As a parent, I’ve grown used to children’s programming. I’ve grown accustomed to Barney, I’ve warmed to Daniel Tiger, I’ve smiled along with Martha Speaks and Doc McStuffins, I’ve gained a soft spot for Sheriff Callie and I’ve clenched my fists and declared a personal war against Caillou. Such is being in charge of a small child, but still having enough other stuff to do that said child watches a good and decent amount of TV.
But sometimes, you, the parent, want to watch your own television. And that’s when you do that thing you really told yourself you wouldn’t when your child was a tiny baby and immediately fell in love with the second you realized it meant you could get anything done: hand off your phone or iPad. Initially, your child might be sated with the Disney Jr. or PBS Kids app or educational games. But then…YouTube happens. And with that, an unimagined cavalcade of horrors.
I don’t know how it happens, I don’t know where it comes from, and I don’t know how the children find these things, but mark my words, your child will find the following videos: the “Family Finger” song videos, the Play-Doh videos, and the surprise egg videos. It does not matter if they cannot read or spell or use the search function. And your life will be different. Everything will be different.
My daughter is 3 years old. Whatever device she is using, be it the iPad we got her for her birthday so she’d leave our phones alone or our phones that she still insists upon watching because they are somehow different and special, I don’t know I don’t get it just stop screaming while mommy is trying to watch Mr. Robot, she’ll find these videos. And she’ll play them over and over. And over. And over. And then the madness descends but she keeps going and next thing you know you’re singing “baby finger, finger, where are you?” to yourself in the office breakroom.
Here is a selection pulled straight from the history page of my YouTube account.
This video has 5 million views. Only 100,000 or so are from my child.
This one has 29 million views. 29 million. For a video of disembodied adult hands playing with Play-Doh.
She literally has this memorized and performs it for me multiple times per day.
This nice bit of nightmare juice fills our home on a daily basis. 26 million views.
Ah, yes, Baby Big Mouth. My NEMESIS. I’m coming for you, you stupid baby. This particular video HAS 255 MILLION VIEWS. That is so many parents who’ve developed a severe twitch at hearing “IT’S…BABY…BIG MOUTH!” repeatedly. Our class action lawsuit will be historic.
Finally…the Family Finger songs. There are thousands upon thousands of videos like this on YouTube, so while this particular one has 63 MILLION VIEWS, to total all the views of videos like this would probably be impossible without completely losing your mind and scratching your own scalp off. My daughter watches one after another. By the eighth time you’ve heard the song, you’ve completely given up on the idea of goodness in the world. Everything is spiders and tragedy.
I mean, even the font on some of these knows it’s a mental murder dungeon.
I need help. I need assistance. I need a government program through Obamacare to aid me with my anguish and some kind of plastic surgery so that I still smile lovingly when my daughter says “come on, mommy! It’s a candy party! Let’s crack open some big fun!” and I also need some kind of ear filter so she hears everything I say except for “I can’t fucking deal with this surprise egg shit anymore, TAKE ME, LORD.”
Because, like, SERIOUSLY, is it just kids? All these millions and millions and hundreds of millions of views, is it just kids? Or is it, like, something dark and sexual, some fetish situation that I don’t know or want to know and fear deeply. I DON’T TRUST IT.
If you’ve suffered like I suffer through these videos, and pure math would indicate some of you have, let’s form a support group. We’ll start every meeting with a rousing round of “Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you?” and crack open some big fun.