A ten-point training plan for parenthood
For those of you who are expectant, here are some simple ideas which
can prepare you for the real thing. For those of you for whom it is too
late, judge for yourselves how realistic these simulations are.
- Before you actually have children find a couple who are already
parents and berate them about their lack of discipline, lack of
patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have let their
children run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their
childís sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and
behaviour. Enjoy it Ė itíll be the last time you have all the
- Women Ė to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick
a large beanbag down the front. Wear this for nine months and then
remove 10% of the beans.
- Men Ė to prepare for paternity, go to the local chemist, empty
your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself.
Then go to the supermarket and arrange for your salary to be paid
directly to head office. On your way home buy yourself a paper and
read it for the last time.
- To discover what the night feels like, walk around in the evening
for at least two hours, carrying a wet bag of sand over your shoulder.
At 10pm put down the bag, set the alarm for midnight and get some
hard-earned sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around with the bag until
1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. You wonít be able to get back to
sleep so get up at 2am, make yourself a drink and watch TV. Crawl into
bed at 2.45am and get up at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in
the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up at 5am. Make
breakfast and look cheerful. Keep this up for five years.
- Dressing a small child requires practice. First buy a live octopus
and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none
of the arms hang out. You have all morning to achieve this.
- Go shopping. Take a full grown goat to the supermarket as a
substitute toddler. Take two goats for two toddlers. Do not let the
goats out of your sight as you pick and pay for your weekly shopping
and what the goats have eaten. Until this task becomes second nature
donít even contemplate having children.
- Hollow out a melon and make a hole in one side. Suspend the melon
from the ceiling and get it swinging from side to side. Now get a bowl
of soggy Weetabix and attempt to spoon it into the melon whilst
pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until the Weetabix is almost
used up and then tip the rest into your lap. You can now feed a twelve
month old baby.
- Buy a brand new estate car. Stick a choc-ice in the glove
compartment and leave it there. Put a 20p piece into the cassette
player. Take a family sized pack of chocolate digestives and mash them
down the back of the back seats. Oh, and donít forget to run a
garden rake somewhere along the paintwork. Perfect!
- Get ready to go out. Wait outside the loo for half an hour. Go out
through the front door, come back in again, go back out again. Then
walk down the front path, walk back up it again, walk back down again
and then start walking very, very slowly along the road for five
minutes. Look at every stone, every insect (dead or alive) and each
piece of litter. Retrace your steps before shouting loudly "Iíve
had just about as much as I can stand" until the neighbours come
out and stare at you. Give up and go back inside. This represents your
first walk with a small child.
- Forget anything you ever knew: your telephone number, your friends
names (it doesnít matter as you wonít have time to see them) and
why you were coming upstairs when you get as far as the landing.
Practice forgetting what youíve been told as soon as youíve been
However, donít forget to perform the above course twice concurrently
for a second child.
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