Motherhood hasn’t come naturally to Daisy Leverington. Four years in and she remains wide-eyed, terrified and in awe of the little person she’s responsible for. This week, she loses control over the telly and learns how to face paint ‘anger’.
Two hours after starting a YouTube loop which began with a search for Roald Dahl audio books, my four-year-old and I have been sucked into a black hole of face paint, contouring and glitter lashes which I don’t have the power to end. I literally don’t have the power: she is guarding the remote.
Some lovely (former) friends of ours bought our daughter some face paints for her birthday and now she’s four, she is a “real grown up” and “can do what she likes.” This apparently includes getting first dibs on the telly and colouring in her own body with face paint like a monkey emulsioning a fence.
Carefully timed plans such as the breakfast-shower-childcare-work scenario are now thrown into disarray by the appearance of an entirely yellow child claiming to be ‘Joy’ from Inside Out. She’s never even seen Inside Out, but thanks to the power of a handful of vloggers it has permeated our everyday life like herpes.
Another faction of this YouTube army are the people (I use this term lightly) who open presents. That’s all they do. They get sent blind bags of toys to open on camera and then coo over how super-cute/squishy/tiny they are.
Grown humans do this. People who could otherwise be working for charity or having sex or eating or anything. And my kid thinks these dudes are gods.
The rustle of a small yellow plastic bag is now the song of her people, and small plastic toys are her currency.
When did this all happen? When did giant eggs full of toys become vogue? Was it while we were all away in Edinburgh one summer? Millions of views on YouTube. No need to work. Presents delivered to your door from eager toy manufacturers and makeup companies. No wonder it’s a four-year-old’s dream, it’s MY dream.
“I’m just putting the red on the outside of my eyebrows and then I’ll blend it with the black to create a shadow line across the brow.” My tiny child said this to camera yesterday and I’m half mortified and half proud.
It’s great that she loves the make-believe which comes with playing a character (her dad and I are both performers so this sits fine with us), but do I really want a kid who is so aware of her looks? Maybe I’m just envious that she can slap on falsies like a pro while I still end up crying with glue and frustration.
Perhaps I’m worried she’ll become materialistically competitive with her mates at school. Maybe I just really wanted that Roald Dahl audio book on.
It’s a completely alien landscape which kids navigate now in terms of their primary influences. Vloggers and beauty tutorials are shaping how my kid sees the world, and I know I’m her bottom-line filter when it comes to the telly but I’m pressed to find a solid reason to say “no” when she requests one on, which is fairly infrequently.
“No need to work. Presents delivered to your door from eager toy manufacturers and makeup companies. No wonder it’s a four-year-old’s dream, it’s MY dream.”
I don’t know if it’s harmless, or if I’m getting cross at nothing, or whether I’m right to stare blankly at the thing which so enraptures my child and wonder: “WTF is going on? Why are these people doing these things in front of my eyes? Are they OK?”
I’ll tell you what I am sure of though. I have no time whatsoever for the bastard-child of the claymation era: Play-Doh tutorials. Just take your Plasticine crap and get in the sea.
No one needs to be told how to make a snowman with two balls of clay. That was nursery 101 and you are a grown adult. Let’s get you internet dating or something. Treat yourself to a Pot Noodle and a wank and get off my telly.
Even my kid shuns these, preferring the stately opening of a Kinder Surprise or How to make yourself look like zombie Snow White.
So for your viewing pleasure, here’s her very own ‘Anger’ makeover.
If you have friends you don’t like, why not get their child a box of red face paint for their next birthday?2917 Views
Daisy Leverington - Actor, mother, expert at winging it.