And that’s when it occurred to me that you really should be licensed to be a parent. They should make you take some classes so you really know what to expect when you are sitting in the nursery at 4:00 in the morning trying to calm a colicky kid and wondering why you gave up a fabulous career and a size six pant size for this whiny little person that cries day and night and isn’t going to be toilet-trained for at least three years, if ever.
So welcome to my new Parenting School. Now, I can’t guarantee that after taking these classes you will become the best parents ever—only Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver are legally able to make that claim. But you will feel more confident—even if you are still doing everything wrong.
It’s a Newborn, Don’t Drop it
Now this may seem like a silly class to take. But poll any group of four or more adults and you will find that at least one was dropped on his head. In fact, according to NADWCSA (the National Association of Doctors Who Conduct Studies on Anything), dropping infants on their heads is the leading cause of head dents in this country.
Head dents are terrible things. Children and adults will go to any length to hide the evidence of this accident. Head-dented women must always wear their hair in a Farrah-do, since winged layers are the best way to camouflage the damage done by parents who did not know the proper carrying techniques for newborns. And you can forget your son embracing the “bald is beautiful” way of life. No, your head-dented son will be a member of the Somber Hair Club for Men and will spend adulthood wearing a cheap, poorly fitting toupee to disguise the dent.
What’s That Smell?
This class introduces you to the wonderful world of poop. After attending, you will fearlessly open the diaper of a child who has just eaten her first meal of chili, broccoli or both. You will not hesitate to rescue toys that have been tossed into the Diaper Genie. No longer will you wrinkle your nose when your pre-toilet trained child is standing behind the couch with her face all scrunched up and red. No, you will handle this situation with the ease of knowing that you can tolerate any smell, no matter what your toddler ate for lunch.
How to Function on Two Minutes of Sleep
I recommend that you take this class in conjunction with “Catnaps, the Only Way to Catch Up.” Most babies do not sleep during the night. And even when they do start sleeping through the night, many anxious mothers awaken four or five times to check on their children. This causes severe sleep deprivation. While there is no known cure for this–other than actually getting some sleep (and a bottle of tequila)—this class will give you some excellent tips for staying awake during the day, so you can stay awake all night. As a bonus, we will show an exciting movie called “Driving the Minivan With Your Eyes Closed.” This film will teach you how to memorize common driving routes, so you can catch some Z’s while running errands.
Projectile Vomiting For Dummies
This class is for every parent who has held her sick child in the middle of the night, only to have that child throw up on the parent’s back. This course will teach you techniques to comfort and aid your sick child, while staying a safe distance from the vomit. As a bonus, you will also receive a handy stain removal guide to help you clean carpets, bed linens and nightclothes.
Of course, this is just a start. I predict that my school will eventually have four year programs, so prospective parents will not only be licensed, they can get a B.S. in Parenting—and maybe minor in Ignoring Temper Tantrums in Public.
I just wish they’d had a school like this before I became a parent—if they had, Mr. Grouch wouldn’t be facing life with a bad toupee (in my defense, he rolled off the couch, not out of my arms!). And I would have gotten some sleep on the way to the grocery store.