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A Beta Parent Manifesto

"What comes after one?" asked the mother, pushing her 3-year-old on the swings. He was too busy laughing to answer, so she was forced to repeat, "What comes after one?"

"Two," he mumbled, looking off at the climbing structure. "Good. What comes after two?" 

"Three."

"Now what comes after three?"

Silence.

"What comes after three?"

Grudgingly, "Four."

"Now what comes after four?"

And here is where I fell in love with the boy. He glared at his mother and blurted, "Orange!"

Can you blame him? Who wants to do math drills when there's swinging to do and monkey bars to climb and popsicles to eat and, oh, you know, childhood to have?

Kids aren't the only ones rebelling. Contrary to what you might read, there are parents out there who don't hire bilingual nannies or fall to pieces when their kids brush up against a non-organic toy. Let's call them Beta Parents. I am one of them. I let things slide. My kid eats floor food. Sometimes we go an entire week without going to a class. I have barely begun his application to MIT. 

Who are my fellow Beta Parents?

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