Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Surprise Eggs!

Alex is obsessed with You-Tube.  One day, I will sit him down and tell him about the prehistoric era/ household in which I grew up, where there was only UHF TV and VHF TV, and in order to watch UHF, there was a bottom knob that needed to be turned and only a parental figure was allowed to turn this knob, which happened about once every month or so.  I spent weeks at a time being able to watch ONLY 32 or ONLY 50, and I certainly couldn't pause, rewind, or speak into the TV and say such search terms as "Batman Motorcycle" or "Surprise Eggs."

I've tried to explain to Andy and Alex just how awful it was to grow up in the 1980's.  The only thing Andy seems to understand about my youth was that I once had two grandpas and I voted for George Washington for president.  Some of his facts are a little screwed up, but who am I to correct him.  I've got three kids; I'm too busy to repeatedly explain how old I am.  But they do know that I'm old enough to never have had an iPad until AFTER they were both born.

I like when they use the iPad to play pseudo-educational games.  I feel like my lies to the pediatrician about them getting no more than the recommended daily allowance of screen time are somewhat validated when they're using the screen to assemble a puzzle of a donkey or something.  But, lately, all Alex does with the iPad is watch videos, thus dismantling the whole house of cards. 

In particular, Alex likes egg surprise videos.  All the preschoolers/ toddlers do. How they find these videos ON THEIR OWN with no parental guidance is both impressive and startling.  I have zero idea on how Alex stumbled across the whole egg surprise thing, but again, I am pretty busy, and that little guy is horrifyingly resourceful.  He basically taught himself how to use scissors.  And the oven.

The egg surprise series is basically some fully grown up man opening plastic Easter eggs and commenting on the junk he finds inside.  Paw Patrol figures!  Mickey Mouse bracelets!  Stickers! The treasures never fail to leave the audience wanting more.  You see the man's hands cracking open these eggs, but you never see his face.  Sometimes a little girl's hands open the eggs instead.  I assume the little girl is the man's daughter and not some random kidnapping victim who is okay with having been stolen from her family since her new life contains surprise eggs.  The videos are boring, repetitive, and lack a well-crafted storyline.  But, man oh man.  Does Alex love these videos?  Yes. Does he spend every waking moment wanting to watch these videos?  Yes.  Is his new favorite holiday Easter, which was once fifth in line for exciting holidays but is now surpassing even HALLOWEEN and CHRISTMAS?  Yes.  Is the surprise egg man probably one of the richest men alive?  He must be, although I really can't figure out where his revenue would come from, unless Alex has found a way to mail him checks.  If the surprise egg man is doing all of this for FREE- well, then he's got even bigger issues than I originally thought.

Perhaps there is something appealing and addictive about watching a stranger's hands open plastic eggs in order to reveal mundane toys.  Perhaps this is the way children today truly do entertain themselves, even though the TV we own has about 300 channels fully available, no off-limits bottom knob needed.  In which case, they're wasting it.  All of this technology available, and Alex- you're wasting it by watching eggs.  

Wouldn't you rather spend your time putting together a digital puzzle of a donkey?