Welcome to the new age of parenting! iPads to entertain your child in the supermarket cart. Screens in your minivan for your kids to watch the latest Pixar while your drive. Elf on the Shelf to scare your kid into behaving and now the latest – Netflix has kid-friendly fake New Year’s Eve countdowns to trick your kid into thinking they are really ringing in the New Year.
Hmmmm…..I’m not really sure how I feel about this. It sounds sort of genius. Why didn’t someone think of this sooner. Now that my kids are older and would now never fall for it, I must say I’m a little jealous of the parents with younger children.
All kids love the idea of staying up late. “Until midnight” sounds so exotic and exciting, but we all know as adults, midnight on New Year’s Eve is usually a big, fat, disappointing let down. But you can’t explain that to kids and so you end up letting them stay up. Speaking from experience, here are some scenarios that usually happen when this transpires:
You make a fancy dinner and your kids complain that they want chicken tenders instead. You get frustrated and think, “Why do I bother?” So you resent the kids while making chicken tenders because you don’t want to hear them whining anymore. Bon appetite, jerks.
Your kids stay up waiting for the fun to begin. You point to the TV and tell them that Ryan Seacrest is it. This is the excitement they’ve been waiting for. They look at you confused. You try to sweeten the pot by adding a cardboard hat and a couple of party tooters.
After ten minutes of listening to party tooters and noise makers, you announce the rule that there will be no more party tooters and noise makers in the house. You shotgun a beer and pour your wife another glass of wine. Whose idea was it to have these kids anyway?
Kids succumb to holiday exhaustion and pass out on the couch still wearing New Year’s Eve crown. When you attempt to pick them up, they become belligerent and start verbally abusing you, insisting they weren’t sleeping.
Your kid has way too much ginger ale and/or sparkling cider. Starts jumping around, chasing the dog, and fighting with everyone. Eventually ends up throwing up and then crying uncontrollably. (Substitute “wife” for “kid”and “red wine” for “ginger ale” and that’s a completely different New Year’s Eve from my past. You can also make the same substitutions to the prior scenario too.)
Now with the new pre-recorded countdowns, parents will not be creating “happy family” memories. They’ll be live streaming the countdown at 7:45pm via Netflix, kids asleep by 8pm, mom and dad happily enjoying a quiet meal with adult food and fancy champagne and then sharing their New Year’s resolutions while watching Ryan Seacrest, maybe even getting lucky on the couch, and falling asleep before midnight. That doesn’t seem right at all. Where’s the frustration and disappointment?
So go ahead, parents, play your countdown early and trick your children. I’m just wondering who you are gonna bang pots and pans with on your front stoop at midnight?
Happy New Year!