I've Watched A Stranger's Baby Grow Up Over YouTube. Life Is Weird.

Two years ago, "bobaepapa" uploaded a video of a baby that was super excited to see her mom, but also waaaaay too sleepy. It was an insanely cute combination—so much so that the video became viral hit. You might've watched it, and then never thought about this baby again.

Well, I've kept watching—in fact, it might be accurate to say that I've seen this baby grow up from thousands of miles away. I've watched her eat, I've watched her play, I've watched her cry. I've watched her discover the weirdness of trying out shoes on for the first time (it seems so arbitrary at a young age!). I've watched her discover that everything has a name and a place. I've watched her laughter bubble and burst.

I've watched her do all these things, and she has no idea who I am—or that hundreds of thousands of people watch her do all these things regularly. That's kind of odd, right?


Her name is Yerin. It means 'treasure' in Korean. She's two years old, turning three on the 23rd of September, and if it wasn't obvious from the first video, she is immensely, immensely adorable. Yes—we'll get to that. There are videos, a ton more videos. We'll get to them in a second.

For now I can't help on muse on it all—the way I've watched her grow up from afar, I mean. It kind of weirds me out to think about. Sure, it's something I've kind of done on Facebook before; I'm getting to that age where everyone around me seems to be getting married or having babies, their Facebook profiles actually becoming extensions of the babies themselves. But those are acquaintances, at least!

I'm not sure it has to do with technology, exactly...sure, with the advent of smartphones and Google glass, along with video equipment that's reasonably priced, having someone's entire childhood be documented is easier than ever. Of course, you still might ask yourself if we 'should' be doing this sort of thing with our kids, but...meh. Back when he was in my life, my dad used to record everything I did as a baby, t00—that was 23 years ago. I only know this because my family talks about it all the time, in the sort of 'remember the good old days' that make you think it's less nostalgia and more 'what happened to you?' In any case, it's not some caution around the idea of having everything recorded. That ship has sailed. I view a lot of my life through the lens on my smartphone.

Perhaps it's the fear that, despite my protests, there actually is some latent desire for motherhood in me. Sure, seems like some gender essentializing bullshit, and I don't seriously think that's what's happening here, but sometimes, I can't help but think about it for a second.


Maybe I shouldn't be weirded out, though. The list of things mitigated online now for me are endless, from work to friends to romance and everything in between. Who knows? What's for certain is that Yerin is amazing. Here are some of my favorite videos of her over the years.

Off-Topic is our nightly open thread where we show you something interesting beyond the world of games while inviting you to talk about anything and everything.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


Cat Davenport

God..... Sickeningly adorable. I want a kid.