There is a phenomenon in our house called The Wiggles Effect. It occurs certainly in young boys between the ages of 3 and 5 and may also occur in young girls though I’ve no direct empirical proof of this not having any daughters. The effect lasts approximately 18 – 24 months and then dies away rather quickly.
The first time we experienced it was with our eldest boy. We were pretty terrified at the time because, with no historical template to compare it to, we had no idea how long it was going to last. Would he always be a Wiggles fan? Would he never grow out of it? Was he going to start wanting to dress like them, sing like them, dance like them?
As it was he turned 5, got into Star Wars and dropped The Wiggles like a handful of hot potatoes.
So now with Tom showing similar appreciative tendencies we are panicking a good deal less.
The Wiggles, for those of you who don’t know, are an Australian... er, group-band-ensemble-thing that cater for the toddler end of the kid’s entertainment market. They’re like a cross between Geoffrey from Rainbow and a Take That karaoke tribute band. They dress like spares from Star Trek (i.e. the ones that are there purely to get photon torpedoed, lasered and lost during erroneous beam ups) and are the rummest looking bunch of men I have ever seen. I might be wrong but I imagine they grew up in a hard drinking mining town in the Outback that had very few women and at a very early age these 4 boys decided that (a) they weren’t gay and (b) they didn’t like the nasty taste of alcohol either.
There’s something unquenchably wholesome and “nice uncle” about them even as they dance around like every kid’s ultimate nightmare: a party throwing disco-dad.
They are in short plain embarrassing. It’s just too easy to take the P out of them.
And I shouldn’t because both my boys think they’re great (the eldest still has an affection for them – but, shh, let’s keep that quiet, it wouldn’t be cool if his school mates found out). And to be honest I can keep Tom occupied for hours by throwing on a Wiggles DVD.
Even as I’m shaking my head at their lame dancing and gurning singing faces I am secretly thanking them in my mind. Even as I cringe at their awful lyrics (fruit salad / yummy yummy / fruit salad / yummy yummy) I am grateful that they have afforded me a 5 minute daddy break.
And as I said I shouldn’t knock them – I have no right to knock them – because according to a recent poll they are officially Australia’s highest earning performers. They have topped even Kylie Minogue in the recently published Ozzy rich bitch charts.
If I’d known kid’s television was such a lucrative business I would have made a sock puppet years ago and happy-clapped a whole lot more.
For those of you that dare, here is a link to one of their finest offerings: Fruit Salad.