Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Captain Barnacles, Peso and Kwazii have a lot to answer for. 

Aimed at preschoolers and early primary school children, the Octonauts is a beautifully animated TV series (originally from books) about a small band of ocean dwellers whose mission is "Explore. Rescue. Protect", and it's hard to know whether their hip and catchy theme song is totally awesome, or the most annoying tune to ever get stuck in my head.

Having said that, it is very cute to watch X-Man and Venus sit on the couch together and sing along to it.

What has been driving me crazy lately is that Mars and Venus know that there's going to be a new episode recorded on our Tivo every day (the show has only recently come to Australia),  and so every day when we get home from the school run I get hit with "Mum, can we watch the new Octonauts now?" every few seconds. Sometimes when we've just walked in the door. Sometimes before I can even get the front door open. Sometimes when we're still in the car with our seatbelts on. 

One day Venus made the mistake of asking me before we had even reached the driveway, and that's when we began to explain that hassling the parents makes us cranky and a lot less likely to say yes to requests for television.

Now what tends to happen is that we get home, Mars and Venus look at one another conspiratorially across the back seat, and they wait. We get in the house and put all our bags down, and then Venus will ask. Mars reminds her "Venus, you can't ask now. Mummy won't say yes if you ask now. You have to wait", and she knows he is right, so she waits. 

When Mars thinks I might be ready they ask again, and I put the television on and we watch the new Octonauts. Then they fight about which one they're going to watch next, and that's when I start to regret ever turning the television on.

But some good has come from the Octonauts, quite apart from anything the children may learn about narwhals, hydrothermal vents or comb jellies. 

Some nights when it's time to go upstairs to bed, nobody wants to go. So the other day when they were being a bit stubborn I called out "the last one upstairs is a barnacle on Captain Barnacles' butt". I've never seen them move so fast.

That night Supernerd was the last one up the stairs, and as we were waiting for Mars to finish brushing his teeth and for Venus to get off the toilet, she called out to him "Daddy, you're Captain Barnacles' butt."

We're giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming that she didn't hear me properly.

Oh, and by the way the remedy for having the Octonauts theme song stuck in your head is to belt out the theme song from Hawaii Five-O as loudly as possible. Trust me, it works.

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