Dec. 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM ET
These videos all brought smiles to our faces, made us choke up with emotion or simply gave us a good old belly laugh when we needed it the most. So in case you missed them, or even if you didn’t, enjoy these viral videos from the last year that show a special slice of that crazy, all-consuming pursuit of parenting. You may find inspiration in an unlikely place.
He’s got the mask, he’s got the voice, and when it comes to parenting, make no doubt, he knows right from wrong. Meet BatDad. As this fun dad of four slips into character, Blake Wilson parents his kids like no other, imploring them to wash their hands, wipe their faces and chew with their mouths closed, all in that deep, commanding superhero voice. Bat Dad shows us all how it’s done through his Vine videos.
Non-verbal boy with autism sings "Roar"
At first, Jack Robbins’ family didn’t realize what they were hearing, but they figured out that their nonverbal, autistic 8-year-old son was singing Katy Perry’s “Roar.” Mom Carla Robbins says the family was overjoyed to hear Jack sing, the first time he had spontaneously put words together. She proudly posted a video of her son’s rendition on YouTube in November, drawing legions of fans.
Twins in the bath
In November, millions of viewers watched the captivating video of newborn twins as they lay side-by-side in a special bath, just several days old. With their eyes closed, the baby boy and girl hold each other and cuddle, showing what life might have been like in the womb. The babies are supported by adult hands in the bathing technique developed by a maternity nurse in Paris.
Girl signs concert for her deaf parents
Following the outrage over a “fake” sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, an adorable girl from Florida warmed the hearts of millions with her signing.
Smiling and bobbing her head, 5-year-old Claire Koch sang along with her classmates at her kindergarten concert in December while also using American Sign Language to sign the songs for her deaf mom and dad. Her mother posted the precious video on YouTube, where it’s racked up more than 6 million hits.
And your kids thought YOU were embarrassing? The Holderness family of North Carolina took their Christmas card to the next level, dressing in matching Christmas pajamas and shaking their collective thing for an online greeting. In their #xmas jammies video, the family of four raps about their 2013 accomplishments, including dad Penn’s decision to leave his news anchor job — and his recent vasectomy.
Woman hears the voice of son and parents for the first time
First came the smiles, then the tears. A woman who was born deaf and told her hearing could never be restored decided to try a cochlear implant at age 26. This emotional video captures the moments when Amy Barber’s implant is switched on, and she hears, for the first time, the voices of her parents and her 6-year-old son. Made in 2012, this went viral in spring of 2013. Grab a hankie for this video, viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube.
Nobody gets more excited about a loved one’s pregnancy like this grandma-to-be. In this video, she figures out the news as her husband reads a birthday card that begins, “Grandpa.” “Oh my gosh,” she says, before erupting into a full-on screaming, crying, happy freak out.
Evolution of Mom Dancing
First lady Michelle Obama’s got the moves — and she put them to work in her “Evolution of Mom Dancing” video to encourage people to get active. Along with Jimmy Fallon (dressed as a suburban mom), the pair strut their stuff, doing the “Go Shopping, Get Groceries,” the “Raise the Roof,” the “Pulp Fiction,” and the move few kids want to see their parents doing, the “sprinkler.” But Mrs. O steals the show, closing it out with a solo, the one and only “Dougie.”
Baby cries happy tears when mom sings
The little tear says it all in this video. As 10-month-old Mary-Lynne Leroux listens to her mother, Amanda, sing “My Heart Can’t Tell You No,” she smiles at first and her eyes fill with tears. More than 28 million people watched this sweet video on YouTube.
How to fight a baby
Don’t worry that Gavin McInnes wants to fight his baby. In his zany video, this New York father of three shows the play wrestling moves he uses to do battle against his 10-month-old son, which includes tossing him chest-first onto a fluffy comforter, as baby giggles with glee.