While rocking back and forth in the corner of my room for a few days, I did some serious soul searching and came up with this incredibly useful style guide for myself and the parents of the world. If you care about the coolness of your kid, then read these five tips. You'll thank me. Or not, because sometimes saying "thank you" isn't as cool as a head nod.
1. Let Them Drink from Glass
Even if your three year old is holding a wide mouth jar by the rubber plug contraption for your stainless steel drinkable lid and drops the whole thing and shatters glass all over the street where hundreds of people are dancing, some barefoot, to local music in front of a historic theatre, he's still gonna be the envy of all those kids with dinky little plastic sippy cups. He might be thirsty the rest of the night because he watered the pavement instead of himself, but trust me, everybody there will know that you are serious about raising some stylish, not to mention eco-conscious (read: exra cool), little kiddos.
2. Transport Them Alternatively
When I'm riding around town with my kids, I know that I am the envy of every mother stuck in a station wagon or minivan, wishing she could just stretch her legs on the open road hauling upwards of 100 pounds of very valuable flesh. I know this because a lot of people wave and smile, completely approving our stellar alternativeness. I also know that when people get really mad at me for taking up the lane and yell things like "You're not a car!" or "You're gonna kill your kids!" they're just jealous that my children are way cooler than theirs. Seriously, safety is really important to me, I am very cautious with my kids. But coolness is super duper important to me, too, which is why it's even better when my kids are on their own wheels. Then we're all equally visible in our awesomeness!
3. Put Their Pictures on the Web
My sons are so adept at the importance of social media that if I pause from sharing a special moment with them to take a picture of it in order to show everybody how special our moment is, they're right with me and say "Put it on Facebook!" or "That should be your new homepage!" I have no doubt that when they finally get their own phones or Google glasses or forearm chips, they will never share anything dull.
Want to boost everybody's coolness by association? Throw yourself into a few pics with some parent-child selfies. The family who views life through photo filters together, stays together.
4. Dress Them Like Studs, Not Duds
Sure, I went into debt opening a children's clothing store so that I could have wholesale access to this country's best and freshest ethical and stylish designers, but it was worth it. My kids look hip. Plus, I read to them a lot. I'm sure they'll get scholarships for college.
5. Teach Them About Rock and Roll
What's that, kids, you want to hear another verse of Raffi? Sorry, boys, mama wants Radiohead.
My kids are so cool that at this point they can dance like Michael Jackson and sing from their knees along with greats like Steve Perry and Pharrell. In our living room, fists are bumping and chords are strumming. There's no time for mind numbing music like lullabies. My kids go to sleep serenaded by my best versions of Arctic Monkeys and hits from Godspell or Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. Nevermind if my oldest is still nervous when I mention Pink Floyd because at the age of three he thought an intruder was asking "Is there anybody out there?" Cool is cool, and I won't let my children miss out on being at the forefront of music. Besides, what do I know about life that they can't learn from Modest Mouse, Led Zeppelin, or the Beatles?
Skinny jeans and a good haircut are just icing on the cake.