"You video your kids and you're not sure if they're gonna do something cute or funny," Lee Ann Flener told WBKO in Bowling Green. "It's our kid, so we obviously think it's pretty cute."
Her social media followers loved the video and urged her to make it public so they could share it. That's when it started to blow up, Lee Ann Flener told the news station.
As of Tuesday morning, the video had been viewed more than 80 million times and shared about 1.3 million times.
"We've gotten messages on social media from people in Ireland, Paraguay, Mexico," Lee Ann Flener said.
The Fleners described Rhett, who was born with Down syndrome, as a typical toddler. The middle of three sons, he’s thrilled by his newborn baby brother, who he hugs, kisses and holds any chance he gets.
His mother told WBKO the video puts Down syndrome in a positive light.
"It's showing that he's just like everybody else," she told the news station. "He gets just as excited when he gets to blow out his candle."
Garet Flener said Rhett, who has won the Spirit Award at their area's Buddy Walk, a walk benefiting those with Down syndrome, three years in a row, has a big impact on everyone he meets.
"He's definitely making his community a better place," Garet Flener told WBKO. "Just when we go out somewhere, people love interacting with Rhett.
“It just brings a lot of joy.”
His wife agreed.
"There's a lot of things happening in the world and joy just needs to happen more," Lee Ann Flener said.