Where the hell is my hovercraft? And my domestic robot? And my hot meal-vending oven?
Here it is, 2010, and I’m still driving a gasoline-guzzling, carbon monoxide-spewing vehicle, cleaning my house with an ancient broom and cooking over a fire. Well, I’m cooking over gas, but it’s just like cooking in the woods. Except there’s no wood involved.
Anyway, I’m disappointed in our brave new world of the aught-tens. Much that was predicted has not come to pass. That said, I think that there’s been a sea change in how we parent over the past 50 years. A reader recently told me that when he was raising his kids 20 years ago, “parent” was not a verb. Point taken.
Over the past 50 years, we’ve cycled through Dr. Spock parenting, hippie parenting, attachment parenting, helicopter parenting, nature parenting, and more. Now we’re heading into futuristic parenting.
Regardless of the fact that the world may end this year (or by 2012), I predict there will be some dramatic changes in parenting and family life.
Luckily, by the end of the twenty-tens, I’ll be parenting adults. I’ll be one of those little old ladies in the grocery store buttonholing young moms with the annoying phrase, “When I was raising my kids …” Just so they know they’re doing it all wrong.
After harassing parents in public, I’ll scoot off in my bright red hovercraft to pop a fish into my magic oven, which will then shoot out a perfectly cooked Dover Sole with organic butter sauce in less than 15 minutes. Yum.
While I’m enjoying my Dover Sole, many of you will be parenting small kids. Ha! So here’s what I predict for those of you who’ll have kids this decade:
1. Diapers will become a fond memory. The diaper-free toilet training method will gain converts when landfills start charging folks to throw away stuff. This trend will drive many moms totally bat shit as they spend all their time sprinting after and scooping up bare-assed babies and holding them over sinks before they defecate on the floor.
2. Public education will become more and more experiential. Teaching kids how to raise chickens and grow food will be deemed more important than teaching them multiplication and history.
3. Everyone will have computer chips implanted under their skin. Babies will get chipped at birth. These identification chips will be easy to update via wireless. More importantly, the chips will impart information to public robo-advertisers. Kids will compensate by wearing ear buds 24 hours a day — until robo-advertisers figure out how to access their portable music devices. The good news? The computer chips will decrease the number of child abductions. The bad news? Parents will know where their kids are all the time.
4. Teenagers will live in special schools. Away from their parents. Where they will be regularly doused with air freshener. And taught to eat with their mouths closed. And given special medication that makes eye-rolling impossible.
5. Increasing energy costs will cause the world to contract before it can expand again. Only the very rich will be able to afford to travel overseas. American kids will think Europe is a fairy tale land (it kind of is already, but you get my meaning).
6. Family dinner conversations will be held via group texting on individual messaging devices that will be attached to your right hand at all times. We’ll all have to learn to eat with our left hands (the first time in history that a device has benefitted lefties). Kids will learn that when mom or dad talks to them directly, using tongues and vocal chords, that they are in big, big trouble.
There we have it: the future of family life. I’m looking forward to it. How about you?
Anne Fitten “Edgy Mama” Glenn writes about a number of subjects, including parenting, at www.edgymama.com.