The most annoying profile New York magazine has ever published and that's saying something
New York magazine recently published a profile of one Isabel Kallman, a self-described "Alpha Mom" of two-year-old Ryland. What's an Alpha Mom? Why, it's "the new breed of 'go to' moms who are constantly looking to be ahead of the curve and 'in the know' on the newest innovations, hippest trends and research breakthroughs" "you know, the maven of mommyhood, the leader of the pack. Definitely dominant."
Now, any time I post anything even subtly critical of other mothers, I get smacked for it, and probably rightly so. This time, Isabel's words (and those of writer Randall Patterson) speak for themselves, and I have little to add. But because I am the kind of person who involuntarily squawks, "Oh, my God, holy shit, would you look at that?!" when I pass a gruesome accident, I cannot let the article go entirely unremarked. To wit:
Yes, I understand you can learn a lot about being a good parent by walking the streets.
"Wait, wait, I know! We'll call it...Baby™. It'll take an untapped market by storm! Now to work out an advantageous production deal with a sweatshop in Myanmar. And if I start seeing knockoffs being sold by those grubby, disgusting street vendors while I'm out there pounding that pavement, I'll be bringing a lawsuit faster than you can say Bugaboo."
1:30 PM: Manicure.
2:00 PM: Lunch at desk.
2:30 PM: While waiting for scheduled important phone call, think about "Ry-Ry."
2:31 PM: Try to conceive of a more annoying nickname for child. Fail.
2:32 PM: Important phone call. Stop thinking about "Ry-Ry."
"Did I mention that Baby™ will immediately make all earlier baby and baby-like products obsolete? It will be a 21st-century child meaning we can charge a bundle for future upgrades."
This strikes me as the saddest passage in the article:
The more Isabel's child needed mothering, the less comfortable she felt simply doing it.
Good Christ, the perfect child is the last thing I'd want. I'd have to clean up my act, and that's just not going to happen. But then this channel is clearly not meant for the likes of me: the only goal toward which I am currently oriented is to stop shoving Cheez-Its into my bloated face so that I can fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans again.
Proof that I am the coldest bitch in the world:
...That kind of made me laugh.
...Aaaaand so did that.
Wow. That doesn't sound like the parenting with which I am familiar. In my world less impeccably managed, to be sure I go with the flow. I don't "carve out time" for my husband and son from everything else I'd rather be doing, as if being with my family were another action item to tick off a never-ending list. And very little I do is absolutely on my own terms; if I'd wanted my life to revolve strictly around my own desires, I'd be single, childless, and probably deeply unsatisfied.
Let me get this straight. In the article's only mention of love, Isabel's husband admits to feeling an instinctual connection to his son and yet he's the one who doesn't know much about raising a child?
But then who am I to comment, when it sounds like what they're doing is working so brilliantly? For example:
For anyone who hopes to achieve such similar familial nirvana, but worries that she'll fall short, there is reassurance:
You know what? No, thanks. I'll settle. I'd rather expend my planning, resources, and work ethic on improving my dexterity as I try to retrieve Charlie's dropped pacifier between my unpedicured toes while I carry him upstairs howling. At the moment, that's achievement enough for me.
A tip of the retroverted uterus to sdn for pointing me to the article.