Hipster Parents, Rockin' Tots

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But what if he doesn't turn out to be "cool?"

"I don't care, as long as he's nice to his mother," said Pollack. "I was as dorky a kid as I could have possibly been. I wasn't good at sports. I didn't even listen to music. I listened to news radio all day. In some ways, it's like I want for my kid what I didn't have for myself. That's what it comes down to."

Gen-X Parenting

Like most families, the Pollacks spend a lot of time going to the park. Pollack's wife, Regina, says they're not different parents, just symbols of a new generation that's evolved from the days of "Leave It to Beaver" and "The Brady Bunch," to a new style of parenting.

"I think we're just regular parents," she said. "I just think the aesthetics maybe are a little different, you know, they reflect our generation. And I think our interest in music and things like that. I mean every generation's had that. It's just the particulars of our generation that make it this sort of Gen-X parenting or whatever, or hipster parenting."

One absolutely critical ingredient, she says, is avoiding the corporate ideal of an American toddler.

"Trying to not let your kid be completely brainwashed by all the big corporate stuff that's fed to them," she said. "And it's in everything. It's in the cups that you choose for them, the plates that they eat off of, the little juice boxes -- everything has those characters marketed on it."

The ultimate critic, though, may be the 4-year-old who turned Pollack into "Alternadad." What does Elijah Pollack think about the book that describes him this way:

"It was like we'd taken on a new roommate, except he didn't have to pay rent. He hogged the TV with his crappy shows and we had to wipe his butt at least three times a day. On the plus side, he could sing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" on cue and was very soft and cuddly."

"I mostly like the pictures," Elijah said.

More importantly, Elijah also thinks his father is "cool."

"You know, let's ask him in a few years," said Pollack, " but I'm glad we've gotten this far. He's very cool, in my eyes. So it's mutual."

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