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Quesnel toddler goes viral for helping out at family business

Video of child’s efforts go viral

A video from Cariboo Water in Quesnel is flowing around the world.

TikTok and YouTube viewers have turned Thomas the water baby into an internet sensation, and for the one-year-old, it was all in a day’s work.

The video shows the toddler diligently carrying in the empty water jugs from the loading dock inside to the stacks. It helps that his mom put a clever tune as the soundtrack to the scene, but what really fascinates people is the effective job the little kid is doing. He’s not just flopping them around or beating on them like big, blue drums. Thomas is on a mission, and he knows how to do it right, just get out of his way and let him do his work.

The reason it’s such a perfect 1:47 window into Thomas’s earnest efforts is because his mom, Tamara Pelletier, had time to get it just right. You see, this is what Thomas does, all the time. It wasn’t a lucky clip, it was one of many such moments. She’s even posted some other videos on TikTok and YouTube in the past of Thomas in the jungle of jugs, and some of them got tens of thousands of views. But this one was different. This one tapped into the public’s interest.

Within a day it had surpassed all other videos on the Cariboo Water platforms, by the beginning of Valentine’s Day it had three-million hits. By the end of Valentine’s Day, it had 30-million. It has only rocketed up since then.

“It’s ridiculous how crazy it’s gone,” Pelletier said. “I can’t even understand. I have teenagers, and they’re like ‘mom, this is huge, you don’t seem that excited,’ and I’m like, I don’t even know what’s happening.”

Let Howie Mandel explain it. The famed Canadian superstar did what’s called a stitch: a new video spliced alongside a preexisting video. Mandel’s version showed Thomas hauling his cargo, and the camera also showed Mandel providing a commentary, and because he’s a comedian, it was a deadpan spoof on the wickedness of child labour. So there was another swell of viewership.

He wasn’t the only one. Pelletier said there were may others doing the same thing, and now the media coverage is pouring in. She’s gotten calls from Reader’s Digest, the video was featured on Global News, suddenly little Thomas is a juggernaut. For the family-run business, it’s like drinking from a firehose, this past week.

“He does it all day long,” Pelletier said. “He waits for the truck, and he’s all about the empties. It’s pretty cute. He just follows what he’s watched us do. He’s so excited to do it.”

Good thing, because Cariboo Water (they also own Quesnel Pure Water) is bubbling briskly along as business. They do household, commercial and industrial deliveries of distilled or reverse-osmosis water in five- or three-gallon jugs. They also have in-store pick-up. They have even been supplying much of the clean water to residents of Wells who are under a water safety advisory.

It’s so busy that Pelletier has put her nursing career on hold to help manage the business her husband Kurt Pethick has operated for more than 20 years. They loved that they could lead a family life connected to the business, they just didn’t think tens of millions of people would be clicking social media to watch them do it.

You can see the video on the Quesnel Observer’s website or Facebook page. Click here to take a look.

Howie Mandel’s spoofy response can be seen on his @officialhowiemandel TikTok site. You can see Howie’s video here.



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Frank Peebles

About the Author: Frank Peebles

I started my career with Black Press Media fresh out of BCIT in 1994, as part of the startup of the Prince George Free Press, then editor of the Lakes District News.
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