Preparation for Parenthood
Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and
decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents
to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a
mother or father.
1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a
beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months,
take out 10% of the beans.
Men: to prepare for paternity, go the local drug store, tip the
contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to
help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary
paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper and
read it for the last time.
2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who
are already parents and berate them about their methods of
discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and
how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in
which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet
training, table manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it - it'll be the
last time in your life that you will have all of the answers.
3. To discover how the nights feel, walk around, the living room from
5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. at
10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag,
until 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can't get back to sleep,
get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2:45 am. Get up again at
3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the
alarm on for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years.
4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut
butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger
behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in
the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with
crayons. How does that look?
5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an
octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string
bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all
6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a can of paint,
turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only scotch
tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas tree. Last, take a
milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Puffs
and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations, you
have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.
7. Forget the Miata and buy a Mini Van. And don't think you can leave
it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look
like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove
compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette
player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down
the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go
out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again.
Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk
very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely
every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead
insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as
much as you can stand, until the neighbors come out and stare at you.
Give up and go back in the house. You are now just about ready to try
taking a small child for a walk.
9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.
10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you
can find to a pre-school child - a fully grown goat is excellent. If
you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy
your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay
for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily
accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.
11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from
the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy
Froot Loops and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by
pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half of the Froot Loops
are gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it
falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month old baby.
12. Learn the names of every character from Barney and Friends, Sesame
Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself
singing "I love you, you love me" at work, now!, you finally qualify
as a parent.