Monday, July 30, 2012

My Love-Hate Relationship With the YouTube/Toddler Combo

For the last 6 months or so, Youtube has been a part of our lives.  We don't have cable or TV of any kind, just our large TV screen hooked up to a laptop in our living room.  We also have the poor man's iPad (Blackberry Playbook) for Aias to use if he wants to goof around on

Then of course, there is YouTube.

I learned how awesome YouTube was for toddlers a while back when I stumbled upon the KidsTV123 videos and made a playlist of songs Aias totally loves.  Then I realized there was a YouTube app on my phone and on the Playbook.  How convenient?

The first few videos we watched were songs, and Aias quickly learned that after one video ends, he can push the button and ANOTHER video appears. Nice, right?

At first.

Here are four annoying consequences of having a toddler who is in love with YouTube.

1.  Aias now seems to think that every image he sees on the computer screen is actually just a video that's paused.  If I'm looking at images on Google or something, he wanders up and asks me to "push the button on the picture" to "play the video."  My attempts to explain that not EVERY image on a computer screen is a potential video fall on deaf (and annoyed) ears.

2.  Because there are so many video options on YouTube, Aias seems to think that all videos exist, and that all he has to do is specify.  Rule 34 doesn't, unfortunately, apply to kids videos.  For example, for the past few months he has been demanding I put on a "Curious George on the potty" video.  No such video exists.  No, seriously, it doesn't exist.  I keep telling Aias this and he thinks I'm full of crap.  Another video he keeps asking for is "Donald Duck at the Gordon Neighborhood House."  Gordon Neighborhood House is our neighborhood house in the West End, and there are no videos in existence of Donald Duck at GNH.  Of course, 99% of the time when Aias asks for a video of something, it exists, so why wouldn't these videos exist??? I explained that there aren't any videos of these things and his response is "MAKE IT MOMMY, PLEASE!"

3. YouTube is great for kids if they want to navigate around and find different videos. Of course, sometimes the trail of videos takes you to erm... darker places than you'd want to go.  For example, Aias was watching Donald Duck shorts while I made lunch the other day, and then I took a peek at what he was watching and it turned out he was watching a Donald Duck Nazi video.  Um, not exactly what I had in mind for a 2 year old. 

4. Finally, the problem with YouTube videos is that sometimes they just *poof* disappear without warning! For the first 3 months of his YouTube affair, Aias was obsessed with Choo Choo Soul shorts.  We still have the intro to Choo Choo Soul stuck in our heads 24 hours a day.  A few months ago, Disney pulled allllll the Choo Choo Soul videos off YouTube and now they are evidently only accessible in the USA.  Trying to explain their mysterious disappearance saddened and infuriated Aias, and to this day I still can't find any videos of these Choo Choo Soul songs.

So there you have it. We love you, YouTube, but we totally hate you too.

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