Youtubular: Puking on air, and performing babies

Some Youtube ponderings. (With a tip of the hat to Neatorama.)

Puking on TV

Here is a clip from a Swedish game show. The host suddenly vomits in a middle of a sentence, then jumps back up with a smile and explains to the audience the fact that she has severe menstrual pain, which makes her sick sometimes. (Check out the subtitling at the moment of the puke.) While I feel sympathy for the woman, I was also kinda thrilled to see someone talking about menstruation so matter-of-factly and openly on air.

[Probably best not to watch this if you’re feeling queasy right now.]


Performing Babies

Lilly: The World Map Master Baby Genius

Baby Knows Presidents

These sorts of video performances are commonly disdained in terms of them being “performing seal” type recitals. The parents are reviled as pageant parents and competimummies, the tasks as meaningless drivel. Everyone shouts “Stolen childhood!”

But. How different is this from a child learning colours, letters, numbers, the names and noises of animals? Both of the babies seem to be having fun, particularly the first baby who is bouncing around and shouting “More!” I know my kid loved rote-learning and reciting the names of various things at that age, and repeating them over and over. Nothing about that precluded him “being a kid”, either – we spent plenty of time climbing in the playground and kicking a ball and building towers of blocks and noodling around down at the river, too.

I’m wondering whether the near-universal shout of “evil parents” is appropriate when all you are seeing is a one-minute clip on Youtube. The same shouters are probably just as quick to pronounce negative judgements when a kid hits first grade not knowing how to read – which is a perfectly valid way for a kindergarten child to be. And it’s hard to miss all the whining about how kids these days can’t find [insert country name here] on a map. All children are different, so why are we so quick to condemn families when the children are more than one standard deviation from the norm on a mythical standardised timetable – in any direction? Mummy-blaming, as always, reigns supreme.

What do you think?

Categories: arts & entertainment, education, gender & feminism

Tags: ,

7 replies

  1. I think it’s awesome that these kids have gotten so much attention that they were able to learn so quickly! It’s just a good example of what kids are capable of if they are given a chance. I think little kids can be a lot smarter than they get credit for if they are just challenged. It’s possible that these parents are simple proud of their kids and want to share it!

  2. I loved the puking menstruater – there’s even remixes of it with her puking in all directions!
    I’d love to hear an aussie presenter use the M word live to air sometime.

  3. Why do critics concentrate on the knowledge aspect and ignore the fact that these parents are having a really enjoyable interaction with their children that is an end in itself. There is turn taking going on and there is social reciprocity. These are really valuable. Look at the reinforcement that little girl is getting. Her parents think she is wonderful and she agrees! More applause! Nothing sinister here people, positive regard is the most powerful reward of all.
    (warning: incoming personal anecdote)
    I had a child who could perform feats a little like those in the last vid. He was not a prodigy (as that child may well be) but a child with autism. Rote learning of written texts and audio material was his introduction to more functional learning. I believe it was a good place for him to start because it was predictable and didn’t require him to endure really threatening social interactions. 12 years ago he was reciting the Tailor of Gloucester word perfect but was so threatened by playgroup that he screamed when a child came to within a metre of him. Now he is a thirteen year old Dr Who addict (Tom Baker is his favourite- that’s my boy!) who is more than capable of pointing out in eloquent terms when mum is being unreasonable and has good friends at school.
    Pfft to the mummy- bashers and the “oh what an unnatural child” phobics.

  4. Funny, “bad parents”never even crossed my mind with either of those. The children were obviously having fun, and Lilly obviously gets lots of praise.
    My main reaction to the Lilly vid was “how embarassing that a not-quite-two-year old knew two locations that I didn’t (although I do know where Sweden is).”

  5. The puking Swede was one of the funniest vids i’ve ever watched. That poor woman. Still, she composed herself exceedingly well. I needed that laugh. Thnx.

  6. ”how embarassing that a not-quite-two-year old knew two locations that I didn’t (although I do know where Sweden is).”
    Not as embarrassing as me going, “HA! I know where Paraguay is! Suck it, Lilly!”

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