In my years of experience, I’ve learned that parenthood can be a tricky business. The answers aren’t always clear, even for what seem to be the simplest of questions; for example, some of you out there might not even be sure if you have a baby living at your house, which can make parenting even more troublesome. We get busy, or forgetful, especially with all the sleep deprivation we endure thanks to our demanding careers and/or babies screaming all night long, and suddenly you find yourself wondering, “Wait, wasn’t there a tiny person around here someplace?”
Before you go searching the backyard and feeling around behind the refrigerator for a baby you might not even have, I’ve put together this easy test to help you determine if, in fact, you are the parent of an infant.
1. Look down at your shirt, and determine into which category it falls.
A) It is clean, fashionable, and neatly pressed; I just put it on this morning.
B) It’s wrinkled and could probably use a wash, but it doesn’t smell TOO bad and is (relatively) stain-free. It may or may not have a few holes in it.
C) There are 5 or more stains, concentrated mainly in the shoulder regions; no more than two of the stains originated from something I was personally eating. I don’t remember when I put it on, but I do know I’ve slept in it for at least two nights.
A: You are not a parent. You sound very polished and well-rested, and I hate you.
B: You are not a parent, either – it sounds like you might just be a slob. Pull yourself together.
C: Congratulations! You have a baby.
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2. What do you do when it’s time for dinner?
A) Hop in the car – there’s a new sushi place only a half hour from here!
B) Go to your well-appointed gourmet kitchen that is fully stocked and sparkling clean, and whip up a nutritious, delicious meal for your family. You eat together at the dining room table, which does NOT have a view of the television.
C) Go to the kitchen, where there’s plenty of food for side dishes but you forgot to put any meat in the fridge to thaw, so all the ground beef is hard as a brick. Realizing you haven’t eaten all day, you get out a box of crackers and stand at the kitchen counter, trying to think of something to make for dinner while eating crackers until you aren’t even hungry anymore. Later, at about 10 PM, you will supplement your cracker feast with food that was left on other people’s plates, which you sample while you load the dishwasher. You don’t remember the last time you sat down to eat.
A: You do NOT have a baby, unless you’re that couple who takes their baby to restaurants and are the only two people there who don’t notice she’s screaming her head off. You don’t have older kids either, because they would never agree to try sushi, nor would you think sushi was worth the effort of packing everyone in the car to drive an hour round trip.
B: I’m sorry to inform you that you are fictional. And I hate you.
C: Congrats on having a baby! Or an eating disorder. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
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3. How would you describe the color scheme of your home decor?
A) Monochromatic and modern – I like things to match, creating a pleasing design using texture and subtle pops of color.
B) Warm and traditional – I like deep colors, expensive fabrics, and rich wood tones.
C) Eclectic – The bottom layer of my home decor consists of decent quality, grown-up furniture mixed with cheap college throw-back items, with a thick top layer of random objects that look like several boxes of Crayola markers threw up on them. My home conveys the distinct feeling that an iceberg containing a Toys R Us store recently plowed through my living room, dropping its contents in its wake.
A: You do not have a baby. The only “pops of color” parents get in their decorating are ketchup stains generated when their children throw chicken nuggets across the room.
B: You don’t have a baby; nothing parents purchase for themselves can be classified as “expensive” until their children are all out of college.
C: You definitely have a baby. A good rule of thumb: no childless adult purposely has anything on semi-permanent display in their home that boasts eye-jabbingly bright primary colors.
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4. What was the most ridiculous thing you recently said out loud to another human being?
A) “I believe a two-party political system is the best option we have available for our government. Everything in Washington is positively dandy!”
B) “I’ll bet you I can spit on the cat from here.”
C) “Whats-a wrong wif my doodle? Does my wittle boodle bug have some poopity pants?”
A: There’s no way you have a baby. First of all, parents rarely find the time or energy to have political discussions, because they’re too busy programming their V-Chips to prevent their offspring from getting warped by accidental Barney sightings. They also just plain avoid the topic, because thinking about politics depresses them with the realization that public schools are all going to be poorly organized crack houses within the next five years, but that it doesn’t matter because Big Business is going to explode the environment before their baby gets into kindergarten anyway.
B: I can only hope and pray you don’t have a baby. (Note to B’s baby: If you’re reading this, call 911.)
C: Congratulations – you have a baby! Or you’ve just suffered a stroke. Either way, you sound like a moron; I should know, because that’s exactly what I said to my baby not five minutes ago. There’s an unwritten rule that says to talk to a baby, you have to sound like you’re only mildly more mentally developed than they are. Unless you’re one of those new-age parents who talks to their baby as if they’re reading their dissertation to a committee of astrophysics professors. I hate to tell you this, but your baby has no idea what you’re talking about, and is not impressed.
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5. What is the best time of day for you to unwind, relax, and just have some “you” time?
A) I like to get up early, before anyone else is awake, to meditate and do some yoga.
B) When I’m driving – I can organize my thoughts or turn up the music and just cut loose!
C) I lock the bathroom door and treat myself to a nice, warm bubble bath.
Ha! This was a trick question, none of these people have a baby. Once you have kids, you can kiss “you” time goodbye – no one gets up earlier than the kids, you can’t jam out in the car because you’re too concerned about blowing out their tiny eardrums before they’re teenagers and have the opportunity to do it themselves, and infants are born with the innate ability to unlock the bathroom door, barge in, and announce they want a peanut butter sandwich, no matter how many deadbolts you install.
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Well, I hope you found this quiz helpful, and if you determined that you do, in fact, have a baby, I hope she turns up before you have to call the authorities!