We’ve recently become a bit obsessed in our household with Do You Know?, the CBeebies science show where everyday things are broken down and how they’re made and work is explained in brilliantly simple ways for pre-schoolers and primary pupils. Topics have ranged from crayons to cars and ice-cream, via the soft play factory. Talk about knowing your audience…
One of those kids programmes that’s rarer than a full night of sleep, both children *and* grown-ups seem to like Do You Know? For children, it’s fun; they do things like put non-branded Go Pros in dishwashers and the presenter, Maddie, has an infectious curiosity that speaks right to the four-year-old-soul.
For parents, it’s educational enough for you to feel less guilty about screen time and it’s gentle enough not to push you off the edge when you’re tip-toeing on the tightrope of lack-of-sleep insanity. Plus, it’s not this.
One surprising side-effect is that I have actually learnt things from it (I had no idea pasta was made like that! Did you? Or crayons!) If science lessons were like this at my school I’m sure we’d have learnt way more. In hindsight science should be brilliant, but at school it was deathly dull and mainly consisted of copying things out of the world’s most anchient and boring textbook, didn’t it?
Obviously this is a children’s show aimed at children. But if they ever consider making Do You Know? for parents, there’s several things about motherhood I would LOVE a scientific explanation for:
Post-children hangovers and early starts: Hangovers before children ranged from breezily non-existent to easily-curable-with-bacon and oh-wait-I’m-still-drunk-but-hey-going-back-to-bed. But after children, two small glasses of wine leave you in a world of pain coupled with an existential crisis at 3am where your soul is screaming ‘Why me? Whyyyy?’ Two days after the night before (I’ve documented the horrors of the post-pregnancy hangover before and it doesn’t get much better).
But how do hangovers they work and why are they so bad now? I’d love to know. And why do these hangovers always go side-by-side with your children waking up freakishly early and being full of the joys of spring, especially when they’ve been sleeping to 7am for a couple of months? ‘Watch me bounce on your head, Mummy!’ Science, do your stuff.
Sleep…or lack of it: Why do some people win the sleepers in life’s rich genetic lottery? Yet I breed babies who are brilliant but allergic to slumber? How does THAT work? I want CBeebies to do an experiment to see if I am ever going to get a good night of sleep. And is my toddler actually the Duracell Bunny? Let’s find out…
General house tidiness: I love cleaning. Oh wait, that’s a lie. As a household with an equal division of labour, we both hate cleaning so much that we have a cleaner. Who I would adopt as my own child if I could, that’s how much I love her. But, here’s the part I’m unsure about that I’d love a scientific explanation for – two seconds after she leaves our house is immaculate. And then two seconds after that…? It is a hellhole. How does THAT work?
Sofa cushions: Do You Know recently covered magnets, which bought to mind my soft furnishings. I seem to spend 99% of my time putting them back on the sofa. Why? Do they have their own gravitational pull? Are they magnetically attracted to the floor? What’s the law of attraction here? I would love someone to explain the theory.
Time: How does time work? Oh wait, that’s pretty easy isn’t it? But then you become a parent. The days are long and the years are short, they say about parenting, but how is my child now at primary school when I *just* gave birth to her? And how does any time I have to get stuff done fly by, yet the fifteen minutes my husband can be late by if Oxford Circus is shut stretch out for about three decades on bad days? Do you know?
Leaving the house with small children, on time: Not joking on this one (see here, still not any better). How does THAT work? I suspect I’ll never find out…
What motherhood mysteries would you love to find out about? How *do* they work?