Parenting Obstacle Course

Before people decide to become parents, they should have to complete this obstacle course:

First, they will read the directions to this complicated obstacle course while a chorus of sweet cherubic voices chant, "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy" at increasingly loud volumes.

Once they have finished comprehending the directions (this is sure to take hours, as it is impossible to concentrate when anyone is yelling that loud), they will dodge toddlers underfoot to meet a screaming baby. They will have to figure out what the baby needs. A new diaper? A bottle? A pacifier? A good ol' burp?

 Once the newborn is soothed, the potential parent will complete the "drive the carpool" challenge, wherein they configure the proper car seats for each age and stage, transport the children from shelter through extreme weather to the car, and secure them safely in the vehicle.  Realizing they are late for their destination, they will have to find the proper route to avoid traffic to the next stop.

The next stop is a grocery store, where they will have to figure out how to successfully restrain three children in a grocery cart while they complete a shopping list of 10 items. While shopping they will dodge slow browsers who take up the entire aisle, abandoned grocery carts, judgmental grandmas, sample ladies who will offer the children in the cart delicious goodies.  They will have thirty minutes to complete this task, as the children will become hungry, restless, and will begin to misbehave.

Next, they will encounter an inquisitive four-year-old who will ask questions constantly as the potential parent tries to complete the next task. The potential parents will be asked to prepare meals for four picky eaters while simultaneously sorting and doing the laundry for a household of five.

The next task will be scheduling a babysitter so that the potential parents can have a night out. They will be given the phone number of another parent, and will have to pry a list of five potential babysitter's phone numbers out of this other parent who also needs a night out and is reluctant to share her trusted and protected list of sitters lest new potential parent steals said list, and consequently the sitter, leaving the other parent without a date night.

Once a babysitter is scheduled, the potential parents will have to get themselves ready for a nice dinner while dodging scattered toys, cleaning up diaper blowouts, playing referee for physical or mouthy siblings, and manning the time out chair.

Once potential parents are ready for their big night out, they will receive a call from the babysitter. She has a low grade fever. She feels well enough to take care of the kids, but wants all parties know that she could be contagious.  There are two options here, potential parents can take the sitter despite her unexplained illness, enjoy a nice dinner in the midst of the obstacle course and return to a house full of tears and puke, which they will need to manage until the next day breaks. OR potential parents can cancel the sitter and continue the course by completing 2 child baths, reading 7 stories (2 of them will be read 3 times each), and tucking the children in for the night.

The course will begin again after 6 hours of fitful, interrupted sleep, and will continue FOR ETERNITY. *

I think that should weed out some of the riffraff.

*Some scenarios collected from my life.  

1 comment:

  1. This post made me laugh - particularly b/c just today I had 3 kids in the cart, and got not one, but two lectures from a Target employee about their poor behavior. I'm pretty sure my son thought he was coming to my defense when he piped up with, "My mommy doesn't have a penis, but my daddy does" as she finished her tirade.


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