Let’s get real. Unless you plan on keeping your kid in an ivory highchair forever, you have to teach him about sharp edges. Problems don’t dissolve as soon as your saliva touches them, like those flimsy Os do. Just try drooling all over that lien on your house and see how far it gets you. I’m tough, stringy, and make your gums bleed. That’s why they call me Life. I’ll show your baby that he has to chew hard on challenges, and that mashing his enemies into a fibrous pulp is worth the pain. Try me yourself. Without milk. Right now. I dare you.


Excuse me if I’m being presumptuous, but I assume that you, as a parent, are aware of the declining literacy rate in this country. This can be blamed on what I call O-verexposure: too many tots feeding on a single letter, instead of on the entire alphabet banquet. I offer the glorious triple-pronged E, the delightfully asymmetrical Q, even the commercially co-opted X. These are the building blocks of words, communication—dare I say, of civilization itself. Do not let your child join the growing hordes of illiterate dullards hastening in the new Dark Ages. The highchair tray is nothing less than the battlefield for the final conflict between ignorance and enlightenment. Take up your sword against the tyranny of the O.

Special K

I see how it is. You like me, but you don’t want me around your baby. Sure, if you want to take a break from that safe domestic nest and fantasize about slimming down and looking hot, you’re all, “Hey, K, let’s hang out.” We used to spend two meals a day together before you got married. Now, somehow, that’s become “unhealthy” behavior that you don’t want to “model” for your kid. I totally supported you in getting down to 97 pounds for your wedding, and now I guess I’m not enough of a nurturer! Give me a chance. It’s lonely in this cupboard. I’m not stale yet. I have a lot to give. OK, leave me out. But let me tell you something: no matter how much you secretly hang out with me, those stretch marks are not going away.

Count Chocula

Oh, honey, it’s just that Os are so JCPenney. There’s no flair, no style, no … cape. They’re beige, for God’s sake. The color of the moment is chocolate brown, like me. I just had my entire castle repainted in a custom-made paint shade that exactly matches my complexion. It’s chic and serene. And—hush, hush—they mixed it at Home Depot. But all my friends think it’s Jonathan Adler. He doesn’t even have a paint line, but give him time. Oh, wait. I get it. You’re afraid your baby is going to turn into a “vampire” if you give him even a hint of style. Puh-lease. It doesn’t work that way, puff-phobe.

Lucky Charms

Top of the morning! Is it morning already? I’ve been out all night searching the sky for shooting stars. Oh, sorry. This is Maggie and Claire. We met at the pub last night. Talk about a wish come true! The bean counter at the end of the bar who grew up eating rows of Os went home alone. Why? Never learned to spot a four-leaf clover, never learned to trust his luck, never gets lucky! If you want grandchildren, let your wee tyke get his hands on shamrocks and rainbows sooner than later. If I had my way, rabbits’ feet would be in the mix, too, but General Mills says it would scare the kiddies. Maggie’s got a job interview later, so we’re heading to the track to see if any of the ponies threw a shoe she can take along. Spare a splash of Jameson?

Bulk-Bin Granola

In an era where greed is out of control, you are training your child to want more and more Os. As in zeros—at the end of his paycheck. Let’s just rename the cereal Zeerios. Or Greedios. Or CEO-eeios. Hey, Mommy’s little Ken Lay. One million isn’t enough—add a zero. Or two. Make it a hundred million. With me he can learn that happiness is derived from simple things, like seeing a raisin coexist peacefully with a coconut flake. Joy comes from sharing, and sticking together. Sometimes we literally stick together, in large clumps—just like people do when they commute to work in subway cars and vanpools. Better teach him about that now. Because those CEO jobs with personal drivers are hard to come by.