We all have our addictions, our obsessions, the one (or two) thing(s) we can’t do without. For me, it is undoubtedly chocolate – in any shape, flavour or texture. I’ll take it in a drink (chococino), I’ll take it in a sandwich (nutella) or I’ll take it straight up on the rocks (a fat slab of Lindt). I think my husband is addicted to footy, as in football/soccer/diski. He spends more time watching the sport, reading about footballers and their WAGS and surfing the net for footy related articles, than he does on anything else. I’m happy for him to engulf himself in this obsession but I had to put my foot down when he wanted to paint Liam’s room red and slap Arsenal duvet covers, curtains and memorabilia all over the place. Now that Liam is older, I can see that this would have ended badly, considering that Liam’s favourite colour is purple, which leads me to the point of this entry..
Liam’s addiction is one I am sure many parents can relate to – he is big, he is bouncy, he is purple and green, it’s the one and only singing, talking, dancing dinosaur Barney (feel like I could break into a Barney song right about now). This dinosaur has been hypnotising and mesmerising kids for years, I have yet to find a family with young children who haven’t gone through the Barney phase. At first I thought it was cute – all the sing-along songs that evoke warm and fuzzy feelings in even the toughest kid (and adult), the good moral lesson in each episode and the “Barney Says” titbit at the end of every scene which basically instructs kids to be nice to everyone and everyone will love you and you won’t get bullied (what lies). Liam was hooked from the first time he watched Barney and I was thrilled because I had tried everything to get him to sit in front of the tv for just 20 minutes so that I could have some down time, at last Liam had found someone who could talk more than he could. In time, he could sing along to every rhyme, he knew all the words before they were even spoken, he’d laugh before the punch line – and it didn’t get boring or grow old for him, he was besotted.
Then Barney started infringing on other areas of my life…Granny bought Liam a Barney teddy. Barney was now a part of the family and not just a tv character. He would come everywhere with us, we had to get a plastic Barney so he could get in the bath with Liam. A good friend of mine was kind enough to give Liam a talking Barney.. OMW.. that was like the highlight of Liam’s day, week, LIFE! I’ll catch him having long conversations with Barney. Barney gets hungry and I have to feed him, Barney needs to brush his teeth and occasionally needs to suck a dummy. I have to talk to Barney on the phone if I call home, he even gets shot-gun in the car. It’s like having another child in the house. We eventually put a tv in Liam’s room so that he and Barney could be roommates, without involving the rest of the family in their romance. I would go to sleep and wake up the next day with Barney tunes ringing in my subconscious, I think Hannah knew Barney before she was even born, because Barney apparently, is able to transcend even the walls of the womb. She is just as addicted to Barney as her older brother.
Let’s not forget about his entourage, his posse – BJ, Baby Bop and newest member Riff. I mean are those midgets or short kids in those costumes? They sounds like aliens and who are they supposed to be? Barney’s children? His friends? Forgive me for saying but I find that whole dinosaur dynamic rather weird?
And the pièce de résistance – the famous I Love You song. I beg your pardon, but did they not just steal the tune of This Old Man, He Plays One, He Plays Knick-Knack on My Drum? I sure hope that, That Old Man is getting royalties for EVERY SINGLE TIME Barney belts out that blasted song.
My addiction doesn’t, in any way, encroach on other people’s lives, in fact I prefer to enjoy my chocolate alone and far away from everybody else. My kids’ Barney addiction, however, has affected the family, I’ve even seen my husband attempting to do the “Baby Bop Hop.” Not a pretty sight either. How then does one move on from the Barney addiction, I can’t see how Liam will wake up one day and decide that Barney is wack and Ben-10 is cool – I mean he is serious about his Barney! In the mean time, we treat Barney like our third child, we say bless you when Liam tells us he sneezed, we buckle him up in the car and we make space for him at the dinner table. The opening song alludes to Barney being from your imagination, well sometimes I wish he would just stay there and leave my family alone!