Preparing for a child to come into your home is not just a matter of reading Sheila Kitzinger and decorating the nursery. Here are some simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real life experience:
1. To discover how nights feel, walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. (For twins carry two bags). At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for 12am and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk the living room floor with the bag until 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and get a drink. Go to bed at 2.45am. Get up at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up, make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.
2. Dressing small children is not as easy as it looks. First, buy 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 morning. For twins or more buy an extra octopus and attempt to keep that out of the way while you succeed with the task.
3. Forget the Peugeot 205 or MG roadster and buy a Galaxy. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the drive looking spotless – family cars don’t look like that. Buy a choc ice and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a 20p piece. Stick it into the cassette player. Take a family sized pack of chocolate biscuits. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.
4. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the loo for half an hour. Go out of the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk down the road for five minutes. Stop minutely to inspect every cigarette end and piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you’ve had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. Do it all again later. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.
5. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goat out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat(s) eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not attempt to have children.
And lastly my favourite:
6. 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 weetabix and attempt to spoon it into the swinging melon by pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until half the weetabix is gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure a lot of it falls on to the floor. Your are now ready to feed a 12 month old baby.
This post was written by Debbie, a mum of three.
Photo credit: art paw