If you think you’re ready to have a baby, first try walking around for nine months with a giant bean bag under your shirt, going to the grocery store with a goat or stuffing an octopus in a bag.
That’s the advice an animated “parent test” gives for couples looking to become parents. The test is called, “14 Steps to Follow Before You Have Children,” and is making the rounds of parenting blogs. It is originally part of a 21-step test from the book “The Beginner’s Guide to Fatherhood” by Colin Falconer.
The list caught Mamatoga.com‘s creator Jenny Witte’s eye. The mother of three ages 5 and under has been blogging about parenting for a year and said the 14 steps resonate with all mothers.
“It made me laugh out loud,” Witte, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., told ABCNews.com. “It’s the comic relief side of parenting. You know, the idea of taking goats to the grocery store – you do feel like that sometimes.
“I think it’s the camaraderie too,” Witte added. “Everybody goes through this and everybody sees how silly it can be, especially in an age of super moms, and everyone thinks everyone should do it all and look great doing it. This says it’s OK because everybody does it and you can poke fun at it this way.”
Chet Patel, of England, posted the list on her blog, Mamami by Chet, because it ran so true with her parenting of her two daughters, who are 2 and 5. The step that resonated with her the most was “Knowledge” which suggested berating other parents for their parenting skills.
“I remember my husband and I were like, ‘I can’t believe they do that, I can’t believe they behave this way,’” she said. “Now it’s like, ‘Oh my good God, I’ll give them anything to keep quiet.’”
But for her husband, the “Dressing Small Children” step hit close to home.
“With tights and hair, he’s just like, ‘You do it. What is this?’” Patel said. “Most of the time, I’ll take them out and then I’ll realize he’s put their clothes on backwards.”
Patel said the tongue-in-cheek list is clearly meant to give a laugh and not to offend anyone, which is why she knew her readers would enjoy it.
“I would never change my title as ‘mommy,’” she said. “But you need a sense of humor when you become a parent. Either that or you become mad.”
The test says that if you can pass the 14 steps, you are ready to have a baby. Are you ready?
Test 1: Preparation
Women: To prepare for pregnancy
1. Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
2. Leave it there.
3. After 9 months remove 5% of the beans.
Men: To prepare for children:
1. Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
2. Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.
Test 2: Knowledge
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: Nights
To discover how the nights will feel:
1. Walk around the living room from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
2. At 10 p.m., put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 11 p.m. and walk the bag around the living room until 1 a.m.
4. Set the alarm for 3 a.m.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2 a.m. and make a cup of tea.
6. Go to bed at 2:45 a.m.
7. Get up again at 3 a.m. when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs in the dark until 4 a.m.
9. Put the alarm on for 5 a.m. Get up when it goes off.
10. Make breakfast.
Keep this up for five years. LOOK CHEERFUL.
Test 4: Dressing Small Children
1. Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hang out.
Time Allowed: 5 minutes.
Test 5: Cars
1. Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door 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 biscuits; mash them into the back seat.
5. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Check out the full 14 test here.