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August 17, 2012

How to Know if You’re Ready For Parenthood

Mess Test: Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and then on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch, and leave it there all summer.

Toy Test: Get a 55-gallon box of LEGOs. (If LEGOs are not available, substitute roofing tacks or broken glass.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).

Grocery Store Test: Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best), and take grocery shopping with you. Always keep them in sight, and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Dressing Test: Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff it into a small net bag, making sure that all arms stay inside.

Feeding Test: Fill a large plastic milk jug halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Get the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy Fruit Loops, Cheerios or other cereal into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Then dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Night Test: Fill a small cloth bag with 8 to 12 pounds of sand and soak it thoroughly in water. At 8 p.m., begin to waltz and hum with the bag. Continue until 9 p.m., then lay down the bag and set your alarm for 10 p.m. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more, and sing them until 4 a.m., when you should set the alarm for 5 a.m. Get up and make breakfast. Repeat for five years while looking cheerful.

Physical Test (women): Attach a bean-bag chair to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months, then remove 10% of the beans.

Physical Test (men): Go to the nearest drug store, set your wallet on the counter, and tell the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Buy a newspaper, take it home, and read it quietly for the last time.

Final Assignment: Find a couple with a small child. Vigorously lecture them on how to teach the child discipline, patience, tolerance, toileting and table manners. Suggest many improvements, and emphasize that they should never allow their children to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you’ll have all the answers.

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