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Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are some simple tests for the expectant / aspiring parents to take to prepare themselves for the real life experiences of being a mother or father.image

  1. Women: To prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for nine months. After nine months take out 10% of the beans.
  2. Men: To prepare for paternity go to the local pharmacy and tip the contents of your wallet on the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket, arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home, pick up the paper, read it for the last time.
  3. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appalling low tolerance levels and how they allow their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they can improve their children’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it – it’ll be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.
  4. Discover how the nights will feel – walk around the living room from 5 pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag approximately 8 – 12 lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep. Get up at midnight and walk around the living room again with the bag until 1am. Set the alarm for 3am. As you can’t go back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a drink. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Set the alarm for 5am. Get up, make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.
  5. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, first smear Marmite into the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger behind the stereo and leave it there all Summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbed and then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?
  6. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems. Purchase an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this – all day.
  7. Take an egg carton. Using a scissors and a pot of paint, turn it into an allegator. Now take a toilet roll. Using only sellotape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas Cracker. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball and a packet of Coco Pops and make an exact replica of the Eifel Tower. Congratulations, you have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.image
  8. Forget the Merc coupe, buy a Volvo estate. And don’t think you can leave it out there in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that. Buy a choc ice and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a 20 cent piece and stick it into the CD player. Take a family sized packet of chocolate biscuits and mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There – perfect.
  9. Always repeat everything you say at least 5 times.
  10. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette butt, chewing gum stain, dirty tissue or dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you have had enough until the neighbours come out and stare at you. Give up and return to the house. You are now just about ready to take a small child for a walk.
  11. Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a preschool child. A fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child take more than one goat. Buy your weeks groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats destroy. Unless you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.
  12. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Weetabix and spoon it into the melon while pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until half of the Weetabix is gone. Tip the other half into your lap, ensuring some of it goes on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12 month old baby.image.jpeg