Surprise Eggs And Family Finger?!?!

This one goes out to the moms of toddlers and preschoolers. When my son was really small sometimes when we were out, we would let him watch videos on YouTube. It started out with us parents choosing Toy Story or Sesame Street videos as these were his favorite characters. Eventually, he learned how to pick his own videos to watch from the ones suggested. This led him to find the biggest baby crazy I never knew existed:

Surprise Eggs

You can find surprise eggs all over YouTube from all different channels and accounts. Some videos provide narration of the toys that are found in the eggs, others just provide music. The eggs are either plastic or chocolate wrapped in foil and generally feature various cartoon characters. Inside the eggs are small toys, stickers and key chains. Surprise eggs are difficult to find in the states as they are not distributed in the U.S..  This led us to have to order these eggs online so my son could open a few of his own.  We have purchased a few boxes which we have given to him for special occasions.

On the other hand, the watching of egg videos eventually leads to watching videos for Shopkins and Mashems and pretty much any other toy that comes in a blind bag or surprise box. These other toys are available in the U.S.

These videos can be anywhere from basic to elaborate with puppets, animation, and giant eggs decorated in play doh to look like popular characters. My son can now sit and watch several videos of people unwrapping surprise toys in a row and be fully entertained. He now knows characters from shows he’s never even seen because he’s watched the toys unwrapped. He can even narrate a few of the videos with the host.

One time we went to a friends house who has a daughter about 6 months younger than T (my son) and she was watching Bubble Guppies. My son immediately started naming the characters. My friend asked me if he liked the show. I responded, “He’s never seen it. He just knows them from watching their toys being unwrapped on YouTube.” She looked confused; I told her just wait, her daughter will be doing it too!

Due to this obsession, we now have 15 Mashems at home several Shopkins, a minecraft mini figure and a few mini pops from Funko. When at the store my son will recognize any toy that comes in a surprise bag or box and proudly announce the name of the character. While this makes is easy to pick little toys every once in a while that we know he’ll love, it makes it difficult to walk by the toy aisle of any drug store.

This brings me to my son’s other YouTube obsession: Family Finger

This is a video of a hand and a song about the different fingers. The song starts out “Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you? Here I am, here I am, how do you do?” They then repeat this for mommy, brother, sister, and baby. This can be very easy to learn for toddlers. Parents are on the fence of whether this is good or bad….

This video has thousands of versions using images of pretty much every cartoon character. So for example, there’s a Toy Story family finger where each finger is one of the characters from the movie: daddy finger = Woody, mommy finger = Bo Peep, brother finger = Buzz, sister finger = Jessie, baby finger = Potato Head. The song is pretty catchy much to every parent’s chagrin. My son has taught every member of our family the family finger song. He can sing this song endlessly without getting bored. Somehow he doesn’t find it as mind numbing as his parents do.

Luckily, we are not alone. My husband was in H & M recently and he heard another toddler singing the family finger song. The toddlers dad confirmed that his daughter was obsessed with the videos on YouTube.

Is your toddler or preschooler obsessed with family finger or surprise toys? Are they obsessed with something else from YouTube?

If you too have a child obsessed with Surprise Eggs you can find an assortment of eggs here: Surprise Eggs This is where we got them for the T monster and he loved them!! He also reenacted his own surprise egg videos…

Pre-mom vs. mom vs. post-mom

Ok so the post-mom part of the title is a bit inaccurate, you never stop being a mom once you become one. I just mean to say post having your kids at home, but for title purposes, that seemed more catchy.

Today, I’d like to talk about why I think it’s so important to be a multitasking mom, and it has to do with the 3 phases of a mom’s life: pre-mom, mom, and post-mom.

Prior to becoming a mom, we all had lives and ambitions and we had a lot more time to ourselves to pursue whatever we wanted. We probably had jobs and families and all, but for the most part our free time was our own. Pre-T (my son), I worked full time, danced for sports teams, taught dance, took dance classes, was studying for actuary exams, and participating in community theater. When offered a new performance opportunity, I jumped at the chance. If a team practiced 3 times a week plus games, who cared. Dancing was how I enjoyed spending my time.

Now that I have T, guess what, I still enjoy dancing. Not only do I enjoy it, but I still pursue it. Just differently.

I still need to work full time to support the family. But my love for dance didn’t stop just because I made a person. The thing about dance is your child rearing years are also your prime dance years. It’s not exactly a field that you just jump back in when your kids are grown. Plus it makes me happy. I don’t want to wait 18 years to make myself happy. So I adapt.

I still dance for companies and teams, but I choose teams that don’t require as many practices. I teach at places that allow me to take my son with me and I specify when I am available to teach. I choose not to teach on weekends so I can have family time and I am available for all those fun weekend events that come up. I also select gigs that only require a few rehearsals, if any.

I make it work because while I love my husband and son and spending time with them, I know I am a better mom when I am feeling fulfilled. I am super lucky to have supportive family and friends as well. My inlaws are always willing to watch T if I have a rehearsal, my husband will bring T to my performances, and the places where I teach allow T to sit in class with me. Without that kind of support, I could never balance it all.

The emotional support is key as well. My husband encourages every endeavor I pursue. He never questions when I say I want to try something. When I decided to try pageants, that meant that our family vacations we’re going to be wherever I was competing. My husband just asked when and where. He never questioned or complained or asked me to stop. We make it work.

This has a lot to do with my husbands pursuits as well. My husband works, but he also pursues acting. He understands the need to fulfill the part of yourself that was there pre-kids, so we work with each other so that both of us can pursue our outside interests.

Now back to the 3 stages. While it’s important to pursue your interests during parenthood because you will be a happier better person, it’s also important for after your kids grow up. If you do nothing for yourself when your kids are growing up, then what do you have when they leave? A lot of time and nothing to do. While it’s perfectly acceptable to start trying new things at that point, it’s nice to have something that you’ve maintained throughout.

You’re the same person at all three stages. Your goals and dreams and inspirations may change, but you should never stop pursuing them. It’s what makes you, you.

Love yourself and make time for yourself. It’s one of the most important tasks in your multitasking life!!