It was a moment of optimistic normalcy. A brand-new father carried his brand-new son to a waiting SUV, buckled him into the car seat and headed for home. Daddy, mommy, baby — and bodyguard makes four.
At that moment, many careworn parents in Snohomish County began welling up with advice, as well as sympathy, for Prince William and Princess Kate. So, in lieu of a royal baby gift (which, frankly, is out of our price range), we’ll offer some well-intentioned Pacific Northwest pointers on parenthood:
First of all, huzzah for the car seat. Not only do parents along the I-5 corridor believe in ensuring child safety, but mommy or daddy also enjoys the luxury of using the HOV lanes when the little one is riding in the backseat.
(What, what? No HOV lanes in the UK? We assume you know someone who might do something about that…)
Your coming days — OK, years — will be occupied with feeding your son and, subsequently, cleaning him up. Many of our subscribers read this newspaper at the breakfast table, so let’s skip the diaper details and go straight to the food.
Our region teems with residents who proudly identify themselves as “foodies.” Looking ahead to your son’s introduction to solid food, we are compelled to dish out zealous advice. Apparently, traditional English recipes contain toads, kidneys, blood and other inexplicable ingredients. This is distressing. (A civilized country would have legislated against such impurities, along with overly large sodas, we think.)
In contrast, the free, well-fed citizenry of Western Washington advocates a fundamental concept: Local, local, local. Would it be possible to scrape up sufficient time and a little plot of land for a family garden? It would buoy parents worldwide if we could lecture our own kids that, “Prince George of England eats his broccoli!”
Finally, William, there is a responsibility that falls heavily to you: one of those uncomfortable father-son discussions you should prepare for now. No, we’re not talking about the birds and bees. We imagine any English gentleman can explain the facts of life with aplomb: “Yes, son, it can be damned awkward and silly. But it is occasionally pleasant and even necessary.”
No, we refer to a conversation that most children provoke quite early in life. And, to be safe, we suggest that you brush up on the 1701 Act of Settlement, the 1937 Regency Act, and the 2013 Succession to the Throne Act. Because, as parents everywhere will attest, the day will come when your little prince juts out his chin and declares:
“You’re not the boss of me.”