During my first pregnancy I got into a groove with the weekly pregnancy updates. They could get a little silly with the fruit sizing charts and attempts to put a positive spin on the endless pregnancy discomforts, but they did provide some basic information I needed. And, for the most part, they helped. (I have since contributed to the babble pregnancy newsletter, and hope you sign up for them if you are pregnant.)
But then my baby was born and those updates just kept coming. And coming. And coming. Soon it became absurd, with cute emails telling me what my 36 month-old might be going through. It was one thing to know that my fetus was growing toes but it was a little much to read what my two-year-old might be saying or dreaming or wanting.
The writers are always careful to use words like, “may” and “might” and there are disclaimers everywhere about how all kids are different. But despite that, parents of toddlers would often walk away from an update worrying that the kid wasn’t saying “Da,” sorting small objects, or pointing at things on time. Rebecca and I recognized this phenomenon and called it “milestone madness.” Eventually I cancelled the updates and decided to just go into the other room and see how my kid was doing for myself.
It’s for all these reasons that I really cracked up over the following hilarious parody of the What To Expect franchise by AJ Jacobs. Originally published in Esquire back in 2005, it’s worth resurrecting for the new parents among us. It’s called What To Expect: Your Baby’s First 75 Years and here’s a taste:
YOUR BABY AT 20
His brain: Your baby’s brain is growing at a rapid rate. He might even try to read books with very simple concepts, like The Fountainhead or anything by Carlos Castaneda.
YOUR BABY AT 35
His brain: Your baby will probably be experiencing exciting new emotions such as self-loathing and existential dread. Look for him to increase his vocabulary with words like “alternative minimum tax” and “I want a divorce.”
YOUR BABY AT 50
His brain: Here come the big words! Listen to him try to pronounce words like “sciatica” and “degenerative joint disease.” He might also have grasped the idea of permanence and may enjoy simple hide-and-seek games like “Where’s the money? In the Caymans!”
You can read the whole thing here.
photo: Derek Swanson/Flickr