|How to Know You Are Ready for Parenthood|
MESS TEST: Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.
TOY TEST: Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) 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 them with you as you shop at the grocery store. 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: Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill it halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Get the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.
NIGHT TEST: Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 PM. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing them until 4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.
PHYSICAL TEST (WOMEN): Obtain a large bean-bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 mo. Now remove 10% of the beans.
PHYSICAL TEST (MEN): Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask 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. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.
CAR TEST: Forget the Miata and buy the 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 bag of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There! Perfect!
CRAFT TEST: Get an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a can of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now get 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 play group committee.
TELEVISION TEST: Learn the names of every character from 'Barney and Friends', 'Sesame Street', and 'Power Rangers'. When you find yourself singing, "I love you, you love me" at work, you finally qualify as a parent.
FINAL ASSIGNMENT: Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their child's discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and table manners. Suggest many things they can improve as well. Emphasize to them 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.