THE BLOG

Think You're Ready to Be a Parent?

13/11/2015 17:07 GMT | Updated 13/11/2016 10:12 GMT

Not 'til you can do all of these, you're not...

Task 1. 10am: Put a just-fed, super-sleepy octopus in a crib. Attempt to get all eight limbs into the small eight holes of an octopus sleeping bag, without it waking up. When you fail, still try to get the eight flailing limbs into the sleeping bag, whilst it screams, because it's a new species of screaming octopus. Focus a CCTV camera on your writhing, screaming octopus, then leave the room, whilst tripping over Lego-shaped needles but holding in your swearing. Spend a painful hour watching CCTV of your much-loved octopus screaming. Then go and pick it up, and spend the rest of the day with your tired, grumpy octopus that refuses to sleep.

Task 2. 11am: Pick up 10kg of flour from the supermarket. Don't put it down for 12 hours. Whilst carrying it, continue normal tasks, including paying for the rest of your shopping, smiling tightly when strangers poke your flour and ask its gender, travelling home, and unpacking your shopping. At two-hourly-intervals during your day, stick a pencil into the flour so it leaks out everywhere, then wash the ensuing floor mess and your clothes, re-package the flour, and carry on with the rest of your day, whilst never putting down the flour.

Task 3. 12pm: Wearing your best top, pour some water over both boob regions and go out for the afternoon. Every hour, add a splat of smelly thick white liquid to your top (a different area each time), and ask someone to yank on it to create saggy parts. Every meal time, ask your dining companion to throw colourful food at you, ideally staining foods like beetroot. Tomorrow morning, you should gaze at your ruined top and pull it on again, because it's the cleanest thing in your wardrobe.

Task 4. 1pm. Download an app that blares out hissing sounds and place it next to a dozing time bomb. Try to shower, dry your hair, go to the loo, cook a meal, clear up your house, get ready to go out and catch up on emails in the 23 seconds the time bomb stays silent. Fail, and try to do the rest of the tasks whilst holding the timebomb to your nipple.

Task 5. 2pm. Walk to your nearest Tube station whilst pushing two heavy suitcases full of necessities for the day, with your screaming octopus (from earlier) strapped to your front in a Baby Bjorn. Ideally do so on a rainy day, wearing an enormous raincoat that covers you and the carrier, but which makes the octopus ANGRY. Get to the station, stare forlornly at the 73 stairs to the platform, and start beaming hopefully at passing commuters. After they all rush past you, pick on one and ask for help. During your journey, add 10kg weights to the Baby Bjorn every 10 minutes.

Task 6. 7pm. Put an alarm clock in a crib. Pat its snooze button for two hours from 7pm so it stays hush. Enjoy an hour's peace from 9pm til 10pm, when you should settle into your cosy duvet. Now have it go off every hour, when you'll need to hold on to it for 15 minutes, pat its snooze button again for 15 minutes, and then enjoy 30 minutes 'rest' (you'll lie awake listening to its ticking) before it goes off again. Have your alarm clock finally settle down at 6.30, half an hour before your iPhone alarm will go off waking you for the day.

Task 7. Next day: Tell a friend about your day struggling with a wriggling, screaming octopus, crazy sleep-depriving alarm clock, tempestuous time bomb, heavy lugging-about flour, ruined clothing and travel desperation. When they ask whether you ever regret putting yourself through such trials, look at them as if they're crazy. Because you love your wriggling, screaming, sleep-depriving, heavy octopus/baby more than anything in the world and already have nightmares about his/her wanting to leave home one day. Now you're ready to be a parent...

By the way - this post first appeared on "hilarious"* baby blog Run Out of Womb where you can find lots more 3am feed-fests like this one (*according to my mum)

* Read more posts at Run Out of Womb