This year we have been shamed by superior French parenting, gawked at Honey Boo Boo, and witnessed potty training at a restaurant table. What will 2013 bring? We have no idea. But, here are our best, tongue-in-cheek guesses for top parenting news stories in the new year.
To address pressure from breastfeeding proponents and detractors, baby formula makers will introduce a full body Mommy Doll. This lifelike facsimile will provide simulated lactation, allowing children to nurse well into their school years without interrupting mother’s schedule or offending innocent bystanders with a glimpse of actual breast.
Having It All
Young men will start to a national conversation about the inability to "have it all." This will be a short-lived movement, ending soon after it is brought to their attention that "having it all" has nothing to do with all-you-can-eat chicken wings.
Mattel will introduce a gender-neutral doll named Pat.
Marissa Mayer will take a break from the C-suite to sell candles at home parties. Her decision will be widely reported and critiqued, but she will be the top performer in the Bay Area for three consecutive quarters.
Sex and the Single Child Family
The Fifty Shades of Grey baby boom comes to fruition and new parents across the country experience the results of all that uninhibited amore. The result is a backlash of fan fiction that glamorizes birth control. Sixty Tints of Condoms, Ninety Days of Chaste, and Thirty Plans for Diaphragms will all be popular titles.
In the face of morning sickness, fatigue and cankles, Duchess Kate will not remain calm, but she will carry on.
Affluent parents will continue to foster ridiculous expectations in their children, teaching them that the universe is theirs for the taking. Snow parties will be the norm in gated neighborhood birthday parties throughout the south and some girl will hold her Sweet Sixteen on Mars.
As natural and unnatural disasters seems to become more common, parents-to-be will forgo traditional baby shower gifts like dinosaur booties and diaper-wipe warmers. Instead they will register for dehydrated foods, power generators, and DIY geodesic domes.
Big Pharma will finally come out with an immunization for whining. The supply will not keep up with demand, compelling weary parents to pay up to $1,000 per inoculation. The success will inspire research in new formulations to prevent both mumbling and talking back.
Parents of teens and ‘tweens will unite against the hot costume of 2013: Slutty Mr. Rogers.
A particularly aggressive paparazzo will be paid $1 million for photos of Jessica Alba feeding her kids Pop-Tarts. She will tearfully admit her indiscretion, enter rehab, and ink her own million-dollar deal for to star in a reality show about the challenges of maintaining a non-toxic lifestyle in the face of convenience foods and drive-thrus.
Lela Davidson is the author of Blacklisted from the PTA, and Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? Her thoughts on marriage, motherhood, and life-after-40 have appeared in hundreds of magazines, websites, and anthologies.