This past July 4th holiday weekend, I celebrated my maternal unit’s 80thy birthday. I was with my sisters and most of their respective families. One niece, Becky (she’s also my goddaughter) is pregnant and even at a few weeks along, is already ripe with fetus. Kendrick women get pregnant with gusto. We expand immediately. Our fingernails even gain baby weight. We’re lucky that way.
This is Becky’s second child. She’s catching up with my other kin.
My eldest neice has three, two nephews have two children each and another neice has her long anticipated boy and girl. Then my sibs, Karol and Kathy each had/have four kids.
I, on the other hand, never produced any groin fruit. I am the childless crone of the bunch and I reconciled myself with the fact that I am surrounded by breeders.
But were the women in my family ready for the trials and tribulations and incredible responsibilities involved in motherhood specifically? What about their husbands? Were they ready for fdaddydom?
Too bad this incredibly adroit check list wasn’t around for them to take prior to taking that plunge into parenthood:
TEST #1 Preparation
Women: Thinking about getting pregnant? Try this first:
1. Put on a dress…a house dress or something big and unrestrictive. Stick a beanbag chair down the front of it, positioning it on the abdomen
2. Leave it there.
3. After 9 months remove 5% of the styrofoam beans inside.
**This test simulates the baby weight you will carry for nine months and the post delivery weight you will not lose.
Men: Preparing for children::
1. Go to your friendly, neighborhood pharmacy; dump the entire contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
2. Go to the grocery store, speak to the General Manager to arrange to have your salary paid directly to their corporate offices..
3. Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it in peace…… for the very last time.
Test 2 – KNOWLEDGE (FOR BOTH PARENTS)
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 wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior.
Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.
TEST #3 NIGHTIME (BOTH PARENTS)
To discover how the nights will feel:
1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately six to ten pounds, Make sure a TV or radio is on and emitting static and painful decibels.
2. At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
4. Set the alarm for 3am.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea. Beer is optional.
6. Go to bed at 2.45am.
7. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
8. Humor softly sing songs in the dark with the wet bag in your arms until 4am.
9. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
10. Make breakfast only to realize you’re too tired to eat
Keep this up for at 5 years. ATTEMPT TO LOOK CHEERFUL.
TEST # 4 – DRESSING SMALL CHILDREN (BOTH PARENTS)
1. Buy a live octopus and a burlap bag.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that no arms hang out.
Time Allowed: 5 minutes.
TEST #5 – CARS (BOTH PARENTS)
1. Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door station wagon.
2. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
3. Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.
4. Take a box of chocolate cookies…something fudge covered is best, then mash them into the back seat and across at least one window
5. The future mom and dad flip a coin. Heads one drives; tails one sits in the back and kicks the back of the driver’s seat incessantly
6. Place burgers on the door handle
7. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. A trowel works nicely, too
TEST #6 – GOING FOR A WALK
Go out the front door
Come back in again
Come back in again
Go out again
Walk down the front path
Walk back up it
Walk down it again
Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty Kleenex, cigarette butt, tree, car, dinosaur, dead insect, bird and monster dream 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.
Weep quietly in the kitchen
TEST #7 REPEAT EVERYTHING YOU SAY AT LEAST 5 TIMES
TEST #8 – GROCERY SHOPPING (MOMS ONLY)
1. Go to your favorite grocery store. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is an excellent choice, If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
2. Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.
3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
TEST #9 – FEEDING A 1 YEAR OLD (MOMS MOSTLY)
1. Hollow out a waltermelon
2. Make a small hole in the side
3. Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side
4. Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes or Spaghetti O’s and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon while pretending to be an airplane or a determined “choo choo”.
5. Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.
6. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. We suggest a decent spray of foodstuffs on the wall and ceiling will also work well.
TEST #10 – TV (BOTH PARENTS)
1. Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney, Dora, SpongeBob, Teletubbies and Disney.
2. Watch nothing else on television for at least the next 7.5 years.
TEST # 11 – MESS (MOMS MOSTLY)
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains
2. Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?
4. Empty every drawer/cupboard/storage box in your house onto the floor & leave it there.
5. Take a Magic Marker and draw on the wall
6. Draw pictures of dinosaurs and firetrucks in old, rare priceless books and family heirlooms
TEST #12 – LONG TRIPS WITH TODDLERS (MOMS MOSTLY)
1. Make a recording of someone shouting ‘Mommy’ repeatedly. Important Notes: No more than a 4 second delay between each Mommy. Include occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
2. Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next 4 years.
TEST #13 – CONVERSATIONS (BOTH PARENTS)
1. Start talking to an adult of your choice.
2. Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve while playing the Mommy tape listed above. Have a “Daddy” tape handy, too)
TEST #14 – GETTING READY FOR WORK
1. Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.
2. Put on your finest work attire.
3. Take a cup of cream and put 1 cup of lemon juice in it
5. Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt
6. Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture
7. Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel
8. Do not change (you have no time).
9. Go directly to work
10. Fall asleep at your desk
11. Weep silently at the copier
Not liking what you’ve just read? Well, consider yourself not ready for parenthood. Therefore, take ALL precautions until you are ready.
That said, I suggest you go home and write a very large donation to “Planned Parenthood”, then by stock in Trojans, Yaz and anything with Danny DeVito’s photo on it.
That should do it.