Bluey has become part of every Aussie family’s daily routine and has somehow changed the way I parent my kids.
It took me by surprise, to be quite honest. In all the hustle and bustle of life, I realised Bluey and Bingo had incredibly fun parents. So, what was stopping me – or anyone – from becoming just like Bandit and Chilli?
One of the surprises of parenthood is when you realise that having kids doesn’t immediately turn you into the all-knowing, mature, responsible adult you always see your own parents as being. In fact, I’m in my mid-30s, married with 2 kids and still wondering when I’ll feel like a grown-up.
For that reason, the thousandth viewing of Bluey over breakfast recently hit a nerve.
I realised I want to be just like Bluey’s parents. They’re fun, fair and totally winging parenthood.
Growing up doesn’t mean growing boring
One of things my husband and I often point out about Bluey’s parents is:
If you aren’t familiar with the Bluey episode, “Dance Mode”, let me fill you in. You can activate anyone’s dance mode if music is playing nearby, by flicking their tale and shouting “Dance Mode!” .’
Well, the part that has instigated many discussions on parenting within my household comes down to the dedication “Dance Mode” is met with.
You see, some parents may shrug off silly games or refuse to play games out in public. Bandit and Chilli, however, respect a “Dance Mode” activation more than I respect my percolator at sunrise.
“Dance Mode” saw Bandit dancing in the Post Office and Chilli moon-walking through a zebra-crossing.
Role-models for all
The more I thought about it, the more I loved the silly, childish games that Bluey’s parents took part in.
Water fights outside a Chinese restaurant. Making dad act like a baby on a shopping trip. I mean, how completely insane and wonderfully awesome are Chilli and Bandit?!
The more times we watched “Dance Mode”, the more I fell in love with Chilli and Bandit’s parenting.
Simultaneously, I grew riddled with guilt that I wasn’t fun. My husband and I work and there are days where it feels like there’s just no room for fun, between day care drop offs/ pick ups, cooking dinner, cleaning up, baths and bed.
Re-creating “Dance Mode” for my family
Somehow, though, we found our very own “Dance Mode”.
Our 4-year-old decided he wanted to start freezing us. With a flick of his hand and a “ch” noise, whoever happened to be in his path would have to freeze in place. Who were we to do anything, but oblige the 4-year-old?
Our family of 4 have been playing our freeze game for a couple of weeks now. It wasn’t until only a few nights ago, that I realised how special this game is to our family.
A couple of weeks into our Freezing game, I awoke to the sound of my 20-month-old laughing. I listened closely and realised he was making the “ch” noise, pointing his hands forwards and laughing hysterically. He was dreaming about our Freezing game and laughing – maniacally!
Despite being exhausted, that cackle was the sweetest sound at the wee hour of 1am.
A good influence
The Freezing game doesn’t always come at the most opportune times. In fact, I’ve changed the rules so that you lose your freezing abilities if your tummy is empty.
There are certainly times where I hesitate participating in the Freezing game – I’m too busy, too tired, too this or that. That’s when I think about “Dance Mode”.
Sometimes the dishes can wait.
Housework can pause.
Boring can just shush.
When anyone shouts “ch!” we must freeze. It brings all 4 of us so much joy and costs so little.
So, I say thank-you, Chilli and Bandit. You’ve reminded me and my husband that parenting sometimes means being silly and doesn’t always mean acting your age.