Training for Parenthood

I've had several friends and family members recently become parents, and it has made me think back to when I became a father 11 years ago. At least, I'm pretty sure that's right; I don't remember so well anymore.

Anyway, there are a lot of things in life that we train for, from job interviews to athletic competitions. But we don't necessarily train for parenthood. Why not? Many parents would say it's the most important part of their lives. I know I didn't really feel prepared. So, in the interest of helping those who are considering parenthood (or have less than nine months to prepare), here is my 4-week program designed to get you into parenting shape.

Week 1

Sunday: Stay up all night.

Monday: Wake up for 30 minutes each time at 2 AM, 4 AM, and 6 AM

Tuesday: Carry a bowling ball in the crook of your arm for 3 hours.

Wednesday: Make 4 different meals for dinner.

Thursday: Clean your toilet with nothing but baby wipes.

Friday: Sleep in a chair all night.

Saturday: Yell for an hour, cry for an hour, then laugh for an hour.

Week 2

Sunday: Wake up at 2:37 and stay up until 10:15.

Monday: Chew your food and spit it out onto your clothing.

Tuesday: Go to the store unwashed and in your pajamas for one item.

Wednesday: Make one of your favorite meals and then throw it away.

Thursday: Don't shower.

Friday: Don't shower.

Saturday: Shower, but with the door open.

Week 3

Sunday: Place a 20-pound weight on the floor. Lift it up 8 times per hour for 16 hours. Bend from the waist.

Monday: Play a 100-decibel siren sound for 10 minutes at a time, 8 times during the day.

Tuesday: Watch an animated film repeatedly for 24 hours straight.

Wednesday: Pick a cherished keepsake and smash it on the floor.

Thursday: Drop a carton of eggs on the floor.

Friday: Be 20 minutes late anywhere you go.

Saturday: Dirty every dish in the house.

Week 4

Sunday: Draw all over your walls with permanent marker.

Monday: Sleep for 2 hours.

Tuesday: Sleep for 4 hours, stay up for 2 hours, then sleep for 15 minutes.

Wednesday: Look up symptoms of illness on the Internet for two hours. Do this at 1 AM.

Thursday: Blow your nose on your shoulder.

Friday: Drop a bowl of spaghetti on the floor.

Saturday: Sleep on the floor.

There you have it! You are all ready for parenthood.


)en said…
Joel, you've done it. This is fantastic. I laughed the whole time, just picturing doing all of these things. Madness! And you certainly have the credentials, having children in basically every phase. This is share-worthy.
Joel said…
Thanks. Maybe I'll put it on the good old face books.
Alyssa said…
I'm ready for a nap . . .
LT said…
Ugh... I have a 1 year old. I don't read blogs for large portions of truth...
Sondra said…
This is great, Joel. It sure made me tired reading it--or at least reminded me of my tiredness. Times five and a half. :)

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