Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Quick. Get the camera!"

"Quick. Get the camera!" In parent speak, it means, "The kids just did something so funny or unbelievably cute and we must catch it on film to share with everyone." But in kid speak, it means, "Stop whatever it was you were just doing, forget the last 15 minutes, and whatever electronic device they bring into the room, stare blankly at it and for goodness sake, do not repeat anything you just did!" The next greatest invention would be an invisible implant video recording device implanted into the head of a parent, so at a click of a button, it would begin taping whatever you are watching without the int eruption of running to grab a camera or letting the child see the recording device. For some scientific reason that has not been proven yet, a certain hormone is released in a child whenever they see a recording device. A child will first stop all previous activity that said device was trying to capture and 2 things will happen: 1) their brain goes numb and they will stare blankly into the camera like a deer in headlights or 2) they will kick into an ultra-annoying voice/action/scream that seems funny to them but only causes the parents to roll their eyes, regret grabbing the camera, and begin thinking of how they can record over this video. Because your intentions to record something for posterity has changed into documenting how annoying your kid can be.

The reason for recording has changed over the years. It used to be a great way to document your children growing up, watching them change through the years so you never forget these moments, and it was something you could send to distance grandparents. You know, perpetuating the lie that their little grand-babies are the most darling, well-behaved children they have ever seen and debunking the stories you tell of how horrible they were at the restaurant or church. Not their sweet angels they see on the cute video! Now a days, when a parent grabs the video camera, the only thing they are thinking is "I can't wait to upload this to YouTube and facebook." Its a digital age people. Now they have documented evidence on how cute/funny their child is and to show off to all their family/friends/past classmates/mailman/pre-school teachers/pastors/rabbis/ex-boyfriends/brother's friend's sister's cousin you met at a party in December who you didn't like at first then they made that funny joke you shouldn't have laughed at but it was funny if you think about it but then they spilled that drink on the dude's carpet and you felt so bad for them that you accepted their friend request the next day. All parents want to show their funny/cute video to that one classmate who checks his facebook after pulling into his multi-million dollar house in his $200,000 Ferrari to sit down to eat his bald eagle con fit and blue whale risotto dinner personally prepared by Wolfgang Puck as he eats off his solid gold china from China and for him to watch your video and think, "Man, I wish I had kids and was struggling financially. Then life would be perfect!"

But in the days of facebook and YouTube let me be honest: Parents, not all your videos are 'online worthy'. I would say 9 out of 10 videos should be saved for family videos, straight to DVD only. Just like Disney's Swiss Family Robinson 3: The Bloody Massacre in the Trees, in 3D. Most people on facebook don't want to sign on and see how your kid can now say the word dog. Its not riveting entertainment by today's standards. Why post a link to your video when most people want to spend their time on facebook wisely by seeing how many comments they got on their "my day was tiring, how was yours?" post and taking the latest "Which Harry Potter character are you?" They also need to switch over to and check out who Justin Timerlake is dating now. I mean, lets be honest, there is only 24 hours in a day and only 14 hours of those can be devoted to facebook and People. Priorities, people! Did that one hurt stay-at-home moms? Hit a little too close to home? Well take an unnecessary trip to Target and you will feel better. You always do. So the mediocre facebook video is really only good distance grandparents who don't get to see your children very often. But even then, sometimes Grandma just wants to jump online check her farmville account and go back to following Justin Bieber's tweets. She can't be wasting time on your kid's "spaghetti face."

But once in a great while, when the stars align, and your child's anti-video hormone is suppressed by an overload of Easy Mac and Gold fish crackers, you will capture on video that hilarious moment that makes you laugh every time you see the video. And its worth sharing with the world, because its quality. Well tonight we captured such a moment with our 3 year old Drew. This was totally unprompted. He just started doing this face/dance over and over, to a point that his eyes hurt but it gave us enough time to get the camera and record it. What was so funny, was when the 6 year old was going to do his funny face, Drew kept up his move in the background, again and again. I kept thinking "That's an old wives tale about how if you make a funny face it will get stuck like that, right?" Well that was only the first part of that old wives tale. The second part says, "But if it is truly funny, keep doing it and ignore the first part. Risk future public ridicule and therapy for the thrill of making people laugh right now." Anyway, the video speaks for itself. I hope you can take time out of your mafia wars to enjoy it. Keep watching Drew.

I was laughing so hard, I couldn't breath. I hope you enjoyed watching it as much as I forced him to keep doing it.

Hoping Drew makes it to community college, but realistically setting our sights on a GED,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

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