ABC's 'Bet On Your Baby' Is Back & It's 'American Gladiators' For The World's Fiercest Toddlers

When we were younger, babies had it easy. Our parents carted us around in strollers, naps were required, and Cheerios were meant to be eaten and played with. These days, babies have to sing for their supper on Bet On Your Baby, which returns for Season 2 on Saturday, May 31. Toddlers are put to work on this ABC game show so they can attempt to earn some serious cash for college, even before most of them are old enough to attend school. What were you doing with your life at 2 years old?

Don't worry. Bet On Your Baby isn't like horse racing with kids or anything like that. The show combines the excitement and difficulty of mini-challenges in the Minute To Win It style with the cuteness overload of Kids Say the Darndest Things . Each episode, host Melissa Peterman, who is apparently extra-qualified to host this show since she currently plays Bonnie Wheeler on ABC Family's Baby Daddy, introduces us to four sets of parents who bet on how their children will perform in various kid-friendly challenges, such as stacking cookies, emptying toilet paper rolls, and holding onto balloons. The children complete the challenges in the "Babydome," which is not as Hunger Games-like as the name suggests, but each of the contestants are introduced to the audience like they're competing on a mini version of American Gladiators , rotating around on screen as we read their "stats."

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For each challenge, the parents have to guess how their child will act, such as which toy out of a set of four the toddler leave the "Babydome" with. In some tasks, like this one, the baby flies solo to complete it, and the parents place a bet together. This can get tense with a little premature blaming of the other spouse in case the bet goes wrong. (Cue nervous laughter from the at-home audience.) In other tasks, the toddler gets some help from Mom or Dad, who attempts to coach him or her to perform the activity without knowing how the spouse bet. Just remember how well you listened to your parents as a kid (or still listen to them, for that matter), and you can imagine how smoothly it often goes. If the parents win the bet, they get $5,000 to go toward their child's college fund. Once taxes are taken out, the prize money will probably cover the cost of their kid's books for a year or two, but hey, it's better than nothing.

The serious money comes at the end, though, when all of the parents on the show come together to compete for the grand prize of a $50,000 college fund. The parents play an intense game of "Baby Talk" where they have to guess the word Peterman and the children describe. The couple who comes out on top goes on to smash some piggy banks to see if they can score the one with the $50,000 prize inside.

Here's hoping the children will actually use that money to pay for college and not years of therapy.

Image: ABC