I spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to get my kids to listen. To pay attention. To absorb the statements that are coming (repeatedly) out of my mouth. Sadly, most of the time I’m just wasting my breath — because they’re about as interested in my directives as they are in, say, watching a pile of dog poop dry out.
Why would they listen to me? I only gave them life, withstood the ruination of my vagina as they tore through it, and supply them with everyfuckingthing. So it’s not as though they owe me, like, a debt of gratitude or anything.
You, on the other hand — a complete stranger on the internet — can command their full, open-mouthed, wide-eyed attention with nothing more than a webcam and a catchy title. I don’t understand it. They will happily watch you watch dog poop dry, especially if you use random capitalization and throw the word “challenge” in there somewhere, like “DoG POoP DrYOuT cHaLLenGe!” Oh, and say everything extra-loudly, with the same urgency and inflection you might use to say something like, “Your hair’s on fire!” or “Ouch, the ruination of my vagina!”
When I was their age, you know what happened when I went to a friend’s house and ended up sitting there watching them play a video game? I left, that’s what. Because it was boring, that’s why. Nobody wants to watch someone else have all the fun. Oh, unless you’re my children, who apparently think it’s awesome to be nothing more than a slouching spectator.
And to add insult to injury, you don’t even have to be doing anything particularly entertaining. If I let them, they’d spend hours listening to everything you have to say about…well, everything. You could offer up an hour-long running commentary about your grandma’s doily collection, and they’d listen. But when I talk to them for two minutes? Their eyes glaze over. They start fidgeting, looking for an escape.
We parents may not comprehend your strange powers of persuasion, but we respect them — and that’s why I’m writing this letter to all content creators on behalf of everyone whose children you (mysteriously) captivate via your crappy videos. I’m thinking we could form an alliance. You’re doing this thing for views, right? The more, the better?
Well, you scratch our backs and we’ll scratch yours, i.e., we’ll actively encourage our children to watch your YouTube channel if you make videos that will encourage them to do some of the shit we keep nagging them about and make it look cool. For example, you could reel them in with titles such as “Insane Toilet Cleaning Hacks!” and “Extreme Toothbrushing!” and “Clean-Plate Challenge!” and “MEGA BATH TIME PRODUCT UNBOXING!”
Or fill some surprise eggs with things like chewable multivitamins and dental floss. Bonus points if you wear pants with actual buttons and zippers and a clean shirt because it never killed anybody to wear clothing without elastic, but my kids don’t believe me when I say that.
Anyway. Think about how many clicks you’d get if parents the world over were actually condoning the slack-jawed watching of your videos (while pretending we still think they’re stupid, of course, because we’re wise enough to know that nothing parents enjoy is cool). Now is your chance to use that magic YouTuber mojo for good — for you, for us, and for the bazillions of kids who will be so much happier because we won’t have to nag them so much. You could bring a new measure of peace to so many households, and still make money. How’s that for a challenge?