A comprehensive and reasurring guide that explains everything parents need to know about the 360th to 400th month of their child’s life in the 2010s. The early thirties are an exciting and rewarding time for you and your child. They no longer live in your basement, but still manage to be a huge part of your life.
Weight Gain: You may notice that your child is gaining weight but don’t worry. I repeat, don’t worry! This is simply their metabolism slowing down, stress building up and a general lack of caring about looking good after marriage. Doctors agree that the best solution is to simply buy them larger shirts and pants and convince them that if they didn’t have a 6-pack by their late twenties, it will never happen. Nightime feedings are discouraged.
Language: You taught your child all the language basics of conversational English as well as now-dated catch phrases. They looked oddly at you as you whispered “Good night, John Boy” or screamed “Dy-no-mite!”. Parents can now take comfort in knowing their child is just as outdated in their catch phrases. Teenagers look puzzled as your child chants “Who let the dogs out?” or begs someone to “show me the money”. It is now a time to bond with your child regarding mutual confusion over today’s linguistic trends. For example, discuss why a cat wants a cheezburger so badly, and spells like a street thug at a second-grade level.
Outlook on Life: It is during this pre-midlife-crisis stage that a child’s fantastical dreams go from improbable to virtually impossible. No one starts a career in as a rock star, teen idol or professional baseball player once their twenties are over and it’s too late to die at 27 to ensure a rock legacy. As a parent it is your role to remind them of how fast time goes by, and that they can live vicariously through their children.
Parenting: At this stage of your child’s life they are likely to become a parent themselves; and you a grandparent! Times have changed in the 30 years since your child was born.
- Stroller/Car Seats: For some reason, these items have merged. The carseat lifts and can be snapped into a stroller pre-equipped with surround sound and cup holders for your grandchild’s Latte and Coke Zero-though-12-months. Gone are days of calling shotgun as soon as a child can walk. Instead, a child faces backwards and stares at a wall until they leave for college. All car seats will become recalled eventually after a car loses another battle with a tree at 70 miles per hour. In place of a simple seat-belt, babies are buckeled in with an intricate strap and pulley system to prepare them for an impromptu moon landing. Comfort your thirty-something child in the fact that no matter how hard they try, they will never properly install their own car seat. Firefighters are standing by to check their mistakes.
- Pack in Play (Play Yards): These cages trap a child in a 6-foot square so that they don’t escape. The problem here is dozens of companies make these, and have different models and price categories, but they are all the same. Asking which model they like the best is moot and should be considered a rhetorical question. Imagine taking a Dental Hygienist into a Bass Pro shop and asking them to pick out the best fishing pole for dolphin fishing. They all look good to the dental hygienist. This is a fair comparison to a 30-something year old walking into a Baby’s R Us for the first time. Don’t expect opinions.
- High-Definition Baby Monitors: Your 30 year old will not be happy with a simple 1-way walky-talky device and will expect a high-def video feed of their baby at all times. They can tweet, blog and macarena with one hand while keeping a constant eye on their pixelated miracle with the other.
Look out for “What to expect — the Mid-life Crisis Years” to help in raising your 40 year olds.