Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So you want to be a parent? (Day 10)

Thinking of having kids? Follow this 10 step program first!

Lesson 1:
Go to the grocery store.
Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
Go home.
Lesson 2:
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out…
Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
Then rub them on the clean walls.
Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 3:
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this – all morning.

Lesson 4:
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.
Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 5:
Get ready to go out.
Sit on the floor of your bathroom reading picture books 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 sidewalk for five minutes.
Stop, inspect minutely, and ask at least 6 questions about every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way.
Retrace your steps.
Scream that you have 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.

Lesson 6:
Go to the local grocery store.
Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat.
Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 7:
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 Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a seven-month-old baby.

Lesson 8:
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street, Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney Channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking, What’s ‘Noggin’? Exactly the point.)

Lesson 9:
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt-sleeve, or elbow while continually saying ‘mommy’. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult

Lesson 10:
Realize that parenting is indeed hard work.  Realize that even after practicing the first nine steps you will make innumerable mistakes while parenting.  Realize that you previously had no real idea what love really was until you looked into the eyes of your newborn child.

And finally, remember what everyone with grown children will tell you - cherish these days, no matter how stressful or hectic. One day it will be quiet again like you used to dream of and you will yearn with all of your heart to have jam on your curtains, syrup in your hair and the laughter of a child filling the air.