I'm So Busted

oh my god! I'm so busted!

"So, here is our "alternadad," wrapped up in a most traditional parental concern, the "good neighborhood" question. Pollack spends a lot time searching for the "good school" and the "good health care." And, while I'm making the book sound like an op-ed, it's actually very funny. Pollack wades through the indignities of contemporary dad-dom, which include: the aerobic cheerfulness of Little Gym, "helpful" people in the supermarket, odious "Is he walking?" comparisons, the gateway drug Noggin, rude playground moms, and the inescapable paranoia of Internet message boards. But these sorts of developmental and kid-culture issues (which can dominate any media or writing about parenting) are a sideline to Alternadad's central anxieties of where to live manageably and how to support a child."

"The anger surrounding alternadad and hipster parenting derives from the idea that these new parents don't want to "grow up" and act like parents. Instead, they give their kids fauxhawks and inculcate them with a precious taste in music and "film." I agree that this can be irritating, but find me the set of parents who haven't, consciously or not, indoctrinated their kids into a little family cult. And who's more annoying: the 3-year-old who knows Mandarin or the one who loves Devo? The difference between an alternadad, a banker dad, and a soccer dad is ultimately aesthetic and pointless. Sure, Pollack is psyched when Eli develops a love of the Ramones and Spider-Man, but most of his book recounts his struggle to find what America used to offer easily: a solid house, a living wage, a decent public school."

Neal Pollack's "Alternadad"