Last Friday saw the screening of the annual Late Late Toy Show. This is the night when children get to stay up late and eat junk food in front of the TV. Depending on their age and how quickly Ryan in his snowman suit loses his grip and sleep beckons, children will watch varying amounts of a show that they might ignore completely for the rest of the year. The show is also a reminder to the rest of us that Christmas is just around the corner – although it was still technically November last Friday.
This year’s Toy Show coincided with Black Friday, a number of by-elections and the Irish Farmers Journal Christmas party. Only the latter had any impact in our house, but between that and an opportunity to do Marian Finucane’s radio show on Sunday, it was Sunday afternoon by the time I saw the actual Toy Show.
One child in particular stood out on social media and in the papers. That being eight-year-old Sophia Maher
I didn’t watch it all either, just flicked to the bits that I had heard most about. One child in particular stood out on social media and in the papers. That being eight-year-old Sophia Maher with her message for the bullies that “kick me, call me ‘weirdo’, they slag my hair”. It was agreed between herself and Ryan, who in fairness did a great job of putting the kids out front this year that “life would suck if everybody was the same”.
This is a positive message for all the children watching. We spend a lot of time talking about diversity and inclusion. And perhaps we are focusing too much on the workplace and not enough on instilling this in our children.
The last time I was on Marian’s show, back in October, we were talking about the possible evacuation of Lisa Smith and her young daughter from Syria
If difference can be appreciated around the boardroom table, then surely it has equal benefit in our children’s classrooms (and at our kitchen tables).
The last time I was on Marian’s show, back in October, we were talking about the possible evacuation of Lisa Smith and her young daughter from Syria. Different opinions abounded. Some believed she went out there of her own free will, knowing it was a war-ravaged place and, with her military training, we were naïve to believe that she was not active. Her role and rehabilitation into our society were questioned. I don’t know enough about any of that, her psychological state or the role she played while in Syria, to comment. We do have professionals and law enforcement that I am sure will, now that they are back in the country, delve into such matters.
The thought of Madeline McCann still missing is heart wrenching
I had one concern and that was concern was for the child – an innocent child. I genuinely find it very difficult to watch TV shows or read news stories where children (particularly ones of a similar age to my own) are hurt in anyway. I struggled through the crèche exposé on Primetime at the treatment of innocent children. The thought of Madeline McCann still missing is heart wrenching.
When these thoughts enter my mind, I think of my own two little girls. How their innocence could be taken away from them by the “bad people” that I warn them not to talk to in the street. As I went up the stairs the other night, they were still laughing and giggling in their room at 10pm. I shouted, “Go to sleep” and they giggled some more “shush, shush”. I shook my head and smiled, long may it last.