When I say I love a List, I'm definitely not talking Grocery or To-Do. (Those are illegibly scrawled on scrap paper you inevitably throw out so you feel less guilty about forgetting everything on them.)
I'm talking the new wave of Internet information provided in beautiful bite-sized segments that all parents can jump in and out of lickety-split. Because we all know the days of being curled up in a window seat under a fresh stack of fragrant new books, as sunbeams dance across pages of essays and 1400+ wild word musings, are long gone.
Here's why Lists are like Grandma sleepovers, Netflix marathons and Diaper Genie BOGO's all wrapped in one long linear tongue bath.
We Have Horrific Attention Spans
Blame it on our sleep-deprived and still-in-recovery brains, or Twitter, or a toddler's ability to pick and eat snot in a micro-second, we as parents just cannot focus anymore on lengthy winding diatribes. We need point-form molecules of information we can scan and absorb in between "DO NOT EAT THAT!" "Get your hands out of your butt" "Please stop saying poo" and "Who's there? Mama PooPoo Butt Juice Face, Who?"
Condensed Information is King
If you can tell me in 100 words or less why I NEED the new iPhone, how THIS juicer will change my life and how THESE six Pinterest crafts will ensure my kid will be a Doctor Lawyer at age 14, I'm in. I want to know it all with the least amount of filler. Like a banana split minus the banana.
They're Potty Perfect
The precious time we get to sit and shit uninterrupted – that is our equivalent of a day spa, hammock nap and McConaughey foot rub all in one. Our manna, our mecca and our prime-time reading time is on our phones. Once that door is locked, anything without paragraphs is our bowel's best friend.
If you read anything online you know Lists are the Tits right now. From "17 Ways To Create Puppets out of Pull-Ups" to "42 Ways You Should Feel Shame about Loving Pumpkin Spice", they are the wily beckoners of anybody and everybody who likes stuff and things. They lure you in and love you and when you're finished you both need a cigarette, but it's totally okay to sub in a red velvet cupcake you bought "for the kids to share."
Share and Share A Like
We all have the Facebook friend who shares the first chapter of the War and Peace sequel, followed by a touching piece of how a couple with no children redefined their marriage by building themselves a backyard oasis out of materials found at the dump. NO TIME. NEXT PLEASE. When I read a clever list I love to click Share, because I know my fellow parents are right there with me, and will appreciate how much more informative I made their next poop. I'm cool like that.
One day when my daughter is at college doing all the things I wish she wouldn’t, I can go back to all the dusty books and magazines I've collected and neglected. I'm sure by then technology will allow all the words to be just injected under my skin and helpfully absorbed. Call me old fashioned, but I'll still head to the closest window seat with a cup of tea and read by hand my future Best-Seller, "Lists of Lists (and the Parents who Love them.)"