Have you ever stopped to consider just how completely crazy parenting is?
How it must look from the outside looking in?
Ever look back at your PK days (pre-kids) and shake your head at just how naïve you were?
Last week I was sent a hilarious email from one of my wonderful South African readers, Renêe. (Thanks Renêe!)
It was a collection of four tests to help parents determine whether or not they’re “ready” for parenthood.
It was also hilarious.
I chuckled about them for three days, adding on to the list in my head as I worked through my daily chores.
Of course, things I think are funny, I always want to share with you. (Keeping a chuckle to myself feels wrong.)
So here’s my expanded rendition to the entire “Are you really ready for this parenting hurricane?” discussion.
Feel free to share any chuckles/snorts with your friends, and (of course!) add your own “tests” in the comments!
Parenting Test #1:
The Mess Test
Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains.
Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.
Spill some milk on the floor of your vehicle, helplessly watch it seep into the carpet while you’re driving, and then let it grace you with it’s ghostly presence for the next 6 years.
Draw a giant head with arms and legs extending out of it on the living room wall. With a permanent marker.
Pee on the floor in the kitchen. Then again in the living room, behind the drapes.
Borrow a dirty diaper from a parent-friend and then leave it behind the diaper pail, forgotten, for a month or two.
Parenting Test #2:
The Dress Test
Buy a medium-sized octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so none of the arms are hanging out.
Prepare to do this multiple times a day.
Parenting Test #3
The Toy Test
Purchase a 55-gallon drum of LEGOS.
Have a friend spread them all over the house.
Walk blindfolded throughout the house, without screaming. (Why without screaming? You’ll wake the baby!)
Find the noisiest-most obnoxious toy on the planet. The one you avoided at the toy store.
Have your parents buy it anyway. Push the buttons incessantly.
Parenting Test #4
The Mini-Van Test
Go spend all your money on a fairly un-hip (but pro-functional!) mini-van.
Buy a chocolate ice cream cone, and place it in the glove compartment.
Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
Take a family-sized package of chocolate chip cookies. Mash them into crumbles in the back seat.
Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, being sure to wedge them in the tiny crevices you could never hope to reach with your fingers. Crush them into the carpet.
Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Parenting Test #5
The Always Wrong Test
Get a puppy.
Have some friends come over and admonish you on your…
- methods of discipline
- lack of patience
- appallingly low tolerance levels
- ways of breastfeeding, toilet training, and handling behaviors
Parenting Test #6
The Grocery Store Test
Borrow a few small goats.
Take them with you as you shop at the grocery store.
Always keep them in sight.
Pay for anything they eat or damage.
Parenting Test #7
The TV Test
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street, Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, My Little Pony, and the Octonauts.
Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney Channel, or Noggin for 5 years.
Decide which show you find most obnoxious (mine was Dora) and determine to keep it “undiscovered” for years.
Let Grandma babysit for an hour.
Embrace your child’s new obsession.
Parenting Test #8
The Feed-A-Nine-Month-Old Test
Fill large plastic milk jug halfway with water.
Tie it to the ceiling, so the opening is facing you.
Swing it back and forth.
Try to insert a spoon full of baby food into the opening while pretending to be an airplane.
When finished, dump the contents of the jug on the floor.
Parenting Test #9
The Name Test
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying “Mommy” over and over again.
Be sure there is no more than a 4-second delay between each “mommy”.
Listen to this tape in the car and at home for 4 years.
Parenting Test #10
The Conversation Test
Start talking to the adult of your choice.
Have someone continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt-sleeve, or elbow while playing the “Mommy” tape above.
Parenting Test #11
The Night & Day Test
Come home from work and immediately begin to walk around the living room for 5 hours carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds.
Attempt to eat cold food one handed, while shifting and bobbing the package up and down.
At 10pm, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
At midnight, walk around the living room with the bag, listening to a loud recording of a screaming hyena until 1am.
Go back to sleep and set the alarm again for 3am.
Since you’re too wired to go to sleep now (hyenas and all) get up at 2am, get a drink of milk and order some new Gingzu knives off an Infomercial.
Fall asleep a 2:45am.
Wake to the 3am alarm, and sing every nursery rhyme song you know, three times, until 4am.
Dress the Octopus.
Feed the milk jug.
Dress the Octopus again. (Because the octopus is now wearing the milk jug.)
Go to work and be vibrantly productive.
Parenting Test #12
The Love Test
Close your eyes and picture your baby’s face. (Or what you imagine your baby’s face to be.)
Imagine those cheeks-with eyes turning towards you, locking with your eyes and giving you the biggest, silliest, goofiest grin God ever made.
Watch his chubby little arms reach to the sky as he waits for you to pick him up.
Realize that you, through loving this little person, am about to change the world.
Forget all about Tests 1-11.
What do you think? What are the tests you were unprepared for? Which things surprised you the most about parenthood?