A viral child’s potty mouth directed at a popular dancing and talking cactus toy intrigued social media users, including Ms. Tina Knowles, mother of Solange and Beyoncé, who made an individual Instagram post about it on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
In the video originally posted by a TikToker named Melanie Leeson on Dec. 5, 2023, a young boy named Levi sat at his play table seething at the dancing cactus (for an unbeknownst reason), bellowing, “You motherfucker” at it repeatedly, simultaneously choking it.
Humorously enough, the cactus persists in dancing and imitating the sounds it hears.
The peeved fledgling had enough of the toy and tightened his grip on the toy, growling, “You motherfucker” one last time before the clip ended.
In the video Knowles posted, the overlay text referred to Levi as “Samuel L. Jackson’s precious grandson” since the actor is known for dropping F-bombs, and read, “…clearly, he has had enough [and] is fed up with the BS!”
Knowles assured her followers that she didn’t condone kids’ swearing but felt it was relatable.
“Disclaimer: I do not and have never condoned cursing by little kids, but this is hysterical. Sometimes I feel just like this. Don’t you? Apparently, all kids hate this thing!”
Other children, not all, share Levi’s sentiment towards the toy, only expressing it differently.
Children’s reactions to the dancing cactus quickly flourished on TikTok as a trend, with parents posting their children’s favorable and unfavorable responses to the toy.
The dancing cactus is a battery-operated toy that dances to the sound it imitates. Some children laugh and smile, but the popular videos comprise children screaming, crying and running in horror.
There’s no official reason why children are traumatized by the cactus, but parents speculate it’s the odd movements and big eyes.
But, again, some children do like it.
Levi’s video had viewers speculating how the squirt knew of such vulgar language, with many pinpointing it on his guardians.
No one knows exactly how Levi picked up swearing or if he understood the words, but the child’s reaction to the toy, the cactus itself and a 2020 Harvard report concur with each other.
Harvard Medical School instructor and clinical psychologist Dr. Jacqueline Sperling believed children cursing comes from them imitating whatever they hear (like the toy).
“Imitation is a big part of development,” Sperling said. “Children see and hear what’s said after someone stubs their toe or yells at another driver, and they decide to try it. Part of this is emulating a sibling or parent, part is attention, and part is the reaction. Does it get people upset or get a laugh? The feedback can be encouraging, which is why it’s good to remain initially neutral.”
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