If you are thinking of having children, take this test first. If you already have children, the test will tell you whether you need to: (1) issue a recall, (2) check your mental health, or (3) replace Mother Theresa.
1. Would you enjoy observing your child throw a temper tantrum in the middle of a supermarket?
a. Yes, I’m a masochist
b. Yes, provided my child has a good reason for it
c. No, I rather have a colonoscopy in the woods
2. Do you enjoy feeling guilty?
a. Of course, I’m Jewish
b. Yes, I’m Catholic. It’s a cultural tradition
c. No way
3. Do you enjoy eating leftover spaghetti with snot sauce?
a. Yes, my mother never let me eat my snot
b. Yes, provided it’s from my baby’s plate
c. No, I’m allergic to gluten
4. Would you enjoy worrying about your baby?
b. Absolutely, my life is too boring
c. What’s there to worry about?
5. Do you enjoy spending weeks without sleep?
a. Yes, provided I can watch Lingerie Football reruns
b. Yes, I’d do anything to be near my baby at night when she screams
c. No, I operate a nuclear reactor in the morning
6. Do you enjoy smelly bedrooms?
a. Totally, they turn me on
b. Yes, in my family we bond through odors
c. All of the above
7. Do you enjoy being ignored?
a. I’m never ignored
b. Yes, provided I’m ignored by my precious creature
c. It depends
8. Would you enjoy driving a group of seven year olds in your van for hours from soccer to Kumon to SAT classes?
a. Definitely, especially in Miami traffic
b. How else are they going to get into Harvard?
c. What am I, a sucker?
9. Do you enjoy gossiping about lousy teachers?
a. Only about Mrs. Rivera
b. They deserve it
c. What else is there to do while we wait for our kids outside school?
10. Do you enjoy talking with kids about the importance of using a condom?
a. What is a condom?
b. I’d ask my Rabbi to do it
c. Why should I do that?
11. Would you enjoy getting calls at work from your babysitter that you must run to the emergency room?
a. It’s always good to take a break from work
b. No big deal
c. I rather die
12. Do you enjoy cleaning poop?
a. Yes, my mother never let me play with mud
b. My baby will be born toilet trained
c. Isn’t there an app for that?
13. Do you enjoy punk music?
a. It’s the only kind we play in our house
b. I’m open minded
c. I hate it
14. Do you like a neat house?
a. Are there any other kinds?
b. I’m OCD
c. Neat houses are repressive
15. Do you enjoy hosting wild parties?
a. We never stopped
b. Anything for our gem
c. I hate noise
16. Do you enjoy science projects?
a. I’m a humanist
b. I’m a rocket scientist
c. Science is a left-wing conspiracy
17. Do you enjoy self-abnegation?
a. Self what?
b. I’m a Jewish mother; is there any other way?
c. I’m big on selfies of any kind
18. Would you enjoy working until your eighties to fund your child’s education?
a. Ignorance is bliss
b. Anything for my baby
c. I hate elitist snobs
19. Would you enjoy seeing your daughter go out with older men with chains and tattoos in a Harley Davidson squad?
a. I’m not having a daughter
b. I ride a Harley Davidson
c. I rather be dead
20. Do you enjoy reading about parenting?
a. I used to until now
b. I love parenting surveys
c. I rather get a pet
21. Do you enjoy peace and quiet?
a. I love it
c. I cannot live without it
22. Would you enjoy seeing your child in competitive situations?
a. I cannot bear the thought of my child losing in a competition
b. It’s all about the journey, not the result
c. My child will never lose
23. Do you enjoy arguing?
a. Yes, it builds character
b. No, it drives me crazy
c. Only against people I can prove wrong
24. Do you enjoy punctuality?
a. We are German
b. We are Mexicans
c. I’m late
25. Do you enjoy feeling insecure?
a. It’s my favorite state
b. I wish I knew anything else
c. I ride a Harley Davidson
If you answered mostly b, you are ready to be a parent and to be admitted to the nearest sanatorium. If you answered mostly a, you might be able to be a parent AFTER you are admitted to the nearest sanatorium. If you answered mostly c, you ARE in a sanatorium and I hope you never have children, especially if you operate a nuclear reactor.
Immanuel Kant was totally wrong. Human beings are the most irrational species on the face of the earth. Before our son was born, there was order in my world. I used to get up at a certain time, eat breakfast at a certain time, and go to the toilet at a certain time. My life was a sanatorium: orderly, clean, and predictable, with a fresh scent of febreze. I was happy. The arrival of our lovable son changed all that, especially the orderly thing. Order turned into chaos, predictability into pandemonium, and febreze into acrid vomit. Nobody should undermine the adorability factor of babies. Without it, it would all be too much to bear, especially for sanatorium lovers like me.