SPEAKING as a parent of a two-year-old and as someone who is about to go off on maternity leave to have baby number two - a situation that fills me with equal parts happiness and horror - I'm both drawn to and repulsed by the idea of the world's first online radio station and app dedicated to the under-threes.
Given my mornings and evenings already consist of at least some (annoying) children's television (I know, I know, I should be encouraging other forms of engaging activity for my child, but give a working mum a break, eh?), I am loathe to give up my radio time to my children, too. Because the kitchen/car radio is mine, all mine, damn it. It's one of the few things my toddler can't reach or control.
Particularly during my last maternity leave, the radio was my domestic salvation, my auditory link to the outside world and my adult company when I was home alone on the frontline of new motherhood. Radio 6 Music was a joy; Radio 2 my easy listening pleasure (combined with some topical chat, thank you Jeremy Vine); Absolute 80s my housekeeping motivator; Radio Four kept me ... well, sane; and Radio One reminded me that I was still, despite being knee-deep in nappies and baby vomit, young at heart.
So I'm not sure what to make of French actor Julien Bocher's new baby-focused Radio Doudou (yes, that's the name). Hell, we've all struggled to entertain our children at some point so maybe Bocher is on to something with this Doudou thing. The name is certainly apt.
In fact, it's already got 50,000 listeners. But a radio station? With nursery rhymes on loop? I'm already more likely to slit my wrists with a dull bread knife than bear CBeebies for more than an hour. Surely even desperation to occupy said kids won't drive me to give up my radio.
But hold on, Bocher wants to hook us adults too, by not limiting the station to purely children's music. Hmmm. Who says my toddler can't be into other genres? He does have a particular fondness for Midge Ure's Vienna and early Chicago House music. And he seems to adore his dad's iPod, which is filled with questionable music at best.
Apparently Bocher's simple criteria are this: "Would the baby's little ears like what it's hearing, and would the parents want the baby to listen?"
Thankfully, the music is tailored to the time of day, so there will be no disruptive banging bass at bedtime. Radio goo goo? I might just go ga ga for this. After all, parenting is all about compromise, I'm told.
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