2006-09-15 / On Second Thought

Thirty-something speaks

Celebrity parenting advice for Brad Pitt
Mike Maddock

Brad Pitt used to be a pretty cool guy. He was one of the few in Hollywood who could pull off an authentic Southern accent and not sound a little light in the loafers. He could be a pretty boy and still produce fairly decent movies, but that's all changing now. Brad has entered the world of fatherhood and is experiencing what happens to all us dads once we've entered that land...the death of cool.

One minute you're cruising around in a convertible with your friends jamming to U2, and the next minute you're sitting behind the wheel of a slightly-used minivan with two little girls and a thumb-sucking toddler singing along to the sound track of Barbie's The Princess and the Pauper . The sad part is that you know all the words to the song I Am a Girl Like You , and you can't remember a lick of Sunday Bloody Sunday . Luckily, unlike ol' Brad, the rest of us get to slip into the minivans without much fan fair.

Brad gets to go from hip actor to goofy father in front of about 10,000 paparazzi a day. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Parenting is a learning process that has no end. I couldn't imagine trying to change a diaper for the first time, then watching Mary Hart report on it.

"Tonight on Entertainment Tonight we watch Mike Maddock bumble and fumble around with a Pampers Mega-dry." But Brad's probably got the means to hire some help with that kind of stuff.

He'll just take one of his daughters on a bike ride through some African village in a papoose and then wonder why child advocates are all stirred up. There is a reason why babies come out half cartilage and pretty tough though. God has seen us drop a bag or two of sugar on the kitchen floor, and He isn't taking any chances with our children.

I can sympathize with celebrity parents like Brad Pitt though. If all my mistakes were in print or on Inside Edition , DSS may have locked me up long ago. But there are two things celebrities can do to help their cause just a bit. For starters, let someone else - someone outside of Hollywood - name the children.

Remember Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa? Those poor kids are still suffering. How does a guy named Frank come up with Dweezil and Moon Unit? Need more evidence that these people should leave the naming to others? How about Apple? Or Coco? Tiger Lilly? My personal favorite is from Bob Geldof. He named one of his daughters Fifi Trixibelle.

The next thing for celebrities to gain a little credibility is to not give the rest of us parenting tips. Ol' Brad says he tries "not to stifle his kids in any way." In other words, Brad's kids are the ones running wild and throwing potato skins through the aisles at Applebee's while he and Angelina sit quietly at their table discussing the trials and tribulations of the African wildebeest.

Just shut up, call Fifi Trixibelle Anna, and leave the advice to Dr. Phil. Then make movies about gladiators, and maybe, just maybe we won't catch you harmonizing with Barbie.

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