Kids can go viral for all sorts of things these days. For Roman Belville, age 2, it was because him mom, Ayla, let him express his independence. Specifically, she let him bake a cake all on his own.
It all started when Ayla was setting up to create a video for her YouTube channel. As a creator herself, she had committed to making one YouTube video a week. For that particular week’s video, she had planned to make a cake with Roman.
“I was setting up, and he was standing on his stool in front of the camera,” she says. “And he’s like, ‘Hey, guys. We’re making a cake today.’”
Roman was so engaging and comfortable in front of the camera that she decided to skip being in the video herself. So she just handed him ingredients off camera while he talked through each step. After she edited and posted the video, it went viral in just a few days, both on YouTube and on Ayla's Facebook page. It became her most successful video.
Roman's cooking corner was a hit.
Since that making that video, Roman and his mom have gone on to make several more. Some of the most popular ones include Roman making donuts, lasagna, guacamole, and fruit snacks. His show is called Roman’s Cooking Corner, and he releases one new episode a month. (His fans want more, but a 3-year-old can only do so much.)
Ayla says Roman is the one who picks the recipes. But they don’t practice making the dishes ahead of time because she wants the videos to be as natural and authentic as possible. “It gives him the creativity to do what he wants,” she says. “I know that Roman is more himself when I don’t constrict him.”
Let's get messy.
Most people that write to Ayla and Roman say how inspiring they are and how fun Roman is to watch. But Ayla says they also get their fair share of people saying things like, “I could never do that,” or, “How does she have the patience?”
For Ayla, everything that goes with Roman’s Cooking Corner—the planning, the mess, the giggles—is part of the full experience. And she says she hopes it shows other parents they can do it, too.
“A lot of times, people look at all the negative stuff they have to do by saying yes to something, and they forget to look at the positives it brings, too,” she says. “I say let yourself do it. It’s just a mess, and you’re gaining so many smiles and laughter.”
Ayla admits it’s tempting to say no to things, especially when it’s really involved or messy. (By the way, Roman always helps with the prep and clean up for his show.) But she says it’s all worth it.
“Life is messy, and it’s going to get messier,” she says. “But let them live in the moment. Let them show you who they are meant to be as a person.”
Roman is a great example of a Let Grow Kid! Did you also see our video of Jonah? If you know of a Let Grow Kid, we want to hear about them. Share with us on social media, including our Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter.
Check out our video of Roman and Ayla below.