Today’s Parent: a family album

My darling daughter t.p.:I am not sure how to begin.I am so proud, and moved and overjoyed by what has happened.We are about to reach the 10th anniversary of our growing, prospering, loving family.You know, it seems only yesterday that you...

My darling daughter t.p.:

I am not sure how to begin.

I am so proud, and moved and overjoyed by what has happened.

We are about to reach the 10th anniversary of our growing, prospering, loving family.

You know, it seems only yesterday that you were born, and I held you to my breast for the first time. (But not the last: we helped to make breastfeeding catch on like wildfire, right across the country, didn’t we?)

Think back

As I look at you and the rest of your siblings in this photograph, I’ve been trying to think back, and put it all together. What made you all so beautiful? So healthy? So intelligent? So concerned about others? So very special?

As you know, you weren’t the easiest child to conceive (although your father and I sure had fun trying…and I can just see you blushing when you read this.)

We adopted at first, a fledgling, an immature yet promising child, Great Expectations, back in 1983.

But she was soon on her feet, as you know so well, and was quickly asking for, no, demanding, a baby sister. How could we let her down?

And then, miracle of miracles, you came along, and we happily and thankfully christened you Today’s Parent, or t.p. for short.

(Not that you were short, or thin, for long.) That first year, we took you out only six times a year although you were up to nine times by 1993.

Successful launch

And, in all due modesty, I must say that yours was the most successful launch of a new baby to be undertaken by a small, independent mom in the history of Canada.

And today, nearly half a million Canadians pick you up every single time they see you, and they just cannot seem to place you back down, can they? (I always said to your father that you were irresistible.)

You have always been a healthy child, but we wanted to make sure that you were never lonely. So we began to put out an annual ‘Guide for Expectant Parents,’ when you were only three (but thanks to that nickname you gave her, everyone calls her ‘PreNatal Class Guide’ nowadays).

And then, in 1989, in a special contract with that wonderful toy manufacturer Fisher-Price, Today’s New Grandparent joined our growing family. (And every child should have a grandparent to love them unconditionally, right? Right.)

You were always amazingly bright, t.p., with an i.q. that seemed to tower over every other kid around. (We like to call it ‘High PMB.’)

I don’t mean to brag (‘Yeah, sure, sure,’ I hear you laugh), but by 1993, your readership was trouncing everyone else in sight, even with men (up 20%.)

I mean, just think about the other kids on the block, how mature and established they are: boys and girls such as Reader’s Digest, Canadian Living, Homemaker’s, Chatelaine, Select Homes & Food, Canadian House & Home.

Why, some of those ‘kids’ are old enough to be your great-grandmother. And yet your ‘qualitative reader interest scores’ are now beating them all. Aren’t you something.

So why have you become so popular, my dearest t.p.?

Part of it, I suppose, is that we always surrounded you with not only love, but with fun, and culture, too: the first Today’s Parent Toy Catalogue was developed in 1990; a prenatal sampling program was launched in 1991; the Today’s Parent Book Club was inaugurated the next year.

And let’s not forget about your already popular Quebec cousin, Pouponniere, who was born only last year. (‘Vive Quebec Livre,’ as we punsters like to joke around our house.)

You know, loved one, I think I do know what has made you so special, and so loved, and so healthy.

From the moment you saw light of print, you were asking the right questions, and often giving inspired answers: how do I develop my thinking skills? How does one ease a child’s pain? Are only children lonely? Can parents teach a child to say no to drugs?

And from the start, you never ignored daddies, which is probably why more than 100,000 of them are reading you every month, now. And even though our family always lived in Toronto, we have been determined to make all of Canada our concern.

Of course, your biggest growth spurt came only last year, when our family took in Maclean Hunter’s New Mother Group of magazines, and they took over a chunk of our mortgage.

It was a creative and an unusual merge, sort of like you, my wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, healthy daughter.

(And when I saw how Maclean’s reprinted your inspired ‘Special report on education in Canada’ from this September in their magazine, why, it almost made me feel like a grandmother.)

And so, my sweetest t.p., you continue to grow and prosper. And how could you not? Your wide interests; your sensitivity; your concern with health and behavior, and education, and just plain fun.

No wonder you are so well-read.

Your Mother, Beverly Topping

Beverly Topping is president and chief executive officer of Today’s Parent Group, publisher of Today’s Parent magazine.