I shouldn't have to say this, but throwing cheese at babies is not funny

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

In case you missed it, parents around the world have been throwing pieces of processed cheese against their babies' faces in a new act of stupidity that's gone viral.

Yes, you read that right. Grown humans are throwing cheese at little babies and apparently it's hilarious – a little bit of harmless fun. It doesn't "hurt" the baby and sometimes they even laugh along. How could I not think it's funny?

Are you kidding me?

At what stage in your parenting journey do you think it's okay to humiliate your child for a few lousy likes on social media?

With a phone shoved in their direction, you grab some cheese and throw it at your child's face. Of course, you have to stand a good distance away so it makes a loud enough sound as it slaps against their skin. Perhaps the first bit of cheese doesn't stick or your baby turns its head at the last minute, so you do it a few times until you get the video just right. You do it until it's perfect for your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed.

And then you edit the video to make sure you capture their reaction – stunned, teary or laughing – and add the right hashtags, in case it gets picked up by a news station or website, and voila! You post it on your socials for everyone to see. It's so funny, isn't it?

In an instant your beautiful child, who looks to you for protection and care, becomes the butt of the joke for the whole world to laugh at and share with each other.

And when you're uploading your child's video you can then spend ages looking at strangers' babies get cheese thrown in their faces and laugh at them too.

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What a crack-up. Except it's not funny.

Fair enough, do it with other adults or let older kids throw cheese at one another (if you feel so strongly about cheese throwing), but not babies or toddlers.

They don't have the verbal skills or emotional maturity to understand why the people they trust the most in the world would think it's okay to throw food at them. They don't have a choice to refuse to be the human target in the game. They can't say no to being filmed, shared as a viral joke and possibly aired internationally in a video montage for strangers to laugh at them.

Why would you want to do that to your child?

As with all these viral challenges, they escalate. What's next? (I don't want to write suggestions here in case some dumb ass tries it on their own baby.)

And believe me there would already be parents out there, desperate for fame, and hungry for their own viral sensation who would be thinking of other things they could do to their baby to follow on from this ridiculous cheese challenge.

I also know there would be people out there thinking I am overreacting, but you know what, I'm not – it's a crappy thing to do.

Most of the babies I've seen that have had cheese thrown at them looked confused and shocked. Somewhere in their psyche they grew a little wary of their parent, a little less trustful. I know I would if someone I loved suddenly threw a piece of cheese at my face.

You see, when your kids are babies, you don't quite know what sort of person they are – anxious, nervous, fearful, brave, carefree.

For some kids, the whole experience would mean nothing to them and they couldn't care less, but for others it could be scary.

Regardless, it's not a cool thing to do to the person in the world who loves you most but still doesn't understand how the world works yet. Who you can't explain the process to and who can't retaliate.

It's not just a funny game. It's a little person being victimised for the sake of a few laughs at their expense. And that's why it's not funny to me. Put the cheese slices away mum and dad, and do something useful with your life.