We love it because it's
ridiculous. And just when we think it can't get any more ridiculous, it does. Like
that time Joe Bastianich threw a pile of money into a frying pan, drizzled it
with oil, and set it on fire in order to illustrate the point that the cash
prize at the end of the show was nowhere near as important as the glory of
being able to call yourself a Master Chef. I mean really. I can't even.
Every once in awhile, after I finish
making dinner, my husband Michael asks me, "Would Gordon Ramsay
No. No he would not.
Then "MasterChef Junior" happened. And while I questioned the wisdom of
allowing one's child to participate in a high-pressure, nationally televised
reality competition show, I couldn't turn away.
I mean really.
Now that the second season is up
and running, Michael likes to say to our daughter, "Emily—Are you going
to be a Master Chef one day?" And maybe she will. Who's to say she won't?
After all, the possibility exists that she will surpass us in everything.
I feel that, as parents, we dream
bigger for our children than we ever do for ourselves. We try to nudge our
children toward certain interests, perhaps ones we also have or ones we wish
we were better at. In reality, the probability that our child will share our
interests is just as high as the probability that they will love everything
that we hate. But there's nothing wrong with dreaming.
Here are just a few of the
ludicrous fantasies we hold for our 4-month-old daughter:
1. America's Favorite Dancer
I can't dance worth a damn, and
survived merely one season when my mom placed me in ballet lessons as a child.
But I sometimes watch "So You Think You
Can Dance with Em," dancing her around the room in loops and twirls and
think: Maybe you'll be good at it.
2. Rock Star Yogi
I am a vinyasa yoga instructor, and I love
it—both the practice of yoga and the teaching of it—to bits. When I was pregnant,
I registered for a baby yoga mat and daydreamed of practicing side by side with
my daughter in our sun-lit living room. We now go to mommy and me classes
together. But will she drop it all like a hot potato as soon as she's old
enough to think for herself?
3.Rock Star, Period
When she screams especially loudly, we predict that she will someday be a singer.
husband and I are both musical. I played piano and clarinet and also sang
weddings and funerals way into adulthood. My husband was the lead singer and
guitarist of a rock band. Now the only gigs Michael plays are in our kitchen,
as he serenades our daughter. When she screams especially loudly, we predict
that, because of those strong pipes, she will someday be a singer.
4. Word Nerd
I've loved reading from a young age and am now make my
living as a freelance writer and editor. What I really hope for is that Em will
love reading as much as I do. But when I handed her a board book version of "Jane Eyre," she slammed it closed with an
indignant growl. Are we doomed?
My husband is into science, and likes to watch "The Universe" with Em. Sometimes, while
transporting her between the car and the house, he'll point up at the sky and
show her the stars. He already owns several of the "Geek Dad" books.
This has nothing to do with me or my husband and
everything to do with our families, who think it would be hilarious if the two
most unathletic, sports-disinterested people ever ended up with a kid who loves
sports. My family is obsessed with baseball. My father-in-law and sister-in-law
run marathons. My brother wants to take Em paintballing. There is a pair of
Yankees socks in Em's dresser drawer. Ugh.
We both work online, my husband as a web
developer and me as a writer. Em certainly gets plenty of inadvertent screen
time, which I feel endlessly guilty about. Will she pick up the habit and
end up in a pretty lucrative industry, like her dad? Or will she rebel
completely and go full-on Luddite?