1. Go to the supermarket, taking with you the nearest thing you can find to a preschool child–a goat is ideal. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Do your week’s shopping without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy.
2. Learn the names of every character [children love]. When you find yourself singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” in the [shower], you know you qualify as a parent.
3. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.
4. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, potty training, table manners, and overall behavior. Enjoy it–It’ll be the last time in your life you have all the answers.
By Colin Bowles (From the “String and the Octopus”)