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Baby Mozart

A warning to a certain Kate: You’re in for a bumpy ride.

By December 8, 2012 Headlines

There is only one Kate in my life and she arrived in 1995 with fanfare from my circles alone.

My Kate. Royal in our minds.

That other one gets a little more ink.

That other one will soon discover what she is in for as a pregnant royal.

That little topless sunbathing episode was just a teaser. Being a parent today has its own queasy pressures.

I admire much about British culture but the tabloid wolves are not on my list.

That other Kate may be due in 7 months or so with a future royal but she is also due for a wallop of invasive press that could drown even the most stalwart.

She knew some of this, surely.

But motherhood is a loaded state in 2012.

So argues yet another Kate, writer Kate Taylor of the Globe and Mail.  Taylor suggests that the Duchess faces a media culture where pregnancy is both intensely scrutinized and sexualized.  Kate’s mother in law Diana could wear billowy maternity wear and parent privately but will Kate be forced to be a yummy mummy?

“We have seen a real intensification of interest in the pregnant body, in the media, in celebrity-gossip magazines, in reputable newspapers, on television,” says Michelle Meagher, an assistant professor in the women’s studies program at the University of Alberta. “We are shaming some mothers and idolizing other mothers. We are asking they prove to us they will be good mothers and attractive women.”

Sexy mom pressure may be a reality but that is hardly the only new phenomenon facing that other Kate.

Parenting in general has shifted entirely in the last decade to a mad state of constant engagement and expectations. I am glad I had my children when I did. I didn’t have to buy Baby Mozart. I did read Good Night Moon over and over…happily.

Today, there is an updated version of that wonderful children’s classic: from The New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs blog.

Will this be the version read to Royal Baby?

Feel free to laugh. Or wince.


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In the great green-certified room

There was a smartphone
And a silver spoon
And a picture of—A high-contrast, brain-stimulating black-and-white moon
And there was a musical concert by Baby Mozart
And high window guards
And French flash cards
And a fireplace safety gate
And toys without phthalate
And a sterilizer and bottle brush and bowl full of organic mush
And a bilingual nanny who was whispering “hush”
Goodnight room
Goodnight recycled baby wipes with no perfume
Goodnight high-contrast black-and-white moon
Goodnight baby monitor
And the nanny-cam
Goodnight French flash cards
Bonne nuit petit canard
Goodnight non-slip socks
And goodnight sustainable-wood blocks
Goodnight friends with unique, unusual names
And goodnight brain-development games
Goodnight digital archive of baby’s first years
And goodnight Doctors Karp, Leach, Ferber, and Sears
Goodnight wipes warmer and yoga mat, HEPA filter and sun hat,
Sunscreen, sunglasses, sleep sack, outlet cap, sleep coach, G&T coach, star charts, consumer reports,
Vitamin D, anything with Omega-3, French au pair, filtered air and —
Goodnight alpha parents everywhere.

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