My husband Marc says I have a memory like an elephant. I have a real knack for remembering all sorts of random crap that serves no useful purpose. However, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I first introduced ‘the iPad’ to my eldest daughter Giuliana.
At the time of writing, Giuliana has just turned 4. She has always been an excessively full on kid (‘spirited’ is probably a kinder descriptor) but I love her to bits. However, despite my undying love for my daughter, it doesn’t hide the fact that she drives me bonkers most of the time and I regularly use the iPad to alleviate her attention seeking ways.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still limit her screen time like any responsible parent, but I am guilty as charged of succumbing to extra YouTube videos in those moments of desperation when I am ready to list her for sale on Gumtree!
It does make me smirk when I hear idyllic new parents remark ‘I won’t be letting my child watch TV/use an iPad’. We both know that 99% of parents quickly change their minds as soon as they realise the value of visual distractions when baby #2 comes along!
Anyhoo, there have been some very noticeable changes in Giuliana since she started using the iPad. Marc and I are determined to see the funny side in all this, but there is certainly concern that we have outsourced our child raising obligations to a young girl called Hailey.
‘Hailey’ is a young American girl who has her own YouTube channel called ‘Hailey’s Magical Playhouse’. She and her dad open all sorts of toys – Kinder Surprises, blind bags, fashems, Play-Doh sets etc and these videos have Giuliana spellbound. She would happily watch Hailey all day if I let her. The content is totally harmless, but there are some tell-tale signs Hailey is shaping my young daughter’s view of the world.
#1 – Giuliana talks in an American accent
Do you remember a few weeks back when Hamish/Zoe Foster-Blake shared on social media that their little boy talks in an English accent due to his obsession with Peppa Pig?? I know just how they feel – G talks in an American accent about 80% of the time due to all the hours she’s logged on YouTube. We correct her all the time, but until she loses interest in Hailey, I have my own little Yankee sweetheart.
#2 – Barrettes/Bangs/Pumps
Further to #1, Giuliana uses some extremely American phraseology that she certainly hasn’t picked up from me, namely barrettes, bangs and pumps. Marc being a typical bloke had no idea what she was talking about but I knew straight away that she meant hair clips, fringe and heels. I swiftly set her straight!
#3 – It’s ‘exclusive’
In addition to Giuliana’s use of American slang in #2, she also uses a variety of words that I would rate as rare for the average 4-year-old. When Hailey opens ‘blind bags’ or ‘fashems’ (small toys in sealed bags or containers) they are usually part of a large set of characters to collect. Giuliana has started using all of Hailey’s adjectives to describe the toys i.e. it’s ‘exclusive’ or it’s ‘classic’ to the point where she will tell me ‘mum, this is an ‘exclusive’ DVD edition of Frozen becomes in a hard case’…..smartass!!
#4 – ‘Beat It’ (but I can’t blame Hailey for this one)
Giuliana is also obsessed with watching My Little Pony videos and watches the series and fan made content online. Some of the fan-made stuff is pretty awesome and definitely gets kudos from me. I was watching a clip with her the other day where someone has put the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ to some My Little Pony animation. As a result, Giuliana sings (or tries to sing) Beat It all around the house. It’s very cute especially when she forgets the words and adds in her own lyrics. I’d bet a can of coke that other 4 year old’s don’t know the words to such an MJ classic.
Part of me is waiting for Giuliana to ask me if she can have her own YouTube channel. It’s a pity I know nothing about YouTube because there is some INSANE money to be made….Hailey and her dad must be swimming in cash (and free toys) Scrooge McDuck Style; a Christmas holidays project for me perhaps…….
In the meantime, when she needs a break from the iPad, mum may need to forget to charge it…. accidentally on purpose of course 😉