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
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 to 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.
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 the answers.
3. To discover how the nights will 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, till 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 2:45am. 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. Look cheerful.
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
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 morning.
6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot 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 cracker. Last, take a milk
container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Pops 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 Taurus. 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. There. Perfect.
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 end,
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 into 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 Weetabix
and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an
airplane. Continue until half the Weetabix is 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 Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself singing "Postman Pat"
at work, you finally qualify as a parent.