Stuffing Children With the Right Stuff : Making of a<i> Really</i> Young Yuppie
Every real yuppie knows to say “yuck” to bologna and “yum” to asparagus quiche stuffed with mesquite-grilled salmon.
But, heavens, what about the children? How does one make sure young Garth grows up to be a good yuppie? Will little Lillith learn to love sushi or prefer, god-forbid, pan-fried catfish? Will Muffy munch croissants for breakfast or become addicted to Capt’n Crunch?
Even worse, will Lillith, Muffy and Garth turn out to be yuffies--young urban failures? Perish the thought.
Admittedly, baby-boomers’ babies don’t yet have the credit to join the BMW brigade, are too young to manhandle a magnum of Roderer Cristal Champagne, and seem too unsophisticated to be trusted with a cracker-load of Beluga caviar.
Still, there are ways to mold those yup-pups--from cradle to Carerra--into young urban professionals.
Dedicated yuppie parents should begin the campaign early, even before the child’s first words.
While standing over the crib, Mr. and Mrs. Yuppetta should begin to implant in the child’s mind buzz words that could come in handy later. Whisper sweet nothings in their ears like “bicoastal,” “commerce” and “fast track” over and over again. Make them say “suite,” not “room,” and “terrace,” not “balcony.”
Move on to the psyche next.
“When the child is very young, you just make comments that are either negative or derogatory toward labor and you reinforce the idea of education. When the child is older, they tend to remember that,” said a 30-year-old yuppie who asked that he be identified only as “Chas.”
Above the crib, forget the stuffed-animal mobile and hang tourism pictures of Martha’s Vineyard.
That’s a start.
When it’s time to take the kid out in the sun, there is only one socially acceptable way to go: in an extravagantly expensive Japanese Aprica stroller, the BMWs for babies. Everybody who is anybody (or any nobody trying to be somebody) has an Aprica --which means “open to the sun” in Japanese--so it must be an “in” item. Options include convertible hoods, fully reclining seats, reversible handlebars and adjustable footrests. As yet, there is no air conditioning, no piped-in lullaby, no wet diaper alarms, but such options cannot be far off.
“As for me, when my kid was stroller age, I would have saved my bucks for a nanny instead,” said one working mother, age undisclosed. Needless to say, her child had no chance to make the yuppie rolls.
Parents looking for the “proper” yup pet should confine themselves to dogs of distinction: Pharaohs, whippets, chows and Akitas. Akitas are, of course, Japanese, and look like a mix of German shepherd and bulldog. Buy them for about $2,500 and teach the kid that even dogs can be overpriced.
As for physical fitness, the yup-pup is too tiny to ship off to the gym. Marathons are impractical and you need too many people to get up a good little league lacrosse game. Give the kid a Gucci shopping bag loaded with expensive leather goods. While hauling the bag around the house, he’ll acquire American Express Gold Card tastes and pump up the biceps at the same.
Leisure time is critical for aspiring yups. When they get to be executives, they’ll have to work hard and play hard, so early training is important.
Fischer America makes a line of developmental toys that take the baby from 1 week all the way to 3 years old. A rod fits across the crib, playpen or stroller to which attachments are added as the children age. The rod is $30 and the attachments are $10 to $20 each.
“It’s an expensive toy, but we sell it (to) parents who want more for their children,” Christine Ballenger, general manager of Baby Toy Town, a chain in California, explained.
And Fischer-Price is doing well with its Discovery Cottage.
“It’s a little cottage that has zippers and people that pop out,” Ballenger said.
It’s also their first taste of the American dream--owning their own investment real estate.
As the child ages, give it games like Monopoly (more real estate), Risk (corporate war) and Legos (construction). Also, hand-carved wooden building blocks are still popular--they strengthen the throwing arm, something that could come in handy during college fraternity intramural sports.
Remember, even the minds of infants can be warped by television. Take care to screen their viewing habits. Let them watch “Cheers” but not “A-Team.”
Perhaps even more important than leisure training is instilling correct culinary preference, or feeding them the right stuff.
Most kids will say “yuck” to those cursed Brussels sprouts or stewed tomatoes, no matter how they are disguised, so settle on palatable vegetables that make for a nice color-coordinated meal: blended broccoli with melted Cheddar cheese, grated zucchini sprinkled with Italian bread crumbs, peppered squash seasoned with sesame seeds and sliced end to end. Fresh stuff in small doses.
No child is too young for guacamole. It’s a painless way to introduce them to the Mexican food thing.
Dr. Spock advises feeding children however much they want whenever they ask for it. Forget that. You’re a yuppie: Give them what you want whenever you feel like it.
A diaper service is also mandatory. Besides being expensive, such a service teaches the child the importance of having others do your dirty work for you.
One more thing. Baby shoes should be bronzed so that, when the child matures to full-grown yuppie status, he or she will have something to drape over the rear view mirror of a Volvo station wagon.
If everything goes according to plan, and little Lillith is accepted into the proper preschool, she will mature into a full-grown yuppie who loves art as an investment, buys a time-share vacation condo and drinks imported beer from a glass.
Talk about parental pride.