I know mine does… Thanks to YouTube, Easter eggs are no longer referred to by their proper name in our home. Instead they go by “Surprise Eggs!”
When I became pregnant with my second child, most days I was quick to hand my phone off to my then one-year-old son. Out of sheer exhaustion I just could not mentally get up the energy to properly entertain him. At first, it was innocent enough. Baby Einstein videos. A couple clips from Thomas and Friends.
But then, eventually Hudson learned to use the buttons. And how to navigate his way down the YouTube wormhole until he eventually landed on Surprise Eggs! If you have found yourself in a moment of weakness like me, where you let YouTube parent your child for a few minutes during the day, I’m almost positive you (or at least your child) knows what I’m referring to — if you don’t, just do a simple search and you’ll find grown men and women opening up life-sized easter eggs that are filled with endless amounts of toys to “ooh” and “aah” over.
From here we were introduced to all kinds of ‘un-boxing’ and toy review videos. Eventually my son was obsessed with them and would request YouTube over any other form of entertainment. He would rather watch an adult play with Paw Patrol figurines than actually watch Paw Patrol himself.
While I wasn’t necessarily fond of the materialistic message this was sending my child, I didn’t think we had a real problem until I heard Hudson utter the words “Bye, Mom…don’t forget to subscribe!!” as he left for school one day. That familiar tag line from the end of every Youtube video stopped me in my tracks (and cracked me up a bit, too). We were obviously watching too many videos.
After looking into it a little bit further, I quickly realized that there are endless YouTube channels out there solely based on the toy review and surprise egg concept. And with the money they make off of ads, there are even adults who have quit their day jobs to pursue the industry full time. In particular one of Hudson’s favorite YouTubers recently did an interview where he claimed to have made 1.5 million dollars off of ad revenue already. I can’t decide if this disgusts me or if I should go buy a web cam of my own.
Now I would like to say that I put a stop to this. That we have banned all materialistic YouTube videos from our house. But to be honest, I’m just not that good of a mother. I still get exhausted. And sometimes lazy. And I have learned to pick my battles. So if that means my son is watching some weird man play with toys for a few minutes in the day, then so be it. It gives me a minute to tend to his sister, wash the dishes or even decompress for a minute. That quick and vital mental health break can sometimes do wonders for me as a mother. It even gives me the energy to find ways to show Hudson how much more amazing the real world is than a few plastic toys.
So, thank you, weird YouTube Surprise Egg dude for giving me a quick break from the tyranny of motherhood. I salute you. And if you should feel the need to cut me a share of your millions for this free plug of your trade, you can find my contact info on my website. Don’t forget to subscribe!