Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo! Welcome to Wednesday here on ParentalGrit, where we’re diving into my toddler’s latest obsession and the ridiculous video that swept the familial corners of the Internet. If you don’t have young kids or have been living under a rock, please check it out:
Welcome to my Hell, where Eliza watches, sings, and—most frequently—asks Daddy to sing Doo Doo Doo all the Doo Dah day. It’s Daddy shark, Mommy shark, Eliza Shark, Snack Shark, Sister Shark, Dog Shark, Teddy Shark, and list goes on and on. The record isn’t merely broken in our house, it’s been shattered, burned, and disintegrated into nothing. I know she’s only two years old, but I’m considering letting her watch Jaws and perhaps changing her opinion on how much she wants to talk about sharks moving forward.
As any parent can attest, there are trends and fads that become mind numbingly brutal for the parent to endure. Whether it’s a trending Youtube phenomenon or simply a bedtime story that eternally excites, it’s not always easy to manipulate your way around a child’s demands. The conflicting piece of handling all of these random child obsessions is that they are usually not ‘bad’ for the kid at all. She’s not begging for a 20th consecutive repeat of a Death Metal song in the car, she’s asking for Baby Shark and Mary Had a Little Lamb. She’s not begging me for one more chance to throat-punch her sister, she’s asking me to read Thomas the Train for the 6,000th time. It’s hard to be too frustrated or deny her requests given how innocent a cartoon shark song really is.
The biggest challenge as a parent with handling these sporadic cravings is that you cannot force your child into or out of a habit. That is, no matter how hard I try, the Baby Shark video won’t grow old to Eliza until she’s tired of it. I can’t force her into abandoning her new obsession (outside of my Jaws idea); all I can do is persevere until the next song or video comes along. Conversely, not only can I not push her past this phase, but I rarely can indoctrinate her into my own! I secretly had all these dreams of sneakily making my daughters’ preferred songs and videos my own. What good is parenting if I can’t manipulate my kids into only loving the things I do? My heart was set on little Eliza requesting 1990s pop songs and movies while uttering totally 90s expressions like “As if”, “Sweet”, and “Talk to the Hand”. It appears I’ll have to fight harder if I want any of my childhood to ‘stick’ to her.
Speaking of what ‘sticks’ in a child’s brain and what doesn’t, it never fails that the video, the song, or the words you desperately want your child to adopt will fail to register…but that one time you let a not-so-nice word slip or Youtube autoplays a music video not meant for your children and IT STICKS TO NO END. I can recite the ABCs to my daughter 17 times an hour for six months and she’ll play coy and never repeat it, but heaven forbid I mutter stupid or shutup under my breath and she’s running around like a little potty mouthed mutant repeating something daddy whispers a single time. Such is parenting life.
If I could spin a positive light on watching Baby Shark again and again, it would be that someday I know I’ll be begging Eliza to share the videos, songs, and trends she’s in to. I should be content and excited to watch my kids eyes light up as I sing a song or read a book, no matter how many circles we’ve been running with the same items. The older kids become, the more difficult it is for parents to be such an integral part of these short phases of their lives. In the meantime, I’ll bite my tongue, swallow my impatience, and throw on a smile while Grandma Shark chases dinner around and Doo Doo Doo reverberates through my head on an endless loop. Either that or I’ll go with my Jaws idea…we’ll see how much sleep I get tonight.