times I’ve caught myself snorting with laughter at the antics of Peppa and George when I really should have been concentrating on cooking dinner (snort-snort).

So my blog was going to go back to our trip to Peppa Pig World in the UK last summer and blame that for my children’s newfound love of fairground rides. It all started with Peppa’s Balloon Ride.

A 45-minute wait for a 2-minute ride on Peppa's Balloon Ride - maybe I should be blaming her after all!

I was also going to blame Peppa for my son’s disappointment that it hasn’t yet rained this year. Every morning he looks at the sky and lisps in his toddler accent, “Itsh going to wain today, mummy?”

“Why do you want it to rain so much?” I ask him, after explaining that there are – yet again – no clouds in the sky.

“Becosh I want to jump in muddy puddles like Peppa,” he says.

Every day.

Anyway, the paranoid parents worried about their children jumping in muddy puddles might like to spare a thought for those of us who’ve had about 2mm of rain in the past 12 months. Some of us have to create puddles to jump in, don’t you know? You have no idea how lucky you are.

My top 4 pre-school TV shows:

Peppa Pig
Enough said.

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom         
Set in a world of elves, this has the same voices as Peppa Pig – and some lovely adult jokes such as the “elf visitor”.

Little Princess                                   
Brilliant stuff. And a nice iPad app to go with it, too.

Charlie & Lola                                   
Despite episodes with dangerous names like “I’m not tired and I
will not go to bed!”, my two have learned a lot about things like eye tests, going to the dentist and getting their hair cut from this, and I love how Charlie looks after his little sister Lola so nicely.
But where are the parents in all this? The mind boggles.