How do you know if you are ready to raise a family of boys? Raising multiple boys requires highly developed skills in multi-tasking, project management, negotiation and diplomacy, for which no amount of education like a law degree can adequately prepare you. It involves patience, perseverance and a lot of band-aids. Raising boys is a full-time gig that lasts an entire lifetime, and certainly not one for the weak-willed or faint-hearted. Here are ten simple tests to determine if you're up for the task!
1. Go to a local batting cage and fill two or three baseball pitching machines with Nerf darts. Place the pitching machines so they face one other, and then position yourself in the middle. Have someone turn the machines on. Now, try to balance your checkbook, read your email and carry a conversation with your mother on the phone, all while dodging Nerf darts.
2. Buy three or four parakeets and place them in front of a microphone. Turn up the volume on your speaker until you can no longer hear yourself think. This is similar to what you will hear every day for the next ten years.
3. Head to your grocery store. Bring with you one spider monkey for every son you plan to have. Place one monkey in a cart and hold the rest of the monkeys by hand while you push your cart across the parking lot. Buy your entire week's groceries without letting the monkeys out of your sight. Pay for everything the monkeys eat or destroy. Now repeat this exercise once every week for five years.
4. Fill a shoebox with Legos (you may substitute thumbtacks for Legos). Have someone spread the entire contents of the shoebox throughout your house. Now, put on a blindfold and walk barefoot around your house without screaming. If you pass this test, you can wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or get a drink of water.
5. Go to an aquarium and ask to borrow a baby octopus. Rub cooking oil over the entire surface of the octopus while it is underwater. Now rinse and repeat. Take the octopus out of the water, and wrap it in a large piece of newspaper. Finally, transfer the octopus from the newspaper into a potato sack with four holes cut out of it, so that only four of its arms hang out of the holes. You are now ready to bathe and dress a small boy.
6. Can you handle the mess that a pack of boys can make in your car? Put a popsicle in the glove compartment and leave it there for a week. Now jam a quarter into the CD player. Finally, take a box of goldfish crackers and crumble them along the back row of seats. Until you are prepared to accept this level of untidiness, do not attempt a road trip with boys.
7. Collect the following items: an empty toilet paper tube, two ping pong balls, one pipe cleaner, and a handful of uncooked rigatoni. Using only a glue stick, assemble these items into a three-dimensional model of Thomas the Tank Engine. Time allotted for this exercise: 10 minutes. You are now qualified to host a boys' playgroup!
8. Buy something expensive for yourself like a pearl necklace. Now hand it over to a puppy.
9. Find a user manual of any kind. Read the first sentence. Wait 60 seconds. Now read the sentence again, a little louder. Wait another 60 seconds. Read it again, even louder. Now go on to the second sentence and repeat this process until you're finished with the entire manual. You now have the patience required to provide a week's worth of instruction to boys!
10. Take an egg from your refrigerator, and roll it down a flight of stairs. If your heart doesn't skip a beat, you have the inner strength to watch your son fall off a bike, learn to skateboard, and leave home for college.