Mom Catches Toddler Washing Dishes — and His Hilarious Response Goes Viral: 'Comes Naturally to Him'
Semaj Prather first went viral on TikTok in August
Azha Prather has always known her little boy is special.
Last August, she found out the internet agreed when she shared a video of her son, 2-year-old Semaj, telling her she was beautiful, all because she brought him some fruit snacks.
"It started with that video when he was telling me that I'm so beautiful. I wasn't looking for it to blow up like it did. I was just recording him one night, he had just got in bed," Prather tells PEOPLE.
"And he was like, 'Mommy, I want some fruit snacks,' so I came back downstairs, got him fruit snacks, then got back in the bed, and he's like, 'What's up beautiful?' " she recalls of the moment, which has since amassed over 11 million views on TikTok alone. "All that because of fruit snacks. So it started from there."
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From then on, Prather started sharing more videos of her talkative 2-year-old, who many commenters have called "an old soul." She says that her grandmother was the first to realize that Semaj had a big personality, from the time Prather and husband James brought home their firstborn.
"My grandmother, whom he calls Ma, really told me, when we came home from the hospital. I walked in and she was looking kind of strange. So I asked her, 'Ma, why are you looking like that?' And she said, 'That's gonna be a strange baby.' "
"I kind of took offense to that, like 'What do you mean by that?' " she recalls, after which her grandmother reassured her it wasn't a bad thing. "She said, 'You're gonna see,' and from there, it just started moving fast."
Semaj started developing a following, and a few months later, a hilarious video where his mom walks in to find him messily washing dishes went viral.
"What you doin'?" she asks him, to which he replies, "Washin' dishes. Why you taking a picture of me?"
"I'm not taking a picture of you, but you're making a mess," she replies. "You got water everywhere."
Semaj sweetly replies, "You got shoes on, though."
"What that mean?" Prather asks him.
"So, go over there and clean up," he says, returning to his chores.
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"It comes naturally to him. I try to keep a camera on him all the time because I just never know what he's going to say. I never know what he's going to do. It's just his lifestyle, just Maj being Maj."
Because it's just the toddler being his genuine self, it's "still something new" for Prather to experience a video going viral. The washing dishes video has over 30 million views to date.
"I was not expecting it. I'm never expecting any of it," she says. "I know it's kind of hard to believe, but it's genuinely who he is. Sometimes I look at him and I'll be like, "What did I — where did you come from? Who are you?'"
Aside from sharing slices of life online, the toddler has a wide array of hobbies and interests.
"He loves to read. He loves to play basketball, baseball. He just loves sports," she shares. "Reading, of course, washing dishes, eating his chicken pasta. We also have one day a week that we go out and have a family day."
The family is looking forward to next month, when they'll celebrate Semaj's third birthday at LEGOLAND. On the toddler's wishlist? "He said he wanted a duck for his birthday this year."
While there's been a lot of positivity around Semaj's videos online, Prather occasionally encounters negative commenters.
"Some people are like, 'Oh yeah, y'all tell him to say this and that,' and honestly, we don't. We have gained strength in ignoring people. Even when I want to respond, I know I can't, so I just kind of look over it. At the end of the day, we know what's going on in our household. We know that Semaj is all-natural, who he is."
Prather is happy to showcase her family as an example of a classic southern family and hopes Semaj's videos show people the importance of spending quality time with their kids.
"I have people asking me, 'What do you do? What do you do with him?' And honestly, it's nothing special. I just take up time with him. We read, we do a lot of learning together since I set up his room as a classroom after taking him out of daycare," Prather says.
"We have a certain time of day that he can't be on his phone or his iPad or out playing basketball. We're up there, and it's strictly learning in his room. I think that time plays a big part."
"I would hope that people see they need to take up with their kids, because that plays a big, big part in their lives," she tells PEOPLE. "We always take up time with Semaj. We read. We do a lot of learning stuff with him. Taking up time with your kids is the most important thing."
Right now, the Prathers' primary focus is letting Semaj enjoy being a kid — who currently dreams of being a police officer when he grows up. Whatever comes of his viral videos will continue to surprise and delight their family of three.
"We're just waiting for it all to come to us in its time."
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Read the original article on People.