Yeah, I know. Screen time. My kid should be outside clipping a topiary out of the crabapple tree I planted during the full moon over the space where I buried her placenta after her homebirth, but instead she’s atrophying her creative muscles inside on the iPad.
Sorry, but my organic garden isn’t exactly thriving, and I needed a half-hour to make my house look like the “after” part of a Hoarders episode instead of its current state of “before.” Once in a while I need to cook dinner and listen to a podcast in peace. I don’t want my daughter to vegetate with an electronic device all the time, but with limits, that device lets me take a much needed Epsom salt bath a few evenings a week, and it helps to make long road trips slightly more tolerable.
Unfortunately, there is also a price to pay for my moments of solitude. My daughter loves YouTube Kids, while, I guess you could say, I’ve developed a sort of love/hate relationship with the app. I love that it gives me a short break here and there, but oh my God, the videos my daughter watches make me want to slam my head against a wall.
I’m convinced that YouTube Kids is run by a nefarious cadre of super villains somewhere in the vast, most uninhabited stretches of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the heart of a fake volcano. I picture them sitting at a long table, stroking white Persian cats, sneering through monocles. This isn’t a plot by a hostile nation to take down our government. It’s much worse.
Their one evil mission is to drive parents completely bonkers, draining not only our patience, but also our savings.
I mean, I’m pretty sure that’s how it’s happening. How else could these videos possibly be SO ANNOYING?
The FBI has its “Ten Most Wanted” list, but I think YouTube Kids deserves its own version.
Let’s start with whoever came up with:
1. Blind Bags
Okay, so wait. You’re telling me that I have to spend five dollars on something and…I don’t even know what it is? F’reals? And it may be something my child already has six of already, but we need to buy it again just in case it’s something else? Which is limited edition? And it’s sixth season? Jeez, is this a toy or Game of Thrones up in here? What has become of our society where we literally have no idea what we’re buying, we may already have it, and there are “seasons” of it like a TV show? I’m out. Sorry. If they gave away Nobel Prizes in Evil, the marketing genius who invented blind bags would be a shoo-in. But that’s not all. The existence of blind bags isn’t merely enough — there are endless videos of other people opening them. And my daughter is totally mesmerized.
2. That Monster Who Cuts Open Squishies
I’m sorry, Lady, but I anthropomorphize toys, and it hurts me to my very core when you slice apart a squishy hot dog octopus key chain. How can my daughter watch this kind of violence? This woman is like the Ed Gein of playthings.
3. The Inventors of Slime
Whoever came up with this stuff should be dragged through the streets and publicly shamed. I’d like to throw all those empty bottles of contact solution that my daughter wasted at them. Dude, I went to eight years of college and I can barely pay for my health insurance, but there are literal children making six figures just by mixing glue and Borax. There is no justice in this world.
4. People Who Play Video Games
I think it’s cool that my daughter is really into coding, and I don’t mind that she’s a bit of a gamer, but what I cannot understand for the life of me is why most of the time she would rather watch endless streams of other people playing video games rather than actually play the games herself! What gives? But then again, I’ve been known to spend a fair amount of my own time watching videos of people cooking, and we’re having Lean Cuisines for dinner, so…
5. Unboxing Experts
When I was growing up, my mom told me I should be a doctor or a lawyer if I wanted to get rich. She should’ve told me to film myself opening packages. That’s it. Out of all the videos on YouTube Kids, I’d venture that “unboxing” videos are the most popular among my daughter and her friends. They love watching people open boxes of toys, slowly, might I add, and then narrating in a creepy monotone the items contained in the box. It’s like some bizarre form of meditation, and I do not get it, but I love that Disney lady’s themed manis.
6. Parry Gripp
Doesn’t ring a bell? What if I told you it’s raining tacos? That’s Parry Gripp, and children are completely obsessed with his music videos. His songs sound like if Blink 182 sang about nothing but pets and Mexican food. And you cannot get them out of your head. But secretly, I’m kind of crushing on Mr. Gripp. He’s hot in that middle-aged, hipster-nerd way, and his music glorifies cats and burritos, so come to think of it, this man may actually be my soulmate. Except I can’t stop singing “Space Unicorn!”
7. Other Families on Vacation
I am 100% positive that my daughter would prefer to watch every last detail of some family from Ohio standing in a 45-minute line at a theme park than she’d enjoy an actual, real-life vacation with her own family. I’m fine with this because we’ve saved thousands of dollars in travel expenses.
8. Eight-Year-Olds Doing Makeup Tutorials
I hate that some second grader in the heartland of Texas can do a better smoky eye than I can. Also, it’s creeping me out that little children are teaching one another how to “contour” like Kardashians, and that my daughter is the one who taught me that blush on the apples of your cheeks is “SO NINETIES, MOM.” She told me I had to lose my burgundy lipstick too. But at the same time it’s pretty convenient that my elementary schooler is a cosmetics expert now. Yesterday she gave me a makeover and I ended up looking exactly like Draculaura, which was an improvement, I swear.
9. Gross Food Challengers
I will hunt down the individual responsible for the barf I had to clean up resulting from some sort of mayonnaise milkshake challenge that my kid saw in a video and just had to replicate. Same goes for Beanboozles. We love Harry Potter in this household, but some things, such as booger flavored jellybeans, need to stay on the page, off of videos, and out of my living room carpet.
10. The Gorgon Behind “Baby Shark”
I apologize in advance for this, but if I have to suffer, so do you.
Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo, Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo…