During the years when parenting was most intense at our house, as good "Spockians," my wife and I read all those studies of the stages of childhood with titles, such as The Toddler, The Child From Six to Twelve, and Learning to Live With Adolescents. I always marveled at how precise and tidily explicable life appeared to be, as seen through scientific eyes. And I won dered why nobody had written a study titled The Male Adult from 35 to 50, setting forth the predictable, there fore less worrisome, phases that men go through. Now that it's too late to do me much good, several studies have emerged telling us about masculine middlessence. What was called "the foolish 40s" and "frantic 50s" in grand dad's day and "the male menopause" in dear old dad's, is now "the male midlife crisis." Nancy Mayer tells all in her book of that name.