You count the number of sprinkles on each kid's cupcake to make sure they are equal.
You want to take out a contract on the kid who broke your child's favorite toy and made him/her cry.
You have time to shave only one leg at a time.
You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
Your child throws up and you catch it.
Someone else's kid throws up at a party and you keep eating.
You consider finger paint to be a controlled substance.
You mastered the art of placing food on a plate without anything touching.
Your child insists that you read "Once Upon a Potty" out loud in the lobby of the doctor's office and you do it.
You hire a baby sitter because you haven't been out with your husband in ages, then you spend half the night talking about and checking on the kids.
You hope ketchup is a vegetable because it's the only one your child eats.
You find yourself cutting your husband's sandwiches into unusual shapes.
You fast-forward through the scene when the hunter shoots Bambi's mother.
You obsess when your child clings to you upon parting during his first month at school, then you obsess when he skips in without looking back.
You can't bear to give away baby clothes--it's so final.
You hear your mother's voice coming out of your mouth when you say, "Not in your good clothes."
You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.
You read that the average-five-year old asks 437 questions a day and feel proud that your kid is "above average."
You say at least once a day "I'm not cut out for this job," but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything.
[Um, except for that "not-trading-it-for-anything" part, yeah. - BB]
This is a public service, from me to anyone contemplating having kids, or who wants to know what having kids is like. (And, no, Phyllis, breastfeeding is NOT fucking transcendental!)
Are You Ready to Have a Baby?
- MESS TEST: Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub on the walls. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer. 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 into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.
- FEEDING TEST: Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start 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 8:00 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 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 these too 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: Obtain a large bean-bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10% of the beans. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.
- FINAL ASSIGNMENT: Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their child's discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.