Anyone who has advanced beyond high school has come face-to-face with the tests that serve as the gateway to “the next level.” Those tests assess and categorize prospective students by mental ability before they can pursue higher education or the careers of their choice.
Can we all agree that parenting is a career? For example, it’s mine. So where’s my aptitude test?
If I was in charge of parental aptitude tests, here’s what the test would look like:
1. If your First Born leaves the kitchen at a pace of 5 steps per every 5 seconds, and your Second Born is in the living room crawling at a pace of 2 scoots per every 10 seconds, how long until they collide and start fighting over a toy that neither one of them has played with in approximately 3 months?
2. If you have spent three hours shopping, chopping, cooking and serving a nutritious meal for your three children, how long will it take for them to eat it? How long will they spend complaining about it? How long into the meal before they ask for chicken nuggets? How many calories will you burn fuming over your wasted efforts? Was it worth it?
3. What are the odds that your child will develop explosive diarrhea when your husband is out of town and none of your babysitters are available and you are fresh out of diapers at midnight?
4. On the nights that you force yourself to stay awake because you believe that one of your children will wake up “any minute” wanting to nurse or screaming with night terrors or simply wanting to negotiate general middle-of-the-night maintenance needs, what is the likelihood that all of your children will sleep peacefully while you stare at the ceiling silently cursing the heavens?
5. If you hire a babysitter for $15.00/hour because you simply cannot spend another afternoon fighting your Little One who has refused to nap for the past 2 weeks, what are the odds that your Little One will fall peacefully asleep the moment you leave the house and you will end up paying $45.00 for the babysitter to sit on your couch and watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians?
6. If your 7-year-old neighbor has four rubber balls and your First Born has three, how many balls can your Second Born expect to play with during a 45-minute playdate?
7. If your two toddler-aged children stay up 45 minutes past their bedtime for three nights in a row, what time will they wake up on the fourth morning?
8. When your toddler ignores you for 30 minutes because she is engrossed in eating your lipstick or working a Suduko puzzle, how likely, on a scale of 1 to 10, is she to become apoplectic with grief the minute you try to talk on the phone?
9. If you have two favorite t-shirts, what are the odds that when wearing Favorite #1, your First Born has an epic diaper blowout (consisting of corn chunks and lima beans)? If your answer was greater than 50/50, then what are the odds that when wearing Favorite #2, your Second Born gives you a hug after dipping her hands in red spaghetti sauce?
10. First Born likes Elmo. Second Born likes Grover. Daddy likes Oscar The Grouch (because he reminds him of mommy). Mommy hates the whole lot of them. How many days in a given month will Mommy have to endure the parade of high-pitched, forced jocularity that is Sesame Street?
Did I forget anything?