Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading
books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple steps 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
4. To discover how nights with an infant feels, 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. If 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. Look cheerful.
5. 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 flowerbed then rub them on the clean walls.
Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?
6. 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.
7. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a can of
paint, turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet paper 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
8. Forget the Lexus 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. There! Perfect!
9. Get ready to go out.... Wait outside the bathroom 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.
10. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.
11. 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
12. 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.
13. Learn the names of every character from Barney and Friends,
Sesame Street and Pokemon. When you find yourself singing "I love
you, you love me" at work, CONGRATULATIONS! ...You're ready to
be a parent!