Back in those days – and let me stress that I am not talking about the 19th century here, it was just a few years ago – no one believed that you could turn your child into a different human being from the one he started out being.
Suddenly, one day, there was this thing called parenting. Parenting was serious. Parenting was fierce. Parenting was solemn. Parenting was a participle, like going and doing and crusading and worrying; it was active, it was energetic, it was unrelenting. Parenting meant playing Mozart CDs while you were pregnant, doing without the epidural, and breast-feeding your child until it was old enough to unbutton your blouse.”
Parenting began with the assumption that your baby was a lump of clay that could be moulded (through hard work, input and positive reinforcement) into a perfect person who would someday be admitted to the university of your choice.
From Nora Ephron’s ‘Parenting in Three Stages’ – published in ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman.’