Real Life Parenthood Readiness Test
When my husband and I were expecting our son, every day was like standing in front of a firing squad of unwanted advice and information. One bullet that struck me was the “you’ll never be ready” bullet. Now this seven-millimeter chunk of lead is stuck in my left butt cheek and stings true everyday. Whether you are contemplating kids, currently expecting, raising a herd of miniature goats disguised as kids, or in recovery from what seemed to be eighty-four years of trudging through the Amazon fucking river, there is finally a test to see if you are or were actually ready to bring a child into this world.
This test consists of nine challenges. If you can survive and come to terms with the much less than expected results, you are ready to have a baby.
1.) Rake leaves during a windstorm. I’m sure you already know, this is impossible. Try it anyway. You have to get the kids to school and get to work on time; it’s not an option. Just rake the majority together and go for it. Ben might be missing a shoe, Sophia’s pants are backwards, and you have Chloe’s shit on your shirt… again; but for the most part the task is complete and no one died.
2.) Diffuse a bomb. Let me clarify. Diffuse a bomb with NO training or protective gear. This is an intricate task. After rocking your son for an hour, he finally goes to sleep. As you ever so gently set him into the crib, he explodes like a damn nuclear bomb! Now you have to start all over minus a few extremities and definitely not a shred of sanity.
3.) Survive a hurricane. You will never be truly prepared for what mother nature will throw at you. Everything is wet. Everything is destroyed. You are hungry. You are thirsty. You are drowning. However, just like the idiots who chose to live in hurricane land, you didn’t use birth control. Now, go clean up the mess, Hurricane Cindy is on her way.
4.) Ride a skateboard through insane terrain. Picture this: You must ride a skateboard through fifty yards of Legos, banana peels, and yes of course, baby poop. You’ll eat shit (possible literally), within the first foot and have no idea how the fuck you will make it to the finish line without tapping out or dying. Make sure you have someone record this glorious catastrophe so at Thanksgiving twenty years from now, the family can sit around the table and laugh at your life.
5.) Be homeless. How is this comparable to having a child? Simple. You have no money. You stink, and have a highly concerning desire for alcohol. It’s pretty much the exact same thing as being a parent.
6.) Be a sitcom soundboard. Sitcoms are full of sounds, especially that same laugh track used for the last twenty-three years. Why do you need to try to be a sitcom soundboard? The day will come that you will have to make the same fart noise for seven hours straight just to keep your little one from screaming bloody murder. You will annoy yourself to insanity. At least the padded room will be quite.
7.) Run a marathon in sub par conditions. What kind of sub par conditions? You are thirty pounds overweight, poorly fed, living off of caffeine and a total of ten hours of non-consecutive sleep in the last week while carrying ten pounds of rocks with the same one arm. Finished? Awesome. Now, get up in two hours and do it again, and again, and one more time for good measure. This is just a snap shot of what the next twenty years will look like and longer if you have more than one child. Are you ready to be an Olympic runner until you fall down and die?
8.) Go on the show Fear Factor. If you’ve ever watched Fear Factor (a show popular in the early 2000’s) you know that the show consisted of people doing “scary” things like putting their head in a crate full of scorpions, eating three sheep eyes, lying in a casket full of rats, and searching for rings with your mouth at the bottom of a bucket of cow blood. How is this relevant to preparing yourself for parenthood? Well, there are two answers. Puke and shit. Your darling bundle of joy will at some point spit up into your mouth. She will also giggle as you frantically try to catch the shit coming out mid diaper change only to have it end up everywhere as she squirms in delight; and once you finally clean up the god awful mess and get to wash your hands, you’ll realize that you had shit on your face the entire time. Maybe that’s what your daughter was laughing about. Shit blush – not the greatest makeup trend. Then, as your child grows, life will be accompanied by many more fears; such as accidents and injuries, educational pitfalls, parent fails…. and on and on. Fear Factor is short; parenthood is forever, and is scary as fuck.
9.) Be abstinent for eternity. (Well…almost.) You cannot have sex for thirteen months. Yes, thirteen months. Why so long? You have to take into account the nine months of pregnancy. Then two more months because your or your wife’s vagina is like a murdered Niagara Falls, and then two more months because you are exhausted and covered in spit up and shit. Always with the shit.
So, if you’re currently standing in front of the firing squad of unwanted advice and information, you can let the know that you have a leg up on parenthood as you have completed the Parenthood Readiness Test. If you are currently battling these challenges with a baby on your hip or your herd of miniature goats disguised as children I’ll tell you a secret. No matter how much you prepare, you will never truly be ready. To the parents who have somehow survived the journey of raising children, I know you can confirm that parenthood is the most exhausting but rewarding experience you will every have. Even if the last twenty years were comparable to an abstinent homeless man diffusing a bomb, covered in baby shit, while making fart noises for the eighth hour.