Make no bones about it, nannying is parenting with all the same joys and pitfalls. When you are in the moment with children, they don’t focus on the fact that you are a paid employee and that you may eventually move on to another family or other career. They’re too busy focused on being kids.
I’m fascinated with the still evolving aftermath of this cute YouTube video posted by a British dad four years ago. Titled “Charlie bit my finger — again!”, the clip’s charm lies in the older brother Harry’s eloquent protests as his mischievous little brother Charlie plays the “baby card” and pretends as if biting is perfectly OK.
Harry is now 7 and Charlie is 5, placing them at ages 3 and 1 when this video was originally shot. Brace yourself for these numbers:
- The video has been watched 389.2 million times.
- It has been “liked” 808,860 times.
- There are now 626,683 comments from YouTube viewers.
Not surprisingly, those kind of numbers make advertisers salivate, which leads us to the most stunning statistic of all: The Dad, Howard Davies-Carr, is raking in more than $160,000 (100,000 British Pounds) a year in online ad revenues.
At his “Charlie Bit My Finger – Again” blog, Davies-Carr tries to keep his “aging” kids in the pop cultural spotlight by making more bite-themed videos recreating the moment. They have attracted a following, but naturally lack the same spontaneity as the original.
Jim White, a columnist for The Telegraph in London, laments that all the copycat parents out there will surely be missing out on some of the joys of family life due to the preoccupation of creating the next hit on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.
“But what exactly is Davies-Carr – and those seeking to emulate his financial good fortune – missing in the anxiety to record his children’s quirks for rewarding posterity? We used to mock the way Japanese tourists were apparently welded to their cameras, not seeing anything first hand, their experience of the world restricted to playback.
I remember once seeing a Japanese fan catching sight of himself on the big screen at a football match and immediately pointing his camera upwards to film the moment. When he played it back, however, with a view perhaps to posting it on YouTube, he will have discovered an awkward truth: his face was obscured by his camera. It could have been anyone up there.”
Very few of us will hit the YouTube lottery like this British dad and there certainly is nothing wrong with sharing some of life’s fun moments with friends and family. But something does get lost when we constantly watch our kids play and interact through our camcorder viewfinder or cell phone camera.
The Harry and Charlie show also brings up the issue of child discipline and how parents and the family nanny, babysitter or au pair need to be on the same page for how to respond to behavioral problems. Personally, I have found it effective to show my four-year-old daughter the Yo Gabba Gabba music video “Don’t Bite Your Friends!” for messaging reinforcement.
We’d love to hear from parents and nannies about their favorite methods of discouraging human cannibalism in the playroom!
As the leading alternative to hiring a costly nanny agency, the eNannySource Learning Center is an invaluable resource to explore every aspect of your nanny search. It is especially vital that your views and parenting style are reinforced while your nanny or au pair is in charge. (Check out “Discipline and Boundaries for your Nanny” as a starting point).
On a more lighthearted note, there’s no harm in laughing at life’s sillier moments. If you’re not one of the 389 million clicks, judge for yourself if Harry should be upset at Charlie: