Adventures in fatherhood: So many trends, so little time

Nick Shepherd • Aug 23, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Being a father is a full-time job, especially when you have a 6-year-old girl. During my six-year reign as king o' the castle, I have become experienced at a lot of things: changing poopy diapers, saying no to almost everything and repeating commands over and over until they must be yelled to be followed.

One thing I am still adapting to is the dizzying speed at which my child goes through trends.

Atalina Emmersyn, affectionately known as Emmy, has liked a lot of things, mostly television, in her short life span — from “Dora the Explorer” to “The Day My Butt Went Psycho” (an actual show on Netflix, I kid you not). In the last couple of years, I've noticed Emmy lurches from one thing to the next without warning.

For instance, two years ago she was really into the show “Teen Titans Go!” on Cartoon Network. It's a show about five teenage superheroes — Robin, Raven, Starfyre, Beast Boy and Cyborg (and I'll have you know I typed those names without having to look them up on Google thank you very much). She was so into it, I bought her comics even though she couldn't read and gave her plush Teen Titans for Christmas.

Then suddenly, Teen Titans did not exist in our home anymore. She still kind of likes them. We bought a Teen Titans comic book the other day at the used book store, but it is nowhere near the obsession it used to be.

She was into dancing and gymnastics for a while. Toward the end of dance class, she grew tired of it. She still likes gymnastics and I hope it sticks. But who knows with this kid?

Once she started school last year, her tastes changed again. She was taught how to use a computer (did you know they do that in kindergarten now? It's amazing to see). From there, she somehow discovered YouTube and videos of people opening toys.

It seems odd to me that children would enjoy watching other people open toys. It’s like being hungry and watching other people eat sandwiches. Now the toy openers do not really play with the toys, they just open them and talk about them. It's a thinly disguised way of marketing toys in my humble opinion, but she enjoyed it.

These videos led to a brief obsession with Shopkins. The company that makes these toys (which are based off grocery store items and each have a face and unique name) also has a YouTube channel. She stumbled across the channel and suddenly everything in my world started to revolve around these inch-high toys.

Emmy begged us for the toys, so we bought toys. Emmy begged us for Shopkins clothes, so we bought Shopkins clothes. My mother even bought her a Shopkins bed spread complete with doughnut and strawberry pillows.

But alas, this trend was not to stick either. Not even three months after her Shopkins obsession, she moved on to her current obsession: Minecraft.

For those who don't know, Minecraft is a video game in which players can build their own world using pixelated blocks. Now being an avid gamer, her obsession with a video game warms my heart. But I had no idea how deep the Minecraft rabbit hole goes.

She discovered Minecraft by watching a YouTube video of a Minecraft player called Little Kelly. Little Kelly is part of the Little Club, a professional group of gamers who have adventures in Minecraft and put their adventures on YouTube. I am not exaggerating when I tell you she fell in love with the Little Club.

By the way, I know the names of every single member of the Little Club and follow quite a few of the members on Twitter to keep her up to date on new videos. She asked me to do this after hearing the Little Club ask viewers to follow them on Instagram and Twitter and because she herself does not have a Twitter account or really know what it is.

Those videos led me to download Minecraft on both my Playstation 4 and our home computer. We've built a nice little world on Playstation together (well, I built it while she slept because quite frankly, I can't get anything built when she plays because she likes to destroy my hard work). But on a PC is where she's started to have the most fun because she can play mini-games on another person's server, such as pig fishing and the Hunger Games.

So she's had this obsession all summer, which meant when we went back to school shopping, it was Minecraft-centric. We bought Minecraft shirts and a Minecraft backpack. She met a fellow Mincrafter her first day of school after being asked to say what she liked.

She is so engrossed in this trend that I have been using the taking away of Minecraft as a punishment (which she genuinely hates and protests every time I say she can't play it). Say what you will, but it is effective.

So if you ever find yourself on the Hypixel server facing a girl named Teqilipop, you've run into my daughter.

Until a new trend comes along and she is no longer interested in Minecraft.

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