One facet of parenthood involves tagging along as a child sifts through the world's offerings. Many of the stops along that route are indescribably endearing -- pursuing traveling fire trucks and earthmoving equipment, attending gradeschool band concerts, watching pint-sized martial artists, touring zoos, admiring a fledgling magician, even researching trampoline safety. Others, however, are nothing but aggravation and expense -- attending 'rasslin matches, NASCAR events, boy band concerts.
But not even Jeff Gordon, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Backstreet Boys could have prepared me for Jon & Kate Plus 8.
I knew that fake wrestling, synthetic bands and the like were taking cynical advantage of my children's still-developing judgment, and that pandering to them was little more than a route to my wallet. But, eventually, my children outgrew those obsessions, and I barely remember the time, effort and cash wasted on those chapters of my children's development.
With Jon & Kate, though, I fear the scarring is permanent.
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