The parenting trends coming to annoy you in 2018

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 6-year-old daughter Viva, who can’t wait to eat her mother’s jewelry in the New Year.

Everyone wants to know what childrearing trends are coming down the pike so they can be sure to jump on board. Will we set up dating app profiles for our children while they are still in utero? Will we have special parties to reveal to our friends our unborn children’s ethnicity? (“I cut into my cake and it was full of ricotta! This child is going to be an Italian!”) Will there be new and heretofore untested spellings of the name Jackson? (I’m partial to “Jakkzun.”)

Just as sexuality researchers learn less from people’s self-reporting on sexual tastes than they do from people’s Google searches (Turns out people don’t really like cuddling, they like French kissing Barbie styling heads), if you really want to know how people will parent this year – look at their Pinterest searches! Turns out the internet’s most robust depository of cake pop recipes is also a leading indicator of how parents will be spending their money in 2018. Here are what Pinterest searches are telling us about raising kids in 2018:

Wooden toys

Hey, remember wooden toys? Of course not, because you are not 105 years old. The only time you see wooden toys is in folksy depictions of Santa’s workshop. You know the ones; there’s always a bugle sticking out of Santa’s pack, as though some kid’s one holiday wish was for a brass horn on which to play Reveille while waking at dawn to charge over the top of his trench. 

Wooden toys, usually trains, are the only thing LESS fun than a bugle, yet Pinterest reports that searches for wooden toys are up 173 percent. There is NO WAY these searches are driven by children. They are driven by hippie parents who want an eco-friendly toy for little Sedona or by the Pottery Barn Kids set who want a tastefully beige toy for little Harrison. Your kid actually wants an enormous plastic Paw Patrol hovercraft in bright colors that is dope, not a steam locomotive made of pine.

The upshot of these dull toys, especially for parents of babies and toddlers, is that the 18 wheeler full of unconscionably petroleum-based crap you’ve purchased is only useful for about six months, then goes into a landfill until long after Trump and Kim Jong Un have vaporized us in a “whose button is bigger” contest. Wooden toys can be burned for heat or eaten by beavers when your child is through being disappointed by them.

Pompom décor

This is my drag name, and it’s also a search up 444 percent on Pinterest. Pompoms in this case aren’t what cheerleaders shake (your kids aren’t ready for that), but fluffy yarn orbs you can hang from curtains, beds, doorknobs, mobiles or any other thing you want to look as though is being humped by a tribble. If you thought nothing could be less necessary than a wooden train, I’d like to introduce you to pompom décor.

Mature nurseries 

Pinterest seems to largely be perused by parents who HATE FUN. Searches for “mature nurseries” are reportedly up by 85 percent. Mature Nursery doesn’t mean nurseries with adult themes like violence or substance abuse, although I’d like to see a pin of that. No, Mature Nursery uses “Mature” the way AARP magazine does – to mean practical, dull and leaning towards death. Mature Nurseries are filled with blandly colored furniture that can be placed elsewhere in the house after your child has run away because you make them play with wooden toys.

Weighted blankets 

These are blankets with heavy edges that have been utilized for years in families with neurologically atypical kids to help calm the body and mind and allow sensory processes to get in a row. Evidently they’re catching on across all lines, because searches are up 259 percent. My only fear here is that someone will throw one of these extra soothing, extra sleep-inducing blankets on me, and a week later they’ll find my body, smiling beatifically up at the ceiling like the last scene of “Somewhere in Time,” having found a deep and satisfying rest, free of tossing, turning and plastic toys.

Wall decals

Do you often say to yourself, “I appreciate whimsical decoration on my childrens’ walls, but I’m too lazy to paint?” Have no fear, enormous stickers are here. It’s like art if Da Vinci had invented peel-off backing. And when you’re sick of what you’ve put up, you can pull them down and look at glue stains until you move out.

Forts

Remember the dorm rooms where the beds would be a little bit lofted to allow room for milk crates full of Morrissey tapes and bongs? They’re doing that in nurseries now. (Up 108 percent from last year.) Stop throwing blankets over chairs (even though weighted blankets would make killer fort roofing), and put in a semi-permanent fortification. Oh, and the most exciting kind of nursery fort? Teepees! Out in 2018: concern over cultural appropriation. In: wigwams for the rugrats!

Teething jewelry

When you want to send the message, “I no longer have any pride or sense of self. I am the Giving Tree late in the book where the kids has gotten old and is whacking her with an ax.” then it’s time for silicone jewelry your child can chew on. 

“Teething necklaces” are up 146 percent on Pinterest, because moms like accessories that are lousy with gnaw marks and dripping in drool. Heck, why stop there? Why not wear a dress made of Fruit Roll Ups for that your child can just eat your clothing when they feel peckish? Why not decorate your nails with frosting so your toddler can suck on your fingers after a meal? Why not sleep covered in pompom décor so that you’ll look whimsical to passersby? You only exist for your child’s well being.Isn’t 2018 looking exciting?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to set up a bivouac in my child’s ecru nursery where they pull their wooden duckling while chewing on my gummy watch. 

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