A is for Adley? More like, A is for AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

·4 min read

Aug. 13—It is 6:28 on a Wednesday morning, and I am attempting to rouse my daughter from her slumber-time world of fantasy with a series of semi-furious shoulder shakes and half-gentle chants of her name.

She pushes me away, muttering some mostly unintelligible complaint about how sleepy she is. I wander back into the living room, where I will give her approximately three minutes to stumble out of her bedroom before I begin the process again.

Two minutes later, she speaks the first distinct words of the day.

"A is for Adley!" she cries, shouting it at the same volume and with the same intensity that someone of drinking age might declare, "I just won the lottery!" or "It was just a benign cyst!"

For those without tiny children who lack an appreciation for proper storytelling or any form of entertainment that isn't 95% yelling into a hand-held camera, "A is for Adley" is a YouTube series chronicling the life of young Adley McBride, a spitfire redheaded child who — if her many ... many videos are to be believed — spends her days loudly goofing off with her parents and siblings.

The child's channel has roughly 4.51 million subscribers. At age 7, she is wealthier than I have ever been or ever will be.

It is now 6:34 on a Wednesday morning. Arlie bounds from her room with the kind of energy middle-aged people can't fathom mustering even during their peak hours of the day.

"Daddy," she begins, and I already know she's going to ask, "What can I watch?" but what she'll really mean is, "Can I watch 'A is for Adley?'"

"What can I watch?" she says.

And like any parent who knows what he or she should say but also hasn't even had a single drop of coffee yet because it's 6:36 on a Wednesday morning and he or she thought it was a good idea to stay up until after midnight drinking beer and watching Cynthia Rothrock movies, I just didn't have the energy for an argument.

"You can watch 'A is for Adley,'" I tell her.

"Hooray!" she says before dashing toward the tiny room off the kitchen where she likes to eat her breakfast and the cats perform their bathroom rituals.

"Eat first," I call after her. "You have 20 minutes before you have to get ready for school."

"OK," she shouts as she slams the door to the room. From the kitchen, the coffeemaker lets me know it has finished brewing a pot by bleating a few dozen times.

I plop into my usual living room chair at 6:42 on a Wednesday morning and curse as I slosh coffee all over my shirt. I return to the kitchen for paper towels just as I hear a small child shout "A is for Adley!" from the adjacent room.

I open the door to find Arlie standing centimeters from the television, mesmerized by the tiny redhead bouncing around the screen. The plate of pancakes I fixed my child for breakfast remain sitting on the table . They are untouched.

"Arlie. Don't stand so close to that TV," I tell her. And then, "Also, you've got 15 minutes before we have to get ready for school. You can eat and watch television at the same time, like the rest of us."

"OK," she says, and then, "Shut the door, please."

It is now 6:52 on a Wednesday morning, and I have refilled my cup and returned to my seat. From the nearby child-feeding/cat-pooping room, I hear the distinct clamor of a 6-year-old jumping around. It does not resemble the sound of pancakes being eaten.

"Arlie," I call out. "Eat."

"I am, Daddy," she answers.

It is now 7:01 on a Wednesday morning, and my child has returned to her position a hair's breadth from the television. The plate of pancakes appears to be in pristine condition.

"Time to get ready for school," I tell my child. The look she gives me is one of panic and confusion.

"But I haven't eaten yet," she tells me.

It is now 7:03 on a Wednesday morning, and a very noisy, very rich child is screaming on TV. I feel like joining her.

ADAM ARMOUR is the news editor for the Daily Journal and former general manager of The Itawamba County Times. You may reach him via his Twitter handle, @admarmr.