So, you want to be a parent?

Lesson 1
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.

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their:

1. Methods of discipline
2. Lack of patience
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels
4. Allowing 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.

Lesson 3
To discover how the nights will feel...
1.  Walk around the living room from 5 PM to 10 PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned on to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
2.  At 10 PM, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3.  Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1 AM.
4.  Set the alarm for 3 AM
5.  As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2 AM and make a drink.
6.  Go to bed at 2:45 AM
7.  Get up at 3 AM when the alarm goes off.
8.  Sing songs in the dark until 4 AM.
9.  Get up.
10. Make breakfast.

Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make?  To find out...
1.  Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2.  Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3.  Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4.  Then rub them on the walls.
5.  Cover the stains with crayons.  How does that look?

Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy at it seems.
1.  Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2.  Attempt to put the octopus in the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
1.  Take an egg carton.  Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint, turn it into an alligator.
2.  Now take the tube from a roll of toilet paper.  Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into an attractive Christmas candle.
3.  Last, take a milk carton, a Ping-Pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Puffs.  Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Lesson 7
Forget the BMW and buy a station wagon.  And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1.  Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.  Leave it there.
2.  Get a dime. Stick it in the cassette player.
3.  Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
There.  Perfect.

Lesson 8
Get ready to go out.
1.  Wait outside the bathroom for half an hour.
2.  Go out the front door.
3.  Come in again.
4.  Go out.
5.  Come back in.
6.  Go out again.
7.  Walk down the front path.
8.  Walk back up it.
9.  Walk down it again.
10.  Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes.
11.  Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every cigarette  butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way.
12.  Retrace your steps.
13.  Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbors come out and stare at you.
14.  Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Lesson 9
Repeat everything at least, if not more than, five times.

Lesson 10
Go to the local supermarket.  Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child
(A full-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 goat  eats  or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 11
1.  Hollow out a melon.
2.  Make a small hole in the side.
3.  Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4.  Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5.  Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6.  Tip half of the remaining Cheerios into your lap.  The other half just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a 12 month old baby.

Lesson 12
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street, Barney, Arthur, and Disney.  Watch nothing else on TV for at least 5 years.

Lesson 13
Move to the tropics.  Find or make a compost pile.  Dig down about halfway in and stick your nose in it.  Do this 3-5 times a day for two years.

Lesson 14
Make a recording of Fran Dreshcer saying "mommy" repeatedly. (Important:  No more than a four-second delay between each "mommy"; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required).  Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years.
You are now ready to take a long car trip with a toddler.

Lesson 15
Start talking to an adult of your choice.  Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt sleeve, or elbow while playing the "mommy" tape made from Lesson 14 above.
You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Lesson 16
Put on your finest work attire.  Pick a day in which you have an important meeting.
1.  Take a cup of cream, and put 1 cup lemon juice in it.
2.  Stir.
3.  Dump it on your nice shirt.  Also, saturate a towel with this mixture.
4.  Attempt to wipe it off with this towel.
5.  Do NOT change - you have no time.
6.  Go directly to work.

Lesson 17
Go for a ride, but first...
1.  Find one large tomcat and six pitbulls
2.  Borrow a child safety seat and put it in the backseat of your car  (allow 5 hours for proper installation)
3.  Put the pitbulls in the front seat of your car
4.  While holding something fragile or delicate, strap the cat into the child seat.

For the really adventurous, run some errands, remove and replace the cat at each stop.

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