Me and my little black box


If you’re an avid reader of this blog, then you know I tend to watch a lot of television and often times, I do tend to rave about what I like, what’s pissed me off or tickled my fancy.
You’d think between looking after two kids, a husband and holding down a full time job, I should have my hands full but no, no, no, not I.
I spent oodles of hours growing up watching the telly.
I know of programmes people my age weren’t even aware existed in Nigeria at the time (many thanks to NTA 2 and DBN, I’m forever grateful! ).
You might call it bad parenting that my parents let me spend most of my hours after school glued to the television but I learned sooooo much from it….weird as that may sound. I used to look forward to my programmes while outside playing with neighbours and I would run off when it was time for a show I really liked.
At work, years and years ago, I was talking about this British comedy I used to watch as a child in the 90’s growing up in Nigeria.  It was called ‘Rent a Ghost’…one of my favourite programmes at the time. I was making a comparison between  a gesture my colleague,  who was in her mid twenties at the time, was making and a disappearing trick in the programme where squeezing your nose tightly made you disappear.
I was quite shocked when she stared at me blankly like I was talking gibberish.  I was like; ‘you know, Rent- a- ghost?’.
I had assumed every child in Britain must have watched it since I, who was in third world Nigeria was able to. It took one of my older colleagues dabbling into the conversation, affirming that there was indeed such a programme in existence at the time thus saving me having to prove it by Googling it or something.
This older colleague would then give me an odd look and go on to ask what on earth I was doing watching Rent- a-ghost at the age of 9. I simply laughed and refrained from telling her that my next best programme at the time was Michael Crawford’s ‘Some mothers do have ’em’. Of course, at the time, I only knew him as Frank Spencer.
Other TV trysts also included ‘PS I love you’, ‘Moonlighting’ (where I discovered Bruce Willis), ‘Matlock’, ‘Jake and the Fat man’…..I could go on.
I was also a big Doctor Who fan…although I have no affinity with the current time lord as I do have a problem of getting emotionally attached to a character so when the actor playing that character changes, I find it extremely difficult connecting with the new actor even though he or she is still playing the same character.
This is the problem I currently have with the new series of ‘Death in Paradise’.
I loved Ben Miller and his character and while I understand why he quit, I just can’t forgive him because, I’ve tried to adapt to Kris Marshall as the new detective but 5 recorded episodes later, I still can’t bring myself to feel the love I had for the programme like I did before,  I’m gutted.
See, this is the kind of relationship I have with my TV. Normal people come in to their homes and have some kind of ritual. Mine is to make a beeline for the TV and switch it on.
I can’t,  won’t watch a movie or soap while there’s people around.  I need to hear every single word, I need to see every single expression,  scene. If I miss a beat, I’ll miss a big part of the puzzle.
The fact that people know I’m great at predicting movies and understanding complicated movie plots means I keep getting asked to explain some sub plot in a movie every time.  I find it irritating, especially when I’m trying to concentrate, hence why I watch all my favourite stuff when everyone is in bed.
Yes, this does mean I go to bed late but it’s a sacrifice I’m happy to make.
You might wonder where all this TV addiction leaves my kids? Well, I’ll give you an idea. My 7 month old daughter already knows the theme song to Waybuloo and Baby Jake. She will Literally drop everything once she hears any of these programmes come on.
My 2 and a half year old can watch Dora the Explorer in his sleep. He actually recites some of the dialogue in the programme by heart sometimes.
I worry my son watches too much tele, at least for his age. But I have to admit that I’ve also observed that he’s learned quit a lot from it too.
He was able to count 1-10 by the time he was 16 months and I didn’t teach him that. He was stringing words together before he was even two that even I was shocked that he knew those words and phrases and they were phrases that he’d heard being said in his programmes.
I know most mums would disagree with me on this but I actually think that when regulated to a certain extent. …say x amount of hours per day, watching educative programmes can benefit a child.
I know my household is peculiar, they got it from their mama.
Yes, I spent a lot of my growing up in front of the telly, but it did me a world of good. I learnt a lot from that little black box.


7 thoughts on “Me and my little black box

  1. I like that you are honest about your affair with your little black box. In some circles, it seems hip to admit that you watch as little TV as possible, that your time is spent in intellectual pursuits :)
    Although I don’t watch TV as much as you do, this is me down to the T:
    “I need to hear every single word, I need to see every single expression, scene. If I miss a beat, I’ll miss a big part of the puzzle.” :) I’m loosening up though!

    • Thanks Timi. I like to be upfront about stuff like this, especially as it’s such a big part of my life. I wish we spent a lot more time in those ‘intellectual’ circles but sometimes, I find we all learn through different mediums and at different speeds.
      As per being a TV hugger like me, with kids around, we all loosen up in the end.
      Thanks for stopping by, It’s always a pleasure reading from you.

  2. Hahhaaaa! I love my tv series too! And thank God for catchup tv! I find what I do these days is record my shows and watch them when madam is off in bed! And like you I must listen to everything! Hubby knows this so at times he’ll just start asking annoying question to wind me up! I’d patiently pause my show, answer him and continue my show! Sometimes I even go the extra step of adding subtitles if there’s noise about…
    I’ve tried to limit my daughter’s tv time too and this usually works on a weekday when she’s off at nursery but weekends are another story…

    • I applaud your patience o. I am not blessed with that virtue. ..I do end up recording quite a lot of programmes too which is why I don’t joke with mummy time after everyone’s in bed….bliss!
      Congrats on your wedding anniversary by the way, God bless.

  3. So glad our paths crossed!!!! YOU are the one who rock! I couldn’t wait to read all the way to the end when I saw Rent a Ghost!!! It came on about 5pm and my brothers and I would drop EVERYTHING to watch it. It felt good because it helped to inch us one tiny step closer to living in London, albeit in our minds. Frank Spencer!!! Yes that’s what we knew it as too. I look forward to devouring your very engaging blog and learning more about you :))

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