I have an issue that I need to just air out here very quickly. I’m sure this is an issue that affects many parents that are desperately clinging to the tiny bit of sanity that one has at the dreaded hour known as “bedtime”. You’ve tried everything, two bottles, their favourite teddy bear, the CBeebies bedtime hour (because apparently one child in the UK somewhere actually goes to bed at 7pm). You’ve walked with them, rocked them, shouted, pleaded with them, ignored them, pampered them and still the noise continues. If your baby could shout, it would definitely be one of “I am not tired and I want to play”.
Your other half doesn’t want to know. They did the teatime feed and bathed the little critter to allow you your ten minutes peace to scoff your tea and have a cheeky brew. You can’t remember the last time you actually tasted food because by now you know that if it is on your plate, your child wants to eat it. You were given that ten minutes peace, because you both knew what was coming after the bath and they were not going through it again.
This isn’t the actual issue. This is just… parenthood.
The issue comes at one critical moment in the bedtime struggle. When you admit defeat, sit at the side of the cot or bed and you whip your phone out. Hurriedly, you tap the icon for the YouTube app. You don’t need to search, because it’s the only thing that is ever watched… spying that little blue freak and his equally weird mates, another part of you dies a little inside as you allow yourself to go through it again.
But you desperately need the peace and quiet it brings.
This is not the issue either.
The sadly familiar chiming and that odd breathy singing woman pipes up and immediately your child, who was flailing uncontrollably in their sleeping vessel, stops dead. You are the ruler of your own household once more, because In The Night Garden is your kingdom’s greatest ally and he’s saved your arse. Again. The little one knows not to fight them, lays down their arms and quickly assumes the proper bedtime position.
Five minutes. Five minutes until you can return to your living room and watch Great British Bake Off and decide which contestant Paul Hollywood is flirting with this series. The kid’s eyes are drooping and you almost allow yourself a mini fist pump, until suddenly the serene sounds of the Tittifers is abruptly halted.
“TIRED OF YOUR BLACKHEADS?” *
Your moment of victory is shattered. The child immediately sits bolt upright, looking at you with eyes that can only say “What the hell, minion? Give me my sodding Tombliboos back”. Eyes that are now wide open. You can almost see the energy meter filling back up. You fumble the phone trying to figure out what on earth has just gone on.
This is the part where you see the issue.
Some sick, sadistic prick has put adverts into your precious bedtime saviour. Adverts that you cannot skip. Adverts that are invariably ten times louder than the video you are watching. Every four minutes. You mute the phone while the advert plays but the damage has already been done and the tiny human is back to their state of perpetual hyperactivity.
Who are these people? They are clearly not parents. They are twisted little people, painstakingly placing the adverts at the precise moment your child is ten more seconds away from sleep. That crucial beautiful moment where their eyes close for the last time. That’s where they put them and that is why every parent you ever see, is bloody knackered.
You, my horrible, advert planting spawn of Satan, are my issue. Parents have it rough at bedtime and your videos are an absolute last resort. The sign of an adult about to lose their mind completely and you push them over the edge.
You are the worst kind of YouTuber and collectively on behalf of all parents, I would just like to let you know that we hate you.
*That’s not the advert, but you get the point.